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by HR Guy | March 10, 2009

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I have been out of work for almost a year because of illness. I was never officially fired from my last job, nor did I resign. However, my boss had to fill my position because of my extended absence. Making things worse, I had a 10-month work hiatus because of a termination.

How do I handle these breaks in my career on an interview?

Absence Minded

Absence:

The easiest way to cover a lapse on a resume is to only disclose the years that you worked instead of both months and years. If your lapse carried over a year, consider billing yourself as an independent consultant or freelancer. These tactics may be helpful in getting you an interview. However, during the interview you are going to have to be honest. Explain that you were on disability due to illness from x to y date and, for instance, did some freelance work on the side.

I recently spoke with the hiring manager of a hospital I submitted my resume to. Before the interview he asked me how much I wanted to get paid. What is the best way to handle this question? I don't want to sound greedy.

Monetarily Minded

MM:

Answer it honestly. Knowing the marketplace is not greedy; rather, it is good business sense. Before you go to interviews, research what the salary range is for the position. One way to find out is use Vault's Salary calculator on our site. If you are well informed as to the salary range, and ask within the range, you will not come across as greedy.

Have a question for HR Guy? Write him at hrguy@staff.vault.com.

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