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    I'm applying for graduate jobs and unsure what to do if I'm asked about my gap year at Uni. I had my son at 20 and I'm now 22 and graduating in June 2014 hopefully with a 2:1, possibly 1:1. But I'm aware that it may be off putting to potential employers if they know at my interview I have a young child- more responsibilities may assume more time off required when sons sick ect or lack of flexibility. So do I tell them I had a child or tell them I took a year out to work or get experience or something? (I was working at that time also)

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    (Original post by kmx1)
    I'm applying for graduate jobs and unsure what to do if I'm asked about my gap year at Uni. I had my son at 20 and I'm now 22 and graduating in June 2014 hopefully with a 2:1, possibly 1:1. But I'm aware that it may be off putting to potential employers if they know at my interview I have a young child- more responsibilities may assume more time off required when sons sick ect or lack of flexibility. So do I tell them I had a child or tell them I took a year out to work or get experience or something? (I was working at that time also)

    Thanks


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    You are under no obligation at all to tell your employer that you have a child, and they aren't allowed to ask. I can't work out if you took the gap year at Uni or before. If before Uni they are very unlikely to ask what you did. If you took a year out between your first and second years then they might. I suggest you get comfortable with saying something about focusing on your health or family life.

    However, I'm not sure you are worrying over anything that is a significant issue. Employers employ women, women have children, employers deal with it. Women with children successfully carry out far more demanding jobs than graduate entry roles, and Employers deal with that. Chances are that 80+% of the employers HR department are women who have worked while having 2 year olds at home.
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    Thanks for your reply. I took a year out between my second and third year and I'm now in my fourth (in Scotland). I know it shouldn't be a problem but in reality if it was a choice between me & another person they may choose the other person due to assumptions of mums responsibilities or of young mums in general. Therefore don't know whether to tell them or not but know I will probably be asked.


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    You could just put on your cv that you took a year out for personal or health reasons. They won't ask about that.

    But most employers will be fine about it! All companies (almost all) have employees with children and are used to what that entails. And of they have no interest in making sure you get the right balance then you probably don't want to work there anyway.
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    If I was in your position, I wouldn't tell them. I have a friend who was recently told by her employer to not mention her daughter when applying for jobs in future. They said that if they hadn't known her through someone, it is unlikely they would have given her the job because of having a young child.

    Many employers rightfully won't factor it in, but I'd just be cautious about it personally (just in case).
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    I took a year out of uni to have a child, no one has asked me why, neither the recruitment agency or potential employers, it really should not matter, people have children, and if they do ask it is bettee to be honest, ou never know the company may have flexible hours or even daycare for parents

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    (Original post by kmx1)
    I know it shouldn't be a problem but in reality if it was a choice between me & another person they may choose the other person due to assumptions of mums responsibilities or of young mums in general.

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    Recruitment really doesn't work like that. No-one in their right mind, who wanted to keep their own career intact would sit in a selection panel and say 'Candidate A and B are totally the same on paper, but I prefer Candidate B because Candidate A is a young mother (and she'll be flaky and off work every time her kid is sick)'. That would simply be career suicide. Recruitment nowadays, in all but the most tiny of organisations, certainly in something running graduate schemes, recruitment is a massively regulated, trained, documented and double checked business. Selection/Interview panels have at least 3 members on them, often the future line manager, a future colleague and someone fairly independent. That means the chances of collusion over improper selection are low, and the risks of trying to suggest it are high.

    Besides which, in practical terms being a young mother is not really any more risk laden than employing a mother of any age. I work in an environment with a relatively high proportion of 25-35 year old women and had 3 new Mums in a team of 8 last year. Of course it causes issues, but its issues that you work with, that's what managing an office/team is about. No-one seriously thinks that you don't employ half the human race because they might take a year off work a couple of times in a full career and then have primary childcare responsibilities - especially when the whole human race relies on that activity for its survival. Anyone who does still think like that is usually sensible enough to keep schtum, even when on selection panels (unless they are Lord Sugar!).

    As the poster above suggests, mostly it won't be questioned. The chances are that someone taking a year out was ill (though it might be academic reasons, which they can easily check by asking of you failed any exams). Talking about health and illness is a potential trap at interview that employers steer well clear of, for fear of being accused of discrimination.
 
 
 
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