When to communicate I've left my current employer while interviewing?
August 11, 2017 2:15 PM   Subscribe

I've been deeply unhappy with my most recent job and began job searching in earnest about a month ago. Since then, I've been interviewing for several positions. But I also recently left my employer. When and how do I communicate this fact?

As far as these companies are aware, I'm still gainfully employed. But I'm not quite sure how or when to offer up the fact that I resigned and am no longer employed.

Ethically speaking, I do feel like it's relevant to bring up. But I also feel like it could undermine my leverage.

For what it's worth, I'm in a tech role that's in moderate-to-high demand and haven't had any issues receiving interviews.

It just feels a bit icky on my part to continue receiving interviews under the guise that I'm still employed -- especially the newer ones that have been coming in after my last official day at work. The vast majority of the interviews are in the screening stages with casual phone calls explaining my background to recruiters. Have a couple that proceeded to phone calls with the hiring managers. And I have one that's proceeded to the point of my completing an assignment, at which point I'd proceed to an on-site if it meets their expectations.

The reality is that I left because of three major reasons: 1) I was deeply unhappy and stressed to the point that my mental and emotional health were suffering, 2) I have the financial means to forego a paycheck for quite a while, and 3) it allows me to really focus on my job search and take interviews during the day.

I have a good enough story to explain why I want to leave my employer, so now I feel like I just need to pepper in points 2 and 3 from above to explain why I already left without a job offer in hand.

What does everyone think? At what point should I offer this information up? Do I keep this as brief and non-chalant as possible? How do I position this in a way that doesn't reduce my attractiveness as a candidate?

posted by 6spd to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You need to update your resume with an end date, and give the people you interview with the updated copy.

Ethically speaking, I do feel like it's relevant to bring up. But I also feel like it could undermine my leverage. = Maybe, but lying about your current employment status could throw a huge wrench in a situation otherwise running smoothly. We run the other direction any time there's weirdness in the job verification process.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:25 PM on August 11, 2017 [5 favorites]

I think you update your résumé going forward and you reply honestly, if asked by someone during an interview. As ThePinkSuperhero offers, providing an updated résumé, when appropriate is a good idea.

That's it. You don't owe anyone more than that. I don't imagine that forthcoming offers are predicated on current employment.
posted by oddman at 2:31 PM on August 11, 2017

To be clear, I'm not advocating that I lie. If asked, I will answer truthfully.

I've updated my resume to indicate I'm no longer employed and will advertise myself as such for any and all net-new interviews that may come up from here on out.

This question pertains mostly to the couple I've received over the past weeks when I was still employed.

I feel like the only times I can bring this up naturally are closer to the end of the process when I'm in the running for an offer and they ask things like, "when could you start working here?" or "how much notice do you need to give your current employer?"

At that point, I can "come clean," so to speak. Otherwise, I feel like it's just random to drop this fact on them before, unprompted.

posted by 6spd at 2:40 PM on August 11, 2017

If it comes up say you've already left so that you had some time off between jobs and also so that you could focus in your job search. If you're in demand this us pretty normal. It also means you can start right away which is attractive to a hiring manager
posted by fshgrl at 2:56 PM on August 11, 2017

In any conversation you have they'll be asking you questions about your current role and its projects and responsibilities. When you answer, mention in passing that you just left and then focus on the question. When they ask why you left you can say you knew you weren't going to be staying there, and you wanted to focus on the search.
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:00 PM on August 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

When you applied for these jobs, you were still employed, so you applied in good faith. As long as you don't lie going forward, you're fine. There's no need for some special announcement unless it comes up in conversations. If they ask why you've left, keep at professional and vague and dont treat it like a negative - "I decided to take some time off between jobs in order to recharge and fully commit myself to finding the right opportunities". Or something similar.
posted by cgg at 3:01 PM on August 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is just one person's opinion, but I hire a lot of people, and I wouldn't expect someone to send me a new resume if they are already in the process and then leave their current job. I wouldn't really even expect them to proactively bring up the change when we were talking. This feels like a non-issue to me.
posted by primethyme at 3:25 PM on August 11, 2017 [10 favorites]

I've done this a few times! I update my resume as soon as I leave the job, but I definitely don't send the updated version to the places I've already been in touch with, because that's weird. If it comes up in the interview/offer process, I tell them I recently resigned. No one has ever seemed surprised or put off.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 5:17 PM on August 11, 2017

you don't morally owe them to tell them. The fact that you feel fraudulent isn't actually a true indication that you're doing something wrong. I have a compulsive need to confess everything in the belief that it's wrong to let someone think well of me, they must know every bad thing about me. Actually that's just autism and self-hatred and most people don't want to know unpleasant things about strangers, i've finally learned = i'm just an extreme version to illustrate the moral i wish to convey

i've always had cleaning jobs and stuff, but despite this and that all my jobs were temporary, no employer would consider hiring you if you'd left, although they made it clear you were disposable at a moment's notice. So you needed lies like 'it was a temporary employment agency position', 'i left to study full-time' (part-time but hey, on the cv it just shows college dates and course name), 'the firm were going bust and had to make cuts so they closed the department' 'my mother became ill and i decided to move closer to be able to help her' etc Okay i'm adding some i didn't tell but you can see where i'm going, if lying's beyond you just say something that's true in a different way ie deceive not lie, especially useful when they phone your old employer to check your cv (always, in UK, don't know about usa) as no lie will be remarked on by ex employer
posted by maiamaia at 2:56 PM on August 13, 2017

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