Ask Vicki: How much does the time gap between graduation and your first job matter?

In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi explains how to make your post-graduation days count.

Ask Vicki: How much does the time gap between graduation and your first job matter?

Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to socialmedia@monster.com.

Vicki Salemi

Q. How much does the time gap between graduation and your first job matter?

A. Overall, it doesn’t matter too much. What matters most is how well you spent that time.

I can say that from experience—I landed my first full-time job five months after a May college graduation! At the time, it felt like a really long time, but in hindsight, not so much. I worked at a temp agency the entire summer and then ramped up my job search in the fall.   

Whether you get a job by July, November, or even January, what matters is how you speak about that downtime during a job interview.

It’s perfectly OK to say you felt burned out after graduating and needed a breather and then while you looked for a job, you honed your French speaking skills, traveled, started volunteering, started working part-time as a barista while you looked for that first job—you get the idea.

You need to show you did something valuable with your post-graduation time other than binging on Netflix. Upload your resume to Monster, and get your job search started!

Read Vicki Salemi's answer to "How much does the time gap between graduation and your first job matter?" on Quora.