Life doesn’t stop just because you’re in the market for a new job. You may have existing plans that could conflict with a potential start date, especially if you’re looking during the summer or the holidays. But an upcoming vacation won’t give your job search a death sentence. If you have a planned vacation coming up, you simply need to address it with your future employer in the right way.

People have lives outside of work, and most recruiters and hiring managers understand that. But you’ll need to be strategic when discussing your upcoming vacation. Get the job and enjoy your vacation, too, by presenting your requested time off in the right manner.

Don’t hide the vacation

It’s tempting to not bring up your vacation during the interview process at all. It introduces an element of awkwardness, and you may feel it doesn’t show dedication to the role you’re interviewing for. But while you think it might be best to cross that bridge when you get to it, it’s better to be honest.

According to Indeed, disclosing your vacation shows your hiring manager that you value transparent communication and it clarifies your availability and allows them to make necessary changes. Not only will bringing it up during the interview make you look better but it allows the hiring manager to do things like potentially change the start date.

“You don’t want to surprise an employer with this information and “start off on the wrong foot.” Rarely will a candidate be eliminated from a final round of candidates because of vacation plans.” –Pattie Hunt Sinacole

Choose the right time

But while you should disclose the vacation, choosing when to bring it up is just as important. If it’s the first thing you mention, it can give a bad impression. If you bring it up too late, it’ll look like an afterthought, or that you’re assuming the job is yours. You need to consider where you’re at in the hiring process.

FlexJobs’ Beth Braccio Hering says that first interviews are generally introductory. Both you and the hiring manager are getting to know each other to see if the role is a good fit for either of you. It’s better to wait until a second interview, when it’s clear there’s a greater interest. If an employer asks about a potential start date (or, even better, brings up if you have any vacations planned), you’ll know it’s an ideal time. Finally, at the very latest, you can bring it up when an offer is made. What you don’t want to do is wait until you start!

Reiterate your commitment

Most recruiters are willing to accommodate planned vacations as long as you handle the request respectfully. They understand that a job search might happen at any given time, that life exists outside of work, and that it can be expensive or impossible to cancel or change transportation or tickets. But making your request is a good time to double down on your commitment to the role and express your excitement.

Expressing your interest in the role and what you’re excited about is good interview practice anyway. Beth Braccio Hering says this is a perfect time to reiterate tangible things about the role you’re excited about to recenter and personalize the conversation. The discussion is also something you can bring up in the “thank you” note you should be sending.

Be flexible

Depending on when your vacation is planned, you might face different challenges. If your vacation is during the summer or the holidays, when many others are out of the office, accommodating you could be more challenging. Or it could help because it’s the slow season. It all depends on the role and industry. But, regardless, be ready to offer some flexibility in order to accommodate your time off.

At the very least, be willing to be flexible about your start date. If you’ll return from vacation within a few days from the proposed start date, it might be easy to push it back a few days. Monster’s Vicky Salemi and Venus Gentille also recommend offering to complete any preparatory work before your vacation to show you’re proactive and team-focused. Not only does this allow you to be accommodating in return, but it will show off positive traits sought in good workers.

“If your vacation is coming up soon (as in, you’ll be back in less than two weeks), then you can set your start date a day or two after your return. For trips planned way in advance, you can just let them know as an FYI.” –Stephanie Nieves

Wrap up

By disclosing the vacation at the proper time, making sure to show how important the role is to you, and being willing to make compromises, you’ll show your potential employer that you’re the person for the job even with the planned vacation. The employer’s answer could teach you something about how they approach work-life balance as well, giving you valuable insight into their culture and whether or not you’d want to work there,

Before You Go
View Current Job Openings
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Follow NexGoal on Twitter
“Like” NexGoal on Facebook
Connect with NexGoal on LinkedIn

Related posts

Recapping Our Top LinkedIn Articles

At NexGoal, we strive to provide relevant and easy-to-use job search content on a variety of topics for everyone, no matter where they are in their career. In recent years, social media platform LinkedIn has become a powerhouse in...

Continue Reading