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Explain Depression to Prospective Employers

Explain Depression to Prospective Employers

Alison Green | Ask A Manager

April 12, 2010

A reader writes:

I have bipolar depression, and I am starting to interview for jobs. I recently graduated college but my grades suffered toward the end of my education because of bipolar depression. It affected me for one year before I was diagnosed. I am now starting the job interview process and wondering what to say about my GPA dip, and semester withdrawal. My early college career went very well, but suffered towards the end. My overall GPA suffered, but my major GPA remained at 3.00. It was the bipolar depression that made my grades suffer, not excessive partying.

How do I talk about this issue with future employers, or do I not bring it up? I am on medication now and have been doing much better. I received A’s and B’s my last semester after starting the medication. What do I say or do in an interview?

Treat it like any other health issue, and explain that you had health issues during that time that affected your grades, but that the problem was resolved and your grades returned to their previously high levels.

That said, many, many, many employers won’t care about your GPA anyway and it’ll never even come up. So don’t stress too much about this. In fact, you could even just leave it off your resume; if someone cares about it, they’ll ask, and you can give them this context simultaneously. Good luck!

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