Hi All,

I discovered MT and Career Tools only a few months ago and this is my first time posting.
I’m asking for help with answering questions about my career history weakness. My problem is that I have several significant gaps in time between professional employments. I’m having trouble deciding what the real issue for recruiters and hiring managers will be and how to answer it truthfully and directly.
I think there are two issues to this problem and it is the second issue, esp. if this is will be most important to recruiters, that is more difficult to answer and where I could use the most assistance.
1) What was I doing during these gaps?
I was actively looking for my next position for much of this time though at one point I worked at the post office for several years between engineering positions.
2) Why couldn’t I find a suitable engineering position in a timely manner?
I've been asked this question in the past a few times but is it something most people are thinking. I’m not sure what to say other than I was searching but got few interviews and obviously no offers. Can I say something more?
I have listened to the Career History podcasts that were released last December. At the risk of seeming to focus on this weakness and sounding defensive in response I’m struggling to draft a truthful story that quickly addresses the situation and allows me to get back to focusing on my strengths.
Brief Career History
Currently unemployed and have been out of work for over a year.
Reason for Gap: great recession made for difficult search and time spend on family issues with elderly parents halted work for a bit.
Prior 2 1/2 years as development engineer with a small startup company.
Reason for leaving: company folded when venture capital ran out and it had not reach profitability.
Worked at the Post Office for several years.
Gap in engineering experience working at the Post Office. Took PO position to help make financial ends meet after a layoff from a previous position and year of job search.
Research Engineer for a mid sized, publicly traded company for over four years.
Reason for leaving: reorganization where my projects were moved to Europe eliminating my position.
At the beginning of my career it took me a year and half to find a job after gradating with my engineering degree.
Thanks for your help,