In hindsight, I hope you see how this was a terrible idea. For years, there have been article after article about how the only people able to find work are the people that are currently working.
You appear to have chosen to create a 5 month gap in your work history. Can you imagine how this looks to an employer? I instantly think of someone who is lazy and is only willing to put the work in to find a job when they absolutely have to. It makes me think you'll wait until the last minute for everything.
My advice is to find a way to explain what you were doing during those 5 months that doesn't come across so negatively. If you were working on side projects, tell them you were working for "[YourName] Consulting" and thought you'd try your hand at freelance consulting. Then you decided that it wasn't for you.
Best of luck.
That is poor judgement on your part. Your advice is crippling. If one is stuck in a dead-end job, then fun-employment for the purpose of self-improvement or side-projects makes plenty of sense -- as long as one can economically support themselves. You think employer XYZ gives a shit if there is a 6-month unemployed window if my GitHub productivity was "rock star" level with amazing side-projects to show? If the employer doesn't hire me, then that saves me the trouble from working for a stale company.
Who knows how many entrepreneurs wouldn't be where they are today if they took your advice and continued wasting their precious time away at Initech and TPS reports.
Are you by any chance trolling? I am a middling .NET developer with a self-chosen 4 month gap in my work history ("personal projects to grow Python experience") and it took me something around four weeks of not particularly intensive search to get a signed contract in not particularly software-heavy Vancouver.
You'd rather have someone lie about what they do with their time than tell you they do something other than pump out code?
This sort of "you must have a job" selectivity isn't a factor for halfway decent software developers.
It looks like a normal human being who is fairly self-motivated to work on cool projects.
I moved here, it took me 4 months to organize my legal situation in the US. This is, getting a job permit. I knew how long it was going to take in advance, so I decided to take the most out of that time to travel, know the country better and work in "personal projects".
What does "personal projects" mean for a software engineer? In my case was learning and shipping actual products in two new programming languages, participating in a Challenge Post competition, joining every possible NYC meetup and getting to know every possible corner of New York City.
I'm very glad I did that. And I'll do it again.