Sometimes when a CV shows employment gaps it can be seen as a negative and numerous job seekers attempt to hide them. However, if you were productive with your time, having a gap in your employment history doesn't necessarily need to be a negative for you. Consider completing a UK based DBS check to give employers clarity on your history
Taking some time to start a family, travel, or study can all result in gaps in your CV. So can getting laid off, which unfortunately is a common occurrence during a recession, or the decision to work as an independent contractor. It’s really about learning how to write resume achievements, rather than highlighting a blank space.
What did you do during your employment gaps?
It can definitely be a positive if you completed any qualifications or training while you were unemployed. You can explain to potential employers or recruitment consultants why you decided to undergo additional training in order to advance your career and what you obtained from this experience.
An increasing number of job seekers in recent times have been taking time off from work to build on their job experience and undergo additional training or qualifications.
Further qualifications or extra study can help you set yourself apart from the competition, which is very important when you are searching for a new job.
Top Five Tips For How To Discuss Your Employment Gaps On Your CV
- Do it with confidence and honestly
- Provide a specific name to any gaps in your employment and discuss them
- Highlight any professional development or training you have undergone
- Don't worry about your CV have any redundancy
In recent years, redundancies were very common during the economic recession, and numerous contracts were not renewed or extended. Therefore, it fairly common for CVs to show employment gaps. As long as you are honest about your situation it doesn't have to damage your chances of landing a new job.
- Become a subject matter expert (SME)
While you are looking for a job, or in between jobs, you can take the opportunity to improve your expertise and skills, Consider training or courses you can enroll in to become an expert in your field.
Additional qualifications or study are not always overly demanding in terms of time or too expensive. The key is to do proper research and discover what options are available to you.
Speak with your recruitment adviser to learn what accreditations or qualifications are being sought after currently by employers.
Use Your CV To Showcase Your Skills
Long gaps in your employment history can raise red flags for employers if you don’t at least mention what you were doing during that time on your CV. If you weren't employed, you can still list any related skills or experience that you gained during your time away. Just make sure that any information you add is relevant to the position you are applying for. If you participated in events or structured activities during your period of unemployment, you can add those events just like you would if they were regular jobs, including information on the skills and knowledge that you gained.
Any skills, expertise, or experience from before the break can also be included in your CV, even if it has been a long time since you last worked. The key is to focus on your accomplishments, no matter when they occurred.
Functional CVs are another option you may want to consider. These CVs are designed to highlight your skills rather than focusing on the dates of your past employment. This option works well for some positions and not as well for others. Learning a little bit more about it can help you decide if it is a good choice for the job you are applying for.
If you are having trouble getting started, these CV templates can help. They are specifically designed for people who have gaps in their employment history.
Create A Compelling Cover Letter
Don't shy away from mentioning your break in your cover letter. Let employers know why you were away from work and why you are interested in getting back into action.
If you already have experience in the field, you can talk about your passion for the job. If you are applying for something you have never tried before, discuss your excitement about exploring new opportunities. Let employers know that you have thought carefully about your decision and that you are committed to making it work.
If you are available to begin work right away, mention that in your cover letter.
For assistance putting together a great cover letter, check out some of the free templates that we have available.
Prepare For The Interview
Employers often worry that people with long employment gaps aren't dependable and won't stay with the job. During the interview, your task is to convince them that you are seriously committed to the position.
In some cases, you may have been forced to take a break even if you didn't want to. For instance, if one of your loved ones became sick, you may not have had a choice. Even in dire situations like these, try to find a way to put a positive spin on it. For instance, you may have learned how to do something new while you were away.
Keep your explanation short and to the point when discussing why you took a break. Steer the conversation back to your past on-the-job experience whenever possible. When you discuss your past jobs, don't talk about how long ago you were employed. Instead, talk about the skills and experience that you gained from each position. You don't want to draw attention to how long it has been since you last worked.
Learning more about the company itself is important for any candidate. However, it is especially important for people returning from a break. Employers need to see that your knowledge is up-to-date and that your skills are comparable to someone who has been consistently working in the field. You can achieve this by demonstrating in-depth knowledge of both the industry and the company itself.
Ultimately, employers are looking for candidates who are excited about the position and who have the right skills for the job. If you have an employment gap, unapologetically let employers know why it occurred, what skills you gained, and how ready you are to move on to the next phase of your career.