By Ruoro Kairu
Writing your CV can prove a difficult task. From deciding which skills you should include and highlight, to getting a professional format that appeals to the recruiter and structures your experience in a presentable manner.
Explaining employment gaps, however, is probably one of the hardest obstacles when writing your CV. You don’t want to give the recruiter the impression that you’ve been out of work for too long –as it likely implies you’re out of touch with responsibilities and skills required. You also do not want it to appear as though you’re hiding the gaps to your future employer or recruiter.
What should you do if you have taken considerable time away from your career? Here’s how to explain employment gaps while writing your CV.
Don’t be afraid of honesty
It’s 2019, and people are more open to taking career gaps to tend to personal projects, travel, take care of loved ones, and many more reasons. Unlike twenty years ago or so, such reasons are not frowned upon. So feel free to openly talk about your gap on the CV.
One of the ways job seekers try to hide employment gaps on their CV is by claiming to have worked with previous companies for longer periods of time. If you try this approach, the employer or recruiter could find out you’re lying while conducting a background check on you. If the recruiter finds out you lied about how long you worked in a previous company, they’ll reject your application on basis of dishonesty.
Show skills acquired during the gap period
When writing about your employment gap, try and spin the focus to skills you might have acquired. If you took a break for travel purposes, it would seem simple enough just to mention. However, you can elaborate some of the skills you either acquired or demonstrated. These include planning, organizational and determination. All these skills are valuable in the workplace and can, therefore, help boost your CV.
Moreover, if you were involved in any activities during your break, you can also find a way to incorporate them into your CV. Such activities include;
- Volunteering – volunteering for a good cause or charity shows your willingness to help others. It also offers experience in skills such as fundraising and event management.
- Personal projects – Personal projects could range from running a book club to building a website. You can use the projects to display an assembly of skills.
- Sports and hobbies – competing in games and sports can be used to display determination and spirit, skills which are highly valued at the workplace.
Don’t be ashamed by illness
Another key reason why professionals take career gaps is illnesses. You should not at any point feel ashamed to include this information on your CV. If you sustained injury or disability caused by illness or an accident, you can also point it out. The Employment Act is continually advocating for the inclusion of differently abled people in the workplaces as well as ensuring they have the right amenities.
Be honest about your medical history and any ongoing issues or medication and let the recruiter know it will not affect your output at work.
Don’t seek to explain every tiny detail
If you had a few weeks where you were not working or probably job hunting, you do not have to mention it. Only lay emphasis to a period if a considerable amount of time passes, or there was a key development in your career.
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