Career | Can you explain a gap in your CV?

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Thanks to the recent recession, many people have gaps on their CV due to loss of work or career breaks. However, you still need to explain them to potential employers.

Having a gap in your CV is normal in today’s working world. It is one of the many scars left behind from the recession as thousands lost their job.

As is the ‘norm’ now for many, taking a year out to explore the world is another glaring gap. Meanwhile, there are many that simply leave a job as they are not satisfied or are unfortunately let go from a position. Sometimes, certain roles are just not suited to us.

All of this is fairly standard now in the market. However, you still have to explain the ins and outs to potential employers.

During the interview, emphasise why it was that you left your previous job. Indicate, if you can, if it was restructuring or downsizing took place. If you took that time to mind your children or travel, explain why and what you learned from that experience.

Many employers like to see that you used any ‘time out’ effectively, such as taking up a new role, upskilling or networking. Taking online courses during your gap time are always appreciated, as is volunteering.

Once you have an explanation ready, employers are more sympathetic and understanding of your position.

Whatever the circumstance of you leaving your last job, always take a positive spin. Never say that you had a conflict with co-workers or managers, or talk about the working environment. Instead, talk about finding an opportunity that best fits your skillset.

Finally, be honest. Hiring managers are smart enough to do their homework. It is now almost rare for employees to stay in one job for long periods of time so do not be afraid to tell the truth of your experience.