How To Explain Gaps In Your CV
There can be good reasons for gaps in your employment record. In IT, hiring managers want to know you are up to date with their technology. But if you have gaps in your CV how do you make sure it doesn’t hold you back from getting the tech job you want?
The last thing you want is your CV being disregarded before the process has even begun.
Once you have planned your CV, researched successful templates, included all the relevant skills and experience you have and required by the role you are applying for.
It can then be very tempting to ignore the gap in your work record and hope the hiring manager looking through the pile of CVs won’t notice because you have written a killer opening statement and sold yourself as the next big thing in IT.
Why you should always carefully explain any gaps in your CV
Trust us, it could be highly beneficial for your application.
Firstly, it is all about the positive spin you can put on it and we’ve put together tips on how to explain gaps in your CV.
CV Gap 1 – Illness
It can be tricky to discuss gaps in your CV due to illness. If the gap was over 10 years ago you may not be challenged as heavily on it; but if it is a recent and significant gap then an explanation will be required.
It is important to remember here that the focus should be on reassuring the potential employer that you are fit and ready to go back to work, not what your illness was. This will be their main thought when they see a gap in your CV due to illness, so assure them you are ready to work and it shouldn’t influence your application.
CV Gap 2 – Travelling
It is common for people to have taken time out to travel the world. Usually, this occurs before or after university when students take a gap year, but many people will choose to take time out later in life too.
It is pretty simple to put a positive spin on your travelling time if you take the opportunity to explain all of the things you have learned and how easily you adapted to new environments. These qualities can be applied to the workplace and your skills could even be seen as a bonus when applying for new jobs.
CV Gap 3 – Redundancy
Becoming unemployed because of redundancy is completely out of your control and not something you will be judged for by potential employers.
You need to make sure that you are using your time wisely whilst looking for a new role. Use the opportunity to better your skills or even learn a new one and make sure you are doing all you can to find your next role.
Although you haven’t chosen to be in the position, it will be the way you react to it that will be of interest to employers. Put emphasis on what you have achieved in your time off; whether it is voluntary work or attending a course, it will add positivity.
CV Gap 4 – Having Children
This situation isn’t something that isn’t unique so the employer will have come across this gap many times before.
Their main concern in this situation is that you may be out of touch from being out of work and whether you have maintained your skill set. Explaining this gap in your CV is pretty easy; just make sure you list what you have done to keep your skills up to date.
If you are returning to work after this period, you could also mention that you have all of your childcare in place so there are no issues with you returning full time (if this is the case).
CV Gap 5 – Caring For A Relative
You should never try to hide the fact that you took the time out of your career to care for a loved one or family member. 6.5 million people in the UK are carers and the number is continuing to rise.
Be truthful and just make sure you stress that you no longer have those commitments and your focus now is getting back to the workplace.
You should never miss out the gaps in your CV with no explanation. This can lead to employers or recruiters disregarding your CV as it can set alarm bells ringing.
You want to get to that interview!
Be honest and truthful in why you took time out from work and put a positive spin on it. Employers will be more open and accepting when they have a better understanding as to how the time off has allowed you to grow and that your number one priority is getting back to work.