Gaps in a candidate’s employment history are a recruiter’s worst nightmare! Being a man of mystery or a woman of wonder doesn’t work well when applying for roles and can often mean you’ll be overlooked for someone who has a full working history. There are our top tips to make sure you’re a strong contender for the next role you apply for and don’t miss out!
1: No More than 3! –The gap on your CV should be no bigger than 3 months. Any more than this and most HR professionals will feel your CV is out of date and will pass you by. Even if you haven’t worked, you need to find something to put down to fill the time since your last employment.
2: Make it positive – You might have fallen out with your previous employer or maybe dropped out of university but make sure you word it to be positive. If you’ve left a job you can use ‘career break’ as a title and put a brief description.
3: Make it Dynamic! – Employers love to hear what you’ve been doing and will never be impressed with a candidate who has nothing to show for your employment gap. Can you say you’ve cared for a sick relative? Worked on a home improvement project? Supported your family? Learnt a new skill with an online course? If you can’t think of an answer, ask a friend or family member what they think you’ve done in your employment gap, you might surprise yourself! Alternatively, find a course or project to get stuck into to put on your cv as it’s better later than never!
4: Be Truthful – It might feel like stretching the end dates of a few jobs is a good idea but if you’re successful in getting a job, your references will show that you lied and they would have every right to let you go before you’ve settled in. Giving a positive spin is fine but don’t lie as it never works out.
5: Be kind to yourself – Don’t worry too much if you haven’t completed a diploma or solved world hunger during your break, it’s a really tough market and the pandemic has only made it harder. Putting something down will clear up any mystery and along with a great CV and covering letter, you’ll be a strong candidate.
If you’re a local candidate from Islington or Camden and not sure what to put for the gaps on your CV, get in touch! We have a CV surgery available on our website, check it out here.
Urban Partners would like to thank to the team at KX Recruit for providing such helpful information.