Employment gaps are very common as you move through your career, for one reason or another. It is therefore important to remember you are not alone if you have significant gaps between jobs, and it is nothing to worry about when handled correctly and confidently. As gaps can raise a lot of questions from Hiring Managers, it’s something that will need to be addressed either on your CV or during an interview in order to reassure your interviewer that you are still a great candidate.
During the last year or so, many individuals have faced redundancy due to Coronavirus. The pandemic has had a major economic effect over multiple industries on a global scale, and because of this companies have been forced to rethink, restructure, and make dramatic changes to keep businesses afloat. If this is the reason for your recent employment gap, the best thing to do is be open about it. Stating your reason for leaving your last role as a COVID redundancy allows employees to see the choice to leave your last role was not your own. As this has unfortunately been an all-too-common occurrence on CV’s recently, this should not have too much of an impact on your chances of employment. Remember that many other candidates will be in the same boat as you! The job market has been particularly competitive due to the amount of job seekers that have recently faced redundancy. It is important to stay upbeat and put a positive spin on this when questioned in an interview, redundancy is out of your control. If it has been a few months since your redundancy, you can explain to your hiring manager that you have been actively seeking a role during this gap of employment.
Below are some tips to keep in mind if you have any significant career breaks:
If you have a significant gap between employment, this will be a focus for any Hiring Manager, who will question you for an explanation. Be as honest and transparent as you can about your reason for taking a career break. You may have taken a break to focus more on yourself, or for other personal reasons. Make sure you have an answer prepared and give your reason without going into too much detail about it. Once you have given a brief explanation, try to tailor the conversation back towards your skills and ability to do thee role you are being interviewed for. You can also ask the interviewer a question to steer the conversation in another direction.
Additionally, think about what you did during that period. For example, you may have studied, and this could in fact have added value to your experience. You might have travelled, again this is a valuable life experience and focus on what you took from this experience and how it developed you personally.
Address gaps on your CV
State after the end of each position what your reason for leaving was. You can also leave a statement between two roles to explain why you have taken a gap of employment, for example “Career break during 2019 – 2020 to finish my degree”. By doing this you are answering any red flags that hiring managers might have when at the shortlisting stage. This can give you a chance to get to interview stage and be able to explain and expand further to the interviewer directly.
Don’t fret over the small things
If you have particularly large and / or recent gap of employment, then it becomes even more important to analyze what skills you might have developed during this period that you have been outside of the workplace.
What is always important is that your dates align and that you are honest.
Don’t let career gaps stop you from applying for roles or be of the mindset that you won’t be selected because of this. Career gaps are not necessarily a negative thing to have on your CV, show how you have grown during this time and how you are ready to return to work.
One of the most important tips is to be positive!