How to prevent an employment gap on your CV
Having a gap in your employment history can be quite worrying for many people, and understandably so. The employer is going to wonder why you were out of work for so long. Is it because you were unable to find a job? Were you off work for personal health reasons? Have you now fully recovered?
A gap in your employment timeline raises all sorts of concerns, and leaves the employer trying to fill that gap. With many different reasons to ponder upon, the employer is likely to get it wrong.
Prevention is the best cure, and when it comes to a gap in employment you can be ready for it with lots of different options at your disposal. Even if you’ve already suffered an employment gap, you can still look ahead and learn how to prevent another.
Here’s how to prevent an employment gap on your CV…
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being out of work, now’s the time to be proactive and keep busy during your search period. You are never 100% certain of how long it will take to find another job. So it’s vital you keep yourself occupied, which will not only be beneficial to your own personal development, but will also fill that gap nicely.
But how can you be proactive? Read on for more advice…
Take a course
Consider signing up for a course during your search for a job. This will not only look great on your CV, but will also help you to develop your skills and knowledge. It doesn’t matter if you only end up taking a few weeks before you find your next job, as it will still be important to the employer that you were proactive during your time off. In addition, it proves that you are hard working and able to show initiative.
Consider a night or weekend course that means you may be able to continue it even if you gain full time employment. Following through and gaining another qualification will reaps its rewards in the future.
Online courses are a great way to study from home as they are very convenient. You may not have to attend classes as they are often done over Skype. So this makes it easier to work when you want, and continue your job search without any hindrance. The Open University is a great example of how you can further your knowledge with a flexible arrangement.
Volunteering for a charity or local nature reserve is a fantastic way of filling a potential gap on your CV. It will show that you are not afraid to work and apply your work ethic at every opportunity.
You may also find that volunteering opens other doors that you were never even aware of before you started. If you work hard and take it seriously, you may end up with full time employment. Local country parks are constantly on the lookout for volunteers. But they may also have an opening for a full time position. You would be in a great position to apply for that role if you already have the relevant experience.
If at all possible, try and choose a volunteer position that teaches you similar skills to your chosen career. A recent school leaver may be looking for a position in retail. Working for a local charity shop will develop the right skills for that retail position. Examples are:
Interacting with customers
Operating the cash register
Solving problems/customer complaints
Any kind of work experience that can easily be transferred over to another role is a great addition to your CV.
Jen Wiss-Carline has been a Senior Manager and Consultant for several sizeable companies which included dealing with all aspects of staff management and recruitment. She is also a Solicitor and Chartered Legal Executive, having been admitted as a Fellow in February 2006.