When you apply for a job, your CV is there to show all of your positive qualities, skills, and expertise. However, your CV doesn’t only make you look good – it can make you look bad if you don’t approach it in the right way. One thing that you really need to watch out for is gaps on your CV.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should lie about any gaps on your CV – you’ll get caught, and that will look a hundred times worse. Instead, you need to acknowledge that there are gaps on your CV, and then prepare to talk about them at your interview.
Obviously, the gaps could be there for a variety of different reasons, such as the following:
•Personal development from home
•Family circumstance/caring for someone
Now you might notice, looking at that list, that some are actually quite positive,whereas others are definitely not. Some are neither – they are circumstantial. Whether they are a positive, negative, or circumstantial reason greatly affects how you would talk about them in the interview.
If the reason there is a gap is for something positive, such as job searching, personal development, or travelling, then you want to make sure that you’re talking about it. Show the employer what you’ve gained during that time, and remember to say it with enthusiasm. If you’ve been travelling, for instance, then don’t focus on the nights out – talk instead about the cultures you learnt about, the language you’ve picked up, and the different kinds of people you learnt to deal with.
If the reason is circumstantial, such as ill health or caring for a family member, then you won’t need to go into too much detail. Explain to the employer as best you can whilst still feeling comfortable. They shouldn’t probe you about something that could be personal, but make sure to mention that the situation has reverted back to normal now, or that it is improving
If the reason is negative, then it’s easy for you to come across as a negative person. To counteract this, put a positive spin on the reason. If you’ve just come out of prison, for example, then you could talk about how you’ve changed as a person, and how accepting responsibility for what you’ve done has made a really positive impact on you. If you’ve just been doing nothing, then make sure to stress how your attitude has changed and that you’ve ‘woken up’, as such.
Whatever the reason, you should make sure that the employer understands that it won’t affect your potential. Prove to them that you’re the right candidate for the job, and they should have no reason to only focus on the gaps on your CV.