Career Gaps Do's And Dont's

13/05/14

There are many reasons why you may have been out of the job market. It could be to concentrate on your studies, due to redundancy, travel or just personal circumstances.

A career gap is totally genuine and plenty of people have them, unfortunately many employers see any hiatus as a negative until proven otherwise.

Here are some tips to help you prove otherwise and explain these gaps in interview, ensuring a positive approach.

DON’T be defensive, be prepared

You are definitely going to be asked about your gap, so be prepared. There is no need to be anxious or seem uncomfortable when asked. Just relax, keep your eye contact and sit tall.

DO tell a truthful story

Explain your reasons for your break in your own words and do not lie. Interviewers are very good at probing, if it is the truth you are not going to have any problems. Your resume should always be truthful and honest throughout, including the times you were not working or studying.

DO add your reasons to your resume/cover letter

If you feel it would help, add your gap to your resume or cover letter with a short explanation. There is no need to go in to personal details, nor a lengthy account. You may wish to add ‘travelling’ or ‘sabbatical’ to your work experience or even ‘maternity leave’. Another great way to explain career gaps is by giving a ‘reason for leaving’ under each previous role. This can give ‘redundancy’ explanations simply, as well as ‘relocation of the company’ or other reasons why you may find yourself out of work.

DO identify the benefits

If you were studying a short course or similar, talk about the benefits or transferrable benefits to the company from what you learnt. Or maybe you were having some bad luck securing another role after the last one had finished, in this case you could talk about any self-tuition you undertook or networking/career events you may have attended. You will most likely find some benefits from your gap that the company can reap.

DON’T let it worry you

Whether it is freelancing, home projects to build your own skills or even travelling South America, everybody is entitled to a career gap. It could be a gap year or a couple of months finding your feet after your studies, whatever the reasons DO NOT WORRY. So long as your resume/cover letter is clear and honest, your interview shall be based on your presentation and skills, rather than your gap.

Have you taken some time out after university and are looking to kick start your career? Our Work Integrated Learning Programms can help you back on your feet to finding work and ensure you are on track to your dream job.
 

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