Mind the gaps (on your CV)

Explain the gaps in your CV

Gaps in CV’s. I’m not the first to discuss them. I’ve seen many articles on ‘How to explain the gaps in your CV’ and I thought I’d put my two cents in. So here it is; My advice? Don’t have gaps. Gaps are ambiguous. They lead to questions. Even worse, they can lead to assumptions.

As a job seeker, that’s not what you want. I’m not saying don’t have gaps in your employment – it would be unrealistic of me to expect that. People get made redundant. People leave jobs and take their time to make sure the next one is the right one. They fall sick. They go travelling. Relatives pass. Parental leave gets taken. Life happens. And that’s fine. But tell me. If you don’t tell me on your CV, I’ll ask when I interview you. I’ll ask because that will be my clients first question and I refuse to not know how to answer it. Wouldn’t you rather we spend that time discussing your alignment to the role so that I can best market you to my client?

How should I show gaps in my CV?

It’s as simple as adding something like “May 2015 – July 2015- Time off to relocate and settle in Perth.”

I’ll probably even ask you how you’re finding it or tell you where my favourite dumpling house is. Some will argue that this is unprofessional. People are people. They do more than just work and that’s OK by me. Another thing I often see is that when stating the dates of employment on a CV, candidates omit the month and only show the year.  This is another type of ‘gap’ that leads to questions. This is a big no no for me, too. Honesty is always the best policy.

The people who look at your CV’s  pick them apart and look for these details. It’s what we’re paid to do. I wouldn’t disregard a technically strong applicant because of gaps – but I’ve come across hiring managers that would (and have). Your CV is a marketing tool. Those few pages are much more than a timeline of you work. It is your sales pitch. A good sales pitch has no gaps. Compose it accordingly.

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