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Discussing employment gaps in your CV

Employment gaps in a CV are sometimes regarded as negatively and many jobseekers try to hide them. However, a gap in your employment does not have to be negative if you have used your time productively. 

Taking time out to study, travel or start a family can all lead to gaps in your CV, as can the decision to work as a contractor or the impact of redundancy, a sadly common experience during the recession. 

What did you do during the employment gaps on your CV? 

It’s definitely not a bad thing if you’ve completed any training or qualifications during periods of time that you haven’t been employed. You can explain to your recruitment consultant or potential employer why you embarked on training to further your career and what you gained from the experience.

“Recently, increasing numbers of jobseekers that we meet have taken time out of work to undertake qualifications to build on their experience," says James Murray, Associate Director at Robert Walters. 

"Extra study and further qualifications will often help set your CV apart from your competitors, which is extremely important when you’re looking to secure your next job.” 

How to discuss employment gaps in your CV? Five top tips 

  • Do it honestly and with confidence

  • Give any gaps in employment a specific name and talk through each in turn

  • Highlight any training or professional development undertaken

  • Don't be worried about redundancy on your CV 

Redundancies were extremely common in recent years during the economic recession, and many contracts weren’t extended or renewed so employment gaps on CVs aren’t unusual. As long as you are open about your situation this needn’t damage your chances of finding a new role.

Become a subject matter expert

In between job searches, take this opportunity to brush up on your skills and expertise. Consider the courses or training you could undertake in order to specialise in your field.

Further study and qualifications aren’t always expensive or demanding of too much time; you just need to do your research properly and find out what options you have. 

Speak to your recruitment consultant to find out what qualifications or accreditations are currently being sought after by employers.

It's definitely not a bad thing if you've completed any training or qualifications during periods of time that you haven't been employed. 

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