How to manage a CV Gap

How to manage a CV Gap

Are you afraid of that gap on your CV?

Maybe you took time off to raise your family, care for a loved one, pursue a personal passion, or simply needed a break following a life event. Whatever the reason, it can be easy to let that gap on your CV fill you with doubt and fear about your future job prospects.😱

But here's the truth: gaps in employment are more common than you might think, and they don't have to hold you back. In fact, many employers are now more accepting of candidates with gaps in their CVs, especially as they recognise that life happens and people need time out to focus on their family or to recharge, recover, or pursue personal growth. Did you know that LinkedIn has now created a specific feature for this purpose?

So, what can you do if you're worried about a gap in your employment history?

The first step is to shift your mindset and recognise that your gap can actually be a strength. Think about the skills, experiences, and insights you gained during that time. Did you learn new communication or problem-solving skills while caring for a loved one? Did you volunteer or travel and gain cultural awareness and adaptability? Did you take time to upskill or pursue a passion project that showcases your creativity and drive?

By reframing your gap in a positive light and highlighting the valuable experiences you gained, you can position yourself as a unique and desirable candidate who brings a diverse perspective and a wealth of skills to the table.

Another key strategy is to focus on networking and building relationships with people who can vouch for your abilities and potential. Attend network events, join professional organisations, and connect with former colleagues or mentors who can provide references or referrals. This can be especially valuable if you're looking to re-enter the workforce after an extended absence or pivot into a new industry or role.

Finally, make sure your CV and any cover letter showcase your strengths and accomplishments, rather than focusing solely on dates and titles. Use action verbs and quantifiable achievements to demonstrate your impact and highlight transferable skills that align with the role you're applying for.

Remember, a gap in your employment history doesn't define you or your potential. With the right mindset, strategies, and support, you can overcome any doubts and fears and find a fulfilling role that aligns with your skills, values, and goals.

Let me share a real-life story. 📖
I recently worked with a client who was feeling held back by a four-year gap in her employment history. Despite feeling ready to move back into the workforce, she had convinced herself that no one would want her because of her gap. Additionally, she only wanted to work four days a week, which she felt further limited her search.

So what did we do? We were able to work through her skills and strengths and identify what was important to her in terms of personal and organisational values. We focused on all the transferable skills she had developed while on her gap, and there were many. By allowing herself to dream about what a return to employment would look like, she was able to envision an environment where she could use all her gifts, realise her ambitions, and where values were aligned.

Together, we tackled those little monsters that can hold us back - upskilling on job searching, networking and developing an impactful CV in line with her desires. And even before we finished the program, my client was so super confident about what she wanted and could achieve that she was off networking and attending interviews.
So please don't let a gap in your career hold you back.
Instead, wear it as a badge of honour.🥇
As my client discovered, with the right mindset and support, you can achieve your dreams and find a role that recognises your strengths and aligns with your values and goals.💜

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