Did you know that recruiters make up their mind about a CV within 12 seconds? Knowing this, first impressions are crucial.
In an ideal world, CVs will read in perfect, chronological order with no “black holes” that you need to justify. Sometimes, it’s difficult to avoid these black holes when life throws certain curve balls, but from the interviewer’s perspective, CVs with gaps or ‘holes’ in them are areas for further investigation.
There are lots of reasons why someone may have these gaps in their CVs, for example:
- Study leave
- Caring responsibilities or illness
How do you explain CV gaps?
Preparation is key. Have your answers ready so that when you are asked why you have left jobs you are able to answer easily and naturally. People will respect your honesty. There is no shame in admitting you made a mistake by going to a new job, only to find out it was not what you were looking for! Be able to show how you reacted to this and what you have been doing in the interim, e.g. upskilling, volunteer work, networking etc.
Do employment gaps matter?
If an individual has a history of continuous employment and can justify their period of unemployment, then there is usually nothing to worry about. This is nothing to be ashamed about and most interviewers are very understanding once explained!
Individuals should be prepared to answer questions which address any gaps in their CV in a truthful and accurate manner at interview.
Could CV gaps stop you getting an interview?
It may mean that your CV will not be selected for an interview as certain employers require up to date skills – that is why you need to portray your work experience in the most positive light possible – match your skills to the role and if they are good enough, an employer may overlook times and dates and call you in for interview.
In an ideal world, CVs will read in perfect chronological order with no “black holes” that demand justification.
How can you impress an employer?
Interview preparation is vital. Know what you’re good at and apply your strengths to the job. Know more about the company and the job than anyone else and use an interview as an opportunity to show your passion and enthusiasm. Everybody wants to work with a committed individual, so even if your skillset is not as up to date as others, your dedication and focus will reap rewards!
Is it better to lie rather than have an employment gap?
Never, ever lie about your dates of employment! They are easily checked and if you are found to be lying your application will be terminated immediately. Always tell the truth.