If you do have gaps in your employment history you should be re-assured that this is quite common for most people and that it is not a factor that will hold you back when applying for new positions. You may feel uncomfortable with these out of work gaps because they may imply that for a period of time you were perhaps unproductive. In almost all cases this is not true and even if it is (for whatever reason) there are ways that your CV can be worded and organised to either mask these gaps or turn them into positive factors. In most instances a person’s work gaps are so minimal (a matter of months) that you can simply list your job roles so that each period of employment appears to have followed on from the next. If the gaps in your employment span many months or even years they may be too long to simply close. In this instance you will need to explain your gaps in meaningful terms which give the employer confidence that you will be a willing and loyal employee.
In these situations the simplest explanations are normally the best. What were you doing during these times of unemployment? Were you waiting for the right job offer to come through? If so inform your potential employer of this and perhaps include it on your CV. If you can explain that you wanted to break into a specific job role to further your career, especially if it’s relative to the position you’re applying for, the employer will be impressed and view this as a positive trait in your character.
Maybe you were enrolled with a temporary work agency where you undertook a number of temporary jobs? If so include the agency as an employment entry in your CV and positively list the tasks and achievements you made whilst in these positions. Employers certainly do not view temporary work as a lesser employment option as they often rely on temporary staff themselves.
Perhaps you took on some volunteer work to help a charity or your local community. If this is the case it is certainly worth mentioning within your CV. Carrying out this type of work shows that you care about wider issues in society and portrays depth of character which are admirable personality traits in the eyes of any employer.
If you took a sabbatical from the career path and did some travelling then don’t be afraid to mention this in your CV either. As long as you can portray the spell as a once in a lifetime cultural and educational experience then employers will look upon this favourably. It shows that you have a good understanding of different cultures (very useful in jobs dealing with a culturally diverse clientele) and that you are now ready and willing to head firmly up the career ladder hence working for the company’s interests in the long term.
It is also possible and completely acceptable that you may have decided to stay at home and look after your children/family whilst your spouse/partner continued their full time career. When having a growing family this is sometimes a complete necessity and if you can show that you’re now in a position to commit yourself to a business as an employee it will not stop you from getting that offer of a job interview.
In summary you should look for reasonable and truthful ways to bridge any employment history gaps on your CV where possible. And you should always look to turn any entry into a positive factor which makes you perfect for this particular job position as each entry should sell you as the perfect candidate.
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