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Posted 13.02.18

One of the big unfairnesses in job hunting is being rejected for a role because you don’t have consistent employment on your CV. We’re here to help you avoid that.

If you have a gap on your CV, there’s more than likely a reasonable explanation for it. Getting that explanation across to potential employers is vital to stand the best chance of landing that dream role.

Enter: The cover letter.

The cover letter (or email) is the perfect tool to not only sell yourself but to help you explain those gaps in your employment. There’s a multitude of totally legitimate reasons you were off work, like:

Unemployment.

You became unemployed – probably the most common reason for a gap on your CV. It can happen to anyone. Be open and honest about it and state what you did during this while you were off.

If for example, you became redundant, did you do any voluntary work or attend a course? It’s important to emphasise any constructive activities because it demonstrates positivity – remember employers verify work history and the last thing you want is to appear dishonest and untrustworthy so suck it up tell the truth.

Being made redundant is a gap in your employment which is completely out of your control, but it is how you cope with it that will influence your self-esteem. Let them know about your optimistic approach which will eventually result in a positive outcome.

Travelling.

This is essentially a circumstance which you have created – for example, many students take a gap year to travel the world/experience different cultures/find themselves, this is perfectly acceptable. If you lived in a different country for a few months highlight the fact that you may have participated in a language course this shows a willingness to be flexible and engage with people other than UK nationals.

Raising a Family.

It’s normal, but women especially underestimate their value when returning to the workplace – which is unacceptable, because you’re amazing. Be keen to emphasise that you are now willing to re-enter a workforce and contribute your skills.

Illness.

This one can be delicate, but if you have a significant gap it will obviously warrant an explanation. The main issue to focus on is that you are now fit and willing to work.

Carer.

Be completely truthful – there are almost 7 million carers working in the UK – this is one in ten people and it is rising. Your main objective is to state that you are now ready to make a fresh start and join a company.

Further Education.

Many people take time off to better their skills or improve their education, state the name and address of the college or university you attended and perhaps mention the name of a tutor who may be contacted.

If you do not explain a gap for whatever reasons an employer may question your ability or dependability to perform a job, it is unlikely that you will be selected for an interview, which we don’t want!

However, a gap will not necessarily work against you – especially if you did so to attend college or university as this shows ambition and drive.

Any gap in your employment history may have been in or outside of your control but whatever the reason the most relevant factor is to explain it in a positive manner.

Good luck!

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