Are gaps in your CV an issue?
It is perfectly normal to find yourself having a gap on your CV. Many people struggle to find full-time positions soon after graduating. Additionally, personal and family issues can arise where working is no longer an option for people.
Therefore, gaps in CVs are understandable, but it is important to have clear and honest explanations for these. On the contrary, potential employers could see CV gaps as warning signs that you are unreliable as an employee. This is why being honest and open about any gaps is essential to show employers can trust you.
Explaining gaps in employment should not be the focal point of your CV. A brief explanation for the reason is all that is needed, and one’s achievements can still be the most important part for the employers to see. It is vital the centre of attention of your CV is why you best suit the given role you are applying for.
A recent report from the BBC has suggested after the COVID-19 pandemic, the discussion around CV gaps is changing, as employers are encouraging workers to be open about their employment gaps. Layoffs and furloughs in 2020 created huge issues in the workforce all around the world and by June 2022 it was reported there were 1.7 million economically inactive people looking for work in the UK. Voluntary breaks are also a reason for employment gaps. Mental-health reasons have been a large reason for these in recent years, as well as gap years becoming more popular to people.
Unsurprisingly, more and more CVs now have employment gaps or ‘career breaks’, as some now call it. Therefore, in more recent times the way employment gaps are viewed has changed and aren’t looked down upon so much. Jill Cotton, a careers-advice expert at Glassdoor says “Missing time in a CV is now generally met with open curiosity rather than an assumption of a person’s poor performance or reliability.” It appears gaps in your CV are being more accepted and people are being encouraged to be transparent for the reasons for this. Social media website LinkedIn has an option to show ‘career breaks’ on their profile, underlining any new skills and experiences learnt. The important thing is that as a job applicant you should address your career break on your CV and be prepared to explain further to potential employers or recruiters.
To conclude, if you find yourself with employment gaps in your CV, it is important to explain why this is. Potential employers could be deterred from employing you with no valid and transparent explanation for these gaps. A brief and honest explanation is vital for employers to be able to trust you but also should not be the main focus of your CV. Despite more openness about these “career breaks” in recent years, it will vary from employer to employer on their stance on employment gaps.