How to Prevent a Gap in Your CV
If you’ve found yourself out of work for one reason or another, you’re stuck with two big problems. The first is that there’s no money coming in and the second is that, the longer you’re out of work, the bigger the gap on your CV gets. Recruiters eyes are always drawn to the gaps in a CV and they’re often curious to know why they’re there and how you spent the time.
Time spent unemployed can be used productively, so that when the prying questions come you do have an answer which can plug the gaps. Here are just four ways you can use your time wisely and paper over the holes in your CV.
As long as money isn’t too tight, you could decide to take on a voluntary role. This gives you some occupation you can list until you find a paid position, and it can give your CV a real boost. When you’re out of work for any length of time, your confidence can take a knock – volunteering gets you out and about, meeting new people and keeping your morale up until something new comes along.
Recruiters like to see volunteering on a CV because it shows you’re not work shy and you’re a self-starter. You could try browsing local newspapers or having a quick Google to find opportunities near you, because even unpaid work is better than a gap in your CV.
Do an Internship
Similarly, internships are a fantastic way to keep you occupied and working until the right full-time position comes along. Internships are a great way to meet new people and learn new skills, and new skills and experience always look good on your resumé.
Some internships will be paid and others might just cover expenses, but find the right opportunity and it’s a win-win situation. You never know, there may even be a permanent position on offer if you can impress the right people.
If money is an issue then temping is one way of ensuring you have a steady wage and no gap in your CV. There are all sorts of temping agencies, some more general and others very specific, so do your homework and find one which suits your skills, experience and where you want to go in your career.
Sometimes a position will be very short term while others may be for a number of months. Either way, you’re doing something productive at the same time as keeping an eye out for something more permanent.
Do a Short Course
Adding another string to your bow never hurts, so find a short course which is relevant interesting. The more you can learn, the more attractive you look on paper. It also gives you something positive to talk about if a recruiter starts asking questions.
There are bound to be courses at further education establishments in your area, but there are also plenty of free online courses you can take, including from the Open University.
A period out of work doesn’t have to spell disaster if you can use the time to your advantage and stay motivated to look for something more stable. Whatever you do to fills the gaps in your CV, there are ways you can turn the situation into something positive, and that’s what recruiters really want to see.
Lizzie Exton writes for Inspiring Interns & graduates, the UK’s largest graduate recruitment agency.