We're living in an unstable world where unforeseen situations happen all the time. Such situation is the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left a lot of people unemployed for a long period. Career pauses are absolutely normal, and they should never scare you.
Nevertheless, these pauses remain a sensitive area of your CV and when you apply for a job, you have to be prepared for questions related to this issue. If you act confident and highlight your experience in the best possible way, you will get the position.
If you're struggling with pauses in your CV, Jobbri comes to the rescue! In this blog we will share with you how to deal with these gaps and how to nail your next job interview.
Why career pauses may occur
If you haven't experienced career pauses in your life yet, you're probably wondering how they may occur. Here are some examples:
· Change of management and staff cuts
· Starting a side-hustle and focusing on it
· Personal reasons related to family and friends
· Health-related problems
· New management in the previous position
· Starting or finishing your education
Most of the time these reasons are not so important. What's important is how you're going to perform when you start working again. If you're currently looking for a job, you will find a variety of opportunities on Jobbri.
It depends on the type of gap
If your work pause is only a few days or a month, you don't have to describe it in your CV. It’s quite normal to have slight pauses between job changes, longer holidays, etc. However, if the pause is about half a year or even more, you definitely have to mention it in your CV. The longer the pause is, the more complicated the situation with your application will be.
Here're some steps you shouldn't miss out if you want to handle the situation like a pro:
· Never lie. Lying can only make things worse and that won't do you any good. Instead of that be honest and brief, because you don't want to be oversharing information.
· Don't apologize for this period. Instead highlight all the positive outcomes of this situation. For example – what experience you've gained during that time (mostly about your personal development), how you've spent your time and what was your plan about the future back then. This will help you look as if you didn't waste your time but have gained some amazing experience instead.
· Show how motivated you are. Talk about the fact that you are eager to return to work, that you're full of ideas and want to share your creativity with other people and work on various projects. Self-initiative is just as important as your confidence.
How to explain the pauses in your CV
As you already know the basics, here's how to explain the gap in your CV and nail the job interview.
· Always act positive regarding the situation
Let's be honest – most of us think that HR teams never look closely at our CVs, but the truth is that they spend a lot of time reviewing them and making their conclusions about us. If you have a gap year, they will definitely notice it. But that shouldn't bother you.
Prepare your answers for the most common questions that they might ask you. Be frank about the situation and, as we mentioned above, try to highlight the positive outcomes of it. For example – either you've gained freelance experience, acquired some new skills or found a new working area that's right for you. You can showcase these breaks as a period of personal and professional growth, rather than a waste of your time.
· Highlight your accomplishments
Whether that's a new skill, work-related experience or something else, don't forget to mention it both in your CV and the interview. Starting a side-hustle is also an experience that should be mentioned, although you must be careful with it. Focus on how your accomplishments in the pact will contribute to your work in the future.
New qualifications such as master’s degree, courses and certificates should also be included in your CV.
· Be sincere
Honesty is what makes you outstand from the crowd. Most people prefer to lie about their work experience, “dark past” and issues such as work pauses. Show that you're different and be sincere. There's nothing to worry about when it comes to gap years in your CV. Everything happens for a reason and your focus must be on the future, and not the past.
If you were fired, explain briefly why this happened and show your point of view. It can be because of a misunderstanding, staff turnover, change in the management of the company and so on. Don't lie about your previous experience with your managers. People are most likely to trust you when you're being honest with them.
If you left your job and couldn't find one up to this date, explain what you learned and achieved during this time and what you are looking for in your next job. Show that you're highly motivated for new work opportunities.
As people, we make mistakes, but they shouldn't determine who we are and what we're capable of. Work-related pauses in your CV are not something to be ashamed of. Instead, you can handle the situation like a pro and get your dream job that you've always wished for.
Jobbri is here to make the process a lot easier!