We’re often asked this question when helping clients to write their CV and right now at Works for Us we are seeing increasingly more clients who have been forced to take an unplanned break in their employment.
Of course, there are perfectly acceptable reasons why you may have a gap in your employment history, raising children, caring for family, illness, redundancy or taking a gap year to travel, but your CV is not the best place to give every detail, unless the gap was very long, very recent or both. We’re not suggesting that you omit details, or you stretch dates to cover a gap, but it’s better to address this more fully in a cover letter or if asked in an interview.
We all know, we’re In the middle of the covid-19 pandemic, the Government’s original furlough scheme is coming to an end and although supportive measures are being put in place, the economy and people’s livelihoods are being adversely affected.
If you have been made redundant due to covid-19, be up front and honest about it. Try to remain positive and convey what has happened in positive language. A brief but powerful summary of how you spent your time could prove to a potential employer that you used your time productively and are now a more attractive candidate for the job.
You could include a separate section on your CV just before your most recent employment history detailing what you have done to keep yourself professionally relevant, have you undertaken some freelance work, improved your existing skills, taken a course or attended a virtual networking event? It’s important to be kind to yourself and for many of us it has been enough to try to manage our own physical and mental wellbeing, but if you have supported others to do the same, why wouldn’t you include this on your CV.? These things not only prove to an employer that you take your own personal and professional development seriously, and it will make you stand out from other candidates in the selection process.
If you have volunteered in your local community, it’s great to include this on your CV and you could say something like: Following redundancy /furlough due to the covid-19 pandemic, I began volunteering in…(the Foodbank, my local neighbourhood group, etc)…because….( I wanted to feel that I was doing something to help my neighbours who were facing isolation) the skills I developed were….(I enjoyed being part of a team and I used my administrative and organisational skills to coordinate a team of volunteers to ensure that all elderly neighbours in our street had a named person they could contact in an emergency or if they needed shopping or prescriptions picking up….).
Our advisers can work with you to prepare and talk confidently about any gaps in your CV and help you to recognise and promote the skills you can offer an employer. Please contact us on 07852 963744 or register here if you need support to do this.
Works for Us is part of Citizens Advice Milton Keynes, a local charity providing advice, guidance, and support to local people about the issues affecting their daily lives. Citizens Advice Milton Keynes is the operating name of Milton Keynes Citizens Advice & District Bureau Limited, a company limited by guarantee and a Charity registered in England and Wales number: 800012.
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