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Gaps in your CV? Here’s how to navigate your next interview

From once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunities to becoming a parent for the first time, sometimes our personal lives must eclipse our work lives. On other occasions, life can be volatile in the worst way and throw unexpected redundancies and unwanted health issues our way. Regardless of the reason behind gaps in your CV, they should not be a cause for concern. As long as you are honest and continue to focus on the positives you would bring to the role you’re applying for, there will be no reason for your employer to blink twice. In this blog, we discuss how to navigate your next interview when it comes to explaining any gaps in your CV. 

Voluntary gaps vs involuntary gaps

There are many reasons why you may have gaps in your CV, but understanding the difference between voluntary gaps and involuntary gaps can help you better communicate with your prospective employer. 

  • Voluntary gaps might include gap years, further education or maternity/paternity leave. While these reasons for career breaks are all very valid and pretty self-explanatory, it’s still important to highlight the skills you developed during this time – whether that be learning a new language, or learning how to care for a child! 
  • Involuntary gaps typically refer to situations out of the candidate’s control, such as redundancies, illnesses or being fired. Luckily, employers have become a lot more understanding of those who have gone through any of the aforementioned. This is due to an amalgamation of the pandemic and the current economic climate, which have forced many businesses to re-strategise or in some cases, close their doors altogether. 

Top tip: never bring up gaps in your career history unless directly asked by the interviewer! 

How do I explain gaps in my CV? 

While having gaps in your CV isn’t usually an issue, your interviewer will likely be curious as to why you have had a career break. Approach the interview with confidence and be transparent when it comes to explaining the gaps in your career timeline. Remember, you have control over how you frame the story – so make sure to focus on the positives and really emphasise how you developed your skills during this time. 

Say, for example, you took time off due to burnout you can outline what you did during that time that has had a positive impact on your life. Whether you took up a new hobby, engaged in some self-reflection and goal setting or gained an online qualification, use this as an opportunity to sell yourself rather than a reason to apologise.

Plus, as an interim, extended breaks between projects are very common – that’s the beauty of temporary contracts, right?! 

Still stuck? Speak to an NCS advisor here for free career advice. 

Imperium Resourcing offers a wide range of interim roles which you can browse here. If anything catches your eye, make sure to get in touch with our consultants via [email protected] and we’ll provide more information. 

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