In today’s competitive job market, job seekers often feel immense pressure to present a flawless, uninterrupted career trajectory on their CVs. Gaps in employment history, whether due to personal reasons, pursuing education, or navigating challenging life circumstances, are often viewed with scepticism by potential employers. However, it’s time to challenge this conventional thinking and shift our perspective on CV gaps.
In this article, we will explore why gaps on CVs shouldn’t matter as much as they often do.
- Life Happens
As flippant as this sounds, life is unpredictable, and everyone faces challenges and transitions at different points in their career. Gaps on CVs can result from various life events, such as raising a family, recovering from an illness, caring for a loved one, or even taking a sabbatical to travel or explore personal interests. These experiences can be valuable in shaping a person’s character, resilience, and adaptability, qualities that can enhance their contributions to a workplace.
- Skills and Knowledge Don’t Expire
Employment gaps do not diminish one’s skills or knowledge. In fact, some individuals use their time away from traditional employment to acquire new skills, pursue further education, or engage in volunteer work. These activities can lead to personal growth and the development of skills that can be highly relevant to future job roles.
- Diversity of Perspectives
A workforce that embraces individuals with diverse life experiences, including employment gaps, is often more innovative and adaptable. People from various backgrounds bring unique perspectives to the table, enhancing problem-solving and creativity within organisations. By valuing those with gaps on their CVs, we can create a richer and more inclusive workplace culture.
- Passion and Motivation
Some individuals may choose to take a career break to follow their passions, explore entrepreneurship, or embark on a new project. These pursuits can be a source of incredible motivation and drive. Hiring managers should recognise that a person’s passion and commitment can be even more valuable than a seamless employment history.
- Transferable Skills
During employment gaps, individuals often develop transferable skills such as time management, resilience, and adaptability. These skills can be highly valuable in a professional setting and can easily be applied to new roles and industries. Employers should consider how these skills can benefit their organizations rather than focusing solely on the gap itself.
- The Gig Economy and Remote Work
The nature of work is evolving rapidly. The rise of the gig economy and remote work has provided opportunities for individuals to work on a project basis or from anywhere in the world. This flexibility allows people to craft their careers in unique ways, and employers should adapt to this changing landscape by being more open to diverse career paths and entrepreneurial mindsets.
Gaps on CVs should not be seen as red flags but rather as part of a person’s unique professional journey. Showing some empathy and embracing a more inclusive perspective on employment history can lead to a more diverse and dynamic workforce. By recognising the value of the skills, experiences, and perspectives that individuals with CV gaps bring to the table, employers can tap into a broader pool of talent and create a more inclusive and innovative workplace. It’s time to shift the focus from the gaps themselves to the strengths and potential of the individuals behind the CVs.