How to cover a CV gap

Photo by zagraves

Photo by zagraves

Have you noticed there’s practically nothing in the job listings that doesn’t have either “intern” or “senior” in the job title? Or just how few places even respond to applications? Have you noticed, indeed, that unemployment has just gone up by 70,000?

Add to that the fact that many HR departments ignore whatever goes sailing into their junk mail (ie. you there, with the slightly porno-sounding name) and trying to get a job starts to feel like texting a random number with the words “Go out with me!” and expecting to be happily married within the year.

And yet, knowing all that, employers still eye a gap on your CV with suspicion and contempt. You, jobseekers, are at the arse-end of the buyer’s market. So we’re going to have to get out the CV polyfilla and cover up that CV gap…

1) Get freelance work

I know, “Really, HTBJ? Fill a CV gap with a job?” It sounds riduculously simple, but the best way to fill a CV gap is to do something in the field. Even one unpaid assignment is enough to go on your CV as the thing you did in May, then get another for June. As long as each month is accounted for, you technically have no gap.

2) Get educated

Any kind of education or CV-able skill you can gain, do it. 2013 may suck for jobs, but there has never been a more incredible time to gain skills. There are expensive courses and degrees you can do, but with energy, commitment and the swathes of free time unemployment affords, you could become a media whizz on nothing more than your monthly Broadband fee.

That might mean teaching yourself media skills. If you teach yourself to use Final Cut, put it on your CV: “May 2013 – trained in Final Cut”.

You could decide to pick up where you left off at school in French or Spanish – which you can do with a plethora of podcasts and online resources: “May 2013 – improved French proficiency”, and under skills you can put an extra language.

3) Be sneaky with your format

If there was a gap of a few months between your last two jobs, eliminate the months. You can avoid the awkward question of “So what did you do between March and May of 2012?” simply by listing the years: “2011 – 2012 Cat Litter Tray Cleaner. 2012 – 2013 Head Cat Litter Tray Cleaner”.

4) Start a business…kinda

We’re getting really sneaky now. If you sense you’re going to be out of work for a while, register a business. It’s there, it exists, and even if all you do with it is use it to buy time while you hunt for jobs like a hungry caveman, it pretty much sorts out the CV gap.

Actually starting a business, if you possibly can, could also sort out the whole “not having a job” thing. Just sayin’.

5) Don’t use your free time to get slim, toned or ripped

Seriously. Nothing screams “time on your hands” like rock-hard abs. You’re unemployed. Live on a diet of biscuits and fear as God intended. Rushing off to the gym is rude, especially when the rest of us are sitting alone at home getting chubby and dropping doughnut jam all over myself.

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