6 Ways to Fill in Gaps in Your CV
The job market nowadays moves at a lightning-fast pace. As such, the labour force is all but obligated to learn and adapt or else risk getting left behind. That’s why it can be a little difficult for those who have gaps in their CV to keep up or get back on track.
There are a variety of reasons that a person may have that gap in their employment history and, more often than not, it’s through no fault of their own. Still, there are a lot of employers who have a bias (often an unconscious one) against those who have been out of work for a period.
If you’re one among this group of people, don’t fret. There are many ways that you can fill the gaps in your CV to overcome difficulties in finding a job. Here are a few examples:
1. Be an Active Member of an Industry-Related Organisation
One of the simplest ways to fill gaps in your employment is to join an industry-related organisation. It’s a good way to practise your skills, not to mention build a robust network. The key is to be an active participant, preferably in a highly visible role. Make sure to put this on the “Experience” section of your résumé or CV. This way, you’ll increase the value of the work you’ve done.
Joining an organisation may also open up new opportunities for you. For example, you may possibly meet fellow members who may also be prospective employers (again, building a robust network). You’ll also be exposed to colleagues who can show you new skills or even just freshen your perspective. Both of these will be valuable for when you start getting interviews.
2. Learn a New Skill
A big part of the reluctance of employers in hiring people with gaps in their CV is the fear that the person might not have the most updated knowledge or skill set. Again, the modern job market is a fast-paced one with plenty of competition. If a company hires the wrong person, so to speak, then they stand to lose so much more than money.
To reassure employers that you are, in fact, keeping updated, you can enrol in practical training courses that are relevant to your industry. There are courses that you can finish within a day or two, while some are more intensive and can take a year or so to complete. Consider your timeline projections and chosen career path to help you decide on the best programmes to take.
3. Create Content
In the world of digital marketing, there’s a popular quote that goes “content is king.” It’s truer now more than ever, as internet users continue to consume content faster than many creators can make them. In short, there’s a lot of space for you on the internet to share what you know.
Of course, you have to be strategic about the content you produce. Think about the skills you have that are valuable in the roles you’re targeting to fill. Industry insider knowledge will always be relevant, and is also easy to branch out from for future content.
You also shouldn’t limit yourself when it comes to the platform. Video is definitely the most popular, being an audio-visual and therefore an engaging medium. Still, well-written content in the form of blogs remains to be valuable especially if you want to rank high in search engine results.
Other platforms you should consider for engagement include social media groups. You should also take a look at messaging apps, where you can connect in a more direct and personal way with those who consume your content.
4. Reach Out
Having a business network is important to any professional, but especially to those who are currently out of a job. If you’ve already built one while you’re at work, then great. If not, you have to start getting comfortable with outreach.
Look within your personal network first. Maybe there’s a friend or family member you can help. They can then get in touch with their own colleagues and acquaintances who may be in need of your skills and services. You can also try approaching smaller brands or independent entrepreneurs.
5. Consider Freelancing
The gig economy continues to thrive, thanks to technology that has eliminated geographical barriers. You can find a lot of freelancing options online, either through social media or dedicated freelancing websites. Many job boards and online classifieds also have freelance postings.
What’s great about this option is that you can continue to improve your skills while earning. You can also work with international clients, who can further open doors of opportunity for you. Potential employers will also see this as a good sign since you’re able to interact well with different kinds of people.
6. Do Some Pro Bono Work
Last but certainly not least, it’s a good idea to do some pro bono work. Whether you’re out of a job or not, it’s a practice that every professional can benefit from. Not only does it build goodwill, but it also expands your network and helps foster a positive reputation that can further boost your chances of getting hired.
To further elevate the value of your work, consider putting your pro bono work as a consulting experience in your CV.
It can feel discouraging when you keep getting turned down for jobs you know you can do well, just because of a blip in your record. However, keep in mind that there’s a lot you can do to control the narrative. Consider the methods above to fill in gaps in your CV, beef up your credentials, and increase your fighting edge in a highly competitive job market. Good luck!