5 Tactics to Help CV Reviewers Focus on Your Qualities
For many searching for building maintenance jobs, your CV may have an employment gap because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers are going to understand why you’ve got a long gap in the second quarter of 2020. But what about other gaps in your employment history? How should you explain these?
Do Employment Gaps Matter?
When an employer sees a gap in your employment history, it can suggest that hiring you will be a risk. It might mean you aren’t able to hold down a job, and can make an employer question why you weren’t employed for several months. If you don’t explain gaps in employment effectively, you are less likely to be invited for an interview.
The real job of your CV is to compel the reader to want to learn more about you. In other words, to push the reader’s buttons so hard that they want to meet you in person. If you are finding it hard to get interviews, your CV is likely to be the sticking point – and gaps in employment count against you when employers review CVs for building maintenance jobs.
5 Ways to Explain Gaps in Employment
To explain employment gaps, you should know how to structure your CV, and the legitimate reasons that employers will accept for any gaps. Here are five tactics to help you overcome gaps in your personal employment history when composing a CV for building maintenance jobs.
1. Explain an Employment Gap in Your Cover Letter
Get your explanation in first, by outlining the gap in your cover letter. This is an especially good tactic if you are currently not working – say why and explain that now is the right time for you to return to work.
2. Make Sure Your Reason for an Employment Gap Is Legitimate
There are many valid reasons why you may have withdrawn from the workforce for a while. Honesty is always the best policy, and legitimate reasons for employment gaps include:
Caring for a family member or sick child
A health or personal issue
Returning to school to gain further qualifications or professional training
Starting your own business
You were selective in your job search
When explaining your reason for a gap, explain the circumstances concisely (and be prepared to explain further during your interview), and make sure that you make it clear that the reason is no longer an issue for you.
3. Rethink Your CV’s Approach
If you have had a career that has involved volunteer work, then consider titling your employment history as work history instead. Now you can include your charitable and volunteer work as part of your experience and close the gaps when you were not being paid for what you were doing. This work may not be directly relevant to your role in building maintenance jobs, but it removes aggravating gaps and shows that you are community spirited and not one to remain idle for long.
4. Change Your Dating Format
Many people have a series of small gaps in their employment history; for example, between jobs. This may be for a few weeks or two or more months. How you date your jobs dictates how those gaps look on your CV. Listing years instead of months and year can make gaps ‘disappear’. For example:
12/2014 to 06/2015 Building Maintenance Supervisor, XYZ LLC
10/2015 to 06/2017 Building Maintenance Supervisor, 123 LLC
This example immediately indicates a four-month gap (though it may have been little more than two months). By rewriting as follows, the gap disappears:
2014 to 2015 Building Maintenance Supervisor, XYZ LLC
2015 to 2017 Building Maintenance Supervisor, 123 LLC
Don’t forget, though, that you may be asked specific dates during your interview. Be prepared to tackle this should it occur.
5. Only Include Relevant Experience on Your CV
Especially if you have extensive experience over many years, you may decide to include only the experience that is most relevant to the role to which you are applying. This is an extremely useful tactic if you are applying for a more senior role, and your employment gaps were early in your career, or if you have changed careers with employment gaps in your ‘old life’.
Be Positive When Applying for Building Maintenance Jobs
Whatever the reasons for gaps in your employment history, treat them as positives. Make sure you don’t leave gaps unanswered, and highlight the alternative experience you gained. If you demonstrate your enthusiasm and experience, and highlight your desirable qualities, the reviewer will focus on these – the reasons why they would be foolish not to interview you.