Change of career

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Q. I want to go back to work after a 6 year gap. I have only 3.5 years work experience in database development. As the IT industry is changing very fast, I am not confident that I can go back to what I was doing. I want to try something else but I’m unsure how to make my previous experience work for me not against me. Do I need to explain the reason of not working in the cover letter and CV or is it better to keep it professional not personal?- Anna


A. It is quite difficult to answer your question without knowing the exact reason for the break in your employment. There are many reasons for a gap in employment that are acceptable but others that may not be viewed positively by the employer.

If you explain the gap your CV may be discarded but if you ignore the gap on your CV the employer will draw conclusions and normally discard the CV. There are a number of suggestions.

1. You could try to disguise the gap by using a competency based CV or a functional CV which take the emphasis away from dates.

2. You could deal with the situation head on and explain the gap on your cover letter. Ensure that you put it in a positive light.

3. You could try to remove the focus on the CV and canvass employers directly. Try and secure an interview without sending a CV.