Interview: how to explain (well) our holes in the CV

Absent from the labour market for a good moment ? This clearly visible hole on the CV can make it look like you’ll have a lead in the wing when you find a job. How do you turn the situation around at avantage ?

“Holes in your résumé are not necessarily a hindrance, it all depends on what you’ve done during that time and how you justify your absence from the world of work,” explains Émilie Laurin-Dansereau, an employability counsellor at the Club de recherche d’emploi Montréal Centre-Ville (CREMCV).

There’s an explanation for everything

Unemployment, experiences abroad, reconversion… whatever the reason behind the hole that seems to have been left in his career, it is possible to take advantage of it to highlight an atypical career path while explaining why his career did not follow a perfectly linear path.

“Some holes are easy to explain and, when well justified, they will give consistency to your course,” says Laurin-Dansereau. A sabbatical year or a trip around the world are breaks that it is wise to highlight by knowing how to present the lessons and the professional assets that you have learned from them. But employers tend to perceive an absence from the professional world linked to depression more negatively, for example,” says the advisor. “Serious illnesses are generally perceived as a source of concern by employers. »

Those little winning reflexes

In front of recruiters, however, there is no point in lying when trying to return to the world of work after a period of professional inactivity. You have to be honest and straightforward.

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But how to succeed in not tarnishing his CV with these phases not productives ? Émilie Laurin-Dansereau advises various strategies to plug these holes.

Let’s imagine that the end of one contract is in March 2012 and the next position you held didn’t start until August 2013. “The trick is not to specify the months in your CV, but just the years, by grouping your experiences under “2012-2013″ to make the hole in your career disappear,” says Laurin-Dansereau.

Another case: you have gone away to work in a sector other than your own for a considerable period of time (or you were unemployed) and are trying to reintegrate into your field. “Here, add an “other experiences” section where you can show that you have acquired complementary skills, either in another job or by doing unpaid activities such as volunteering,” says the counsellor, who recommends either getting a short training course to update your skills or volunteering one day a week for even one or two months to have at least one experience listed on your résumé for that year.

Finally, to avoid getting bogged down in justifying depression, the employability counsellor invites job seekers to organize their CVs by skills. “That way, the focus will be on what you can do, while at the same time distracting attention from the dates. »

In addition, attach as much importance to your CV as you do to your cover letter, in which you can also highlight your skills and highlight your abilities.

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