How to address unemployment on your CV

Worried about addressing any unemployment on your CV?  Well don’t panic!  Sure, it’s a difficult scenario.  But your CV can still stand out on job boards even if you’ve been out of work.

While it’s tempting to try and hide it, you don’t actually have to dodge anything.  Plus, the best part is, with a bit of tact and honesty, you can still come off looking good.

Stay Professional

As with anything, it’s important to remain professional.  Don’t try and blame anyone for the fact that you were unemployed for a period of time.  The recruiter might want to know why you were out of work and if you state your reason diplomatically, it should put their mind at rest.

The best way to address unemployment on your CV is to clarify exactly why you were unemployed.  Write this in a concise and professional manner, avoiding anything overly subjective about why you left your job.

By stating what happened without biased input, you’ll paint a clearer picture for the employer.  This will also show desirable maturity and professionalism that will only boost your chances of getting shortlisted.

Always be honest

It can be tempting to disguise unemployment on your CV.  However, honesty is the best policy.  You should always reveal gaps in your employment no matter what you think it might look like to an employer.

Remember to be truthful whatever the reason for leaving your job, as this will show employers that you’ve learnt from your past mistakes and have a real desire to get back into work.  Use your reason for leaving to indicate what you want from your next role; this makes it easier for employers to see if their job is right for you.  They’ll also respect your honesty here.

Remember, it’s normal for people to become unemployed.  Whether you were made redundant, didn’t pass your probation, or simply needed some time out.  Circumstances can change.  As such, it’s wise to be honest about addressing this on your CV.  Concealing it could do more harm than good.

Focus on what you gained

Discussing unemployment on your CV can be daunting.  However, telling an employer what you gained or learnt from your situation can give your application the edge.

For instance, you could cover briefly what you discovered about yourself.  We suggest writing about any form of self-reflection or change in career focus to show employers how you can recover from setbacks.

Stating anything you learnt from losing your job, or taking time away from the workplace, will show employers that you can take the rough with the smooth and become a better employee.

Remember; being unemployed means plenty of free time.  So, employers will expect you to have gained something from your time away from work.

Mention your transferable skills

Hopefully, you should have a number of transferable skills which you can shout about; especially in relation to your job search.  For instance, you could mention that through applying for jobs and registering your CV on job boards, you’ve taken initiative and can apply this skill to the workplace.

You could also discuss how you’ve improved your time management skills by balancing your day between writing covering letter, editing your CV and other job hunting activities.

Whatever example you use, by showing that you have vital soft skills which most jobs require and underlining your proactively in furthering these in your free time, you’ll easily address unemployment in your CV.

Update your interests

When you’re unemployed, the interests section of your CV can also help you to stand out to employers.  Use it to show your motivation for gaining new experiences and staying active during your time away from work.  To expand on this, you can also use your interests to bring your soft skills to life.

A benefit of using your interests in this way is that employers will see something that makes you different and worth interviewing.  So, while you’ve included your unemployment on your CV, you’re also showing that you’ve worked to develop yourself.

Courtesy of CV Library