How to Explain a Gap in Your Employment History

There are many reasons why you might have a ‘gap’ on your CV. Whether you took a sabbatical, had a career break due to personal reasons or simply took longer than you might have liked to find a job, it’s not something you need to try and hide.

What should you do?

1. Be honest

If you have taken a career break, you might try and hide the fact by extending the dates of previous jobs to cover the gaps, or simply decide not to account for the gap and hope it won’t be noticed. As with all things CV related, honesty is always the best policy. Do you really want to go into an interview with something to hide? You don’t have to go into great detail, but we’d always advise you to acknowledge the gap with a brief explanation.

2. Highlight the positives

Don’t assume that a career break will be seen in a negative light by an employer. There’s more to life than work, and sometimes taking a break from employment is the right thing to do. Whatever the reason for the break, make sure you emphasise the positives. For example, you might have taken the time to study or upskill, or seek opportunities in new industries. If this is the case, say so.

Alternatively, if you had a period of involuntary employment, be positive in your language. ‘Time spent searching for new roles in my desired industry’ sounds like a more productive use of your time than merely ‘unemployed’.

3. Prepare to discuss the career break in your interview

If you do make it through to the interview stage, think about how you’ll respond to any questions about the career break. The likelihood is that it will be something the interviewer will pick up on, so make sure you have a brief but honest answer prepared to explain why there was a gap and what you were doing during that time.

If you took a career break to change the direction you were going in, think about how you’ll tell the story of why you left prior employment and what you did during that time to boost your future prospects.

What shouldn’t you do?

1. Use non-specific dates

Rather than using precise dates for the duration of jobs, such as December 2017–February 2018, some applicants use non-specific dates to stretch out the period of employment. While putting 2017–2018 might help to remove some the gaps elsewhere, it’s a trick that recruiters and hiring managers are familiar with and are likely to pick up on.

2. Leave certain roles off your CV

Many of us have had jobs that we’d rather not include on our CV for one reason or another, but we’d always recommend you include a full and honest employment history. Failing to include all your job roles will only create further gaps that need to be explained.

3. Avoid talking about redundancies

If you’ve been made redundant and that has led to an involuntary period of unemployment, make sure you mention the details on your CV. There’s absolutely no reason not to include a redundancy; it will not reflect badly on you.

Personalised assistance from our expert team

At Linguistica Recruitment, we can provide personalised advice to help you find your next bilingual role. Please call 02392 987 765, submit your CV or browse our current vacancies.

3 Traits that can Give Bilingual Workers the Competitive Edge

Over the last 30 years, technology has made it easier for businesses to expand into new markets and capitalise on opportunities they identify overseas. The result is that the job market has become more globalised and multilingual in nature, with a workforce that is increasingly linguistically and culturally heterogeneous.

Being bilingual is by no means the only condition to be hired for any job, but with more and more jobs requiring experience in international and cross-cultural areas, bilingual workers can have a clear advantage. Aside from language skills, linguistic and cultural fluency often brings key qualities and competencies that are increasingly valued in the international job market.

With that in mind, here are three of the key traits that can give you the edge.

1. Enhanced cognitive abilities

There are a number of cognitive advantages associated with being bilingual. Increased mental flexibility, improved executive function (such as working memory), metalinguistic abilities and an ability and willingness to learn a third language are all clear benefits for international businesses.

There are also proficiencies across demanding skills such as abstract thinking and problem-solving, as well as an ability to select relevant information and multitask. In an increasingly connected world with an overwhelming mass of information, the ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously while remaining focused is a key advantage in the modern workplace.

2. Adaptability

All languages are constantly activated in the brain of bilingual workers. They must either choose to use the correct language and ‘deactivate’ the second one, or switch between languages to adapt to the situation they are in. That requirement to adapt their language skills by using social cues can lead to improvements in their social, emotional and interpersonal skills.

Bilingual workers must also be constantly aware of the needs of the listener and be able to understand and express changing perspectives. In a world with so many global challenges, the capacity to understand and appreciate other people’s viewpoints is an incredibly valuable skill.

3. Cultural fluency

Bilingual workers have direct access to two or more cultures, which allows them to build a sensitivity towards more people and have a better grasp of the diversity that exists between two countries. The world can be seen in very different ways, and much of that comes from the cultural lens we look through.

In an increasingly globalised environment, that cultural fluency and ability to better understand an individual is a tremendous advantage.

The help you need to access leading bilingual opportunities

Being bilingual enhances your human capital in a global job market and allows you to access a wide range of opportunities. While language skills have always been a requirement in fields such as international trade and diplomacy, nowadays more and more industries are searching for talented bilingual recruits like you.

At Linguistica Recruitment, we work with leading employers across the south coast of England who are on the lookout for bilingual workers who can enhance the skills of their team. Take a look at our current vacancies, submit your CV or call 02392 987 765 to discuss the potential opportunities in your area.

Looking for a New Job in 2019? Here are 5 Tips to Help Make the Leap

Rethinking your career over the Christmas period is just as familiar to many as over-indulging on the turkey dinner and setting resolutions that are broken before the end of January. While the decorations are still up, CVs across the country are being refreshed so they’re ready to be sent out in the New Year.

A pre-Christmas survey by the recruiter Hays found that a shockingly high 78 percent of people were thinking about making a change in 2019, either to progress their careers or find a completely new role. Of those who are happy in their current role, a third could be convinced to make a change if they were offered more money.

So, if you’re one of the many workers on the lookout for something new, here are five tips to help you make the leap in 2019.

1. Know what you’re looking for

The Christmas period is the perfect time to ask yourself some tough questions. Knowing that you ‘fancy a change’ might be the catalyst for moving forward, but it doesn’t help you take the next step. You should take the time to consider what direction you want to go in and whether the skills you have will get you there. Simply sending out your CV for every possible position will rarely reap rewards. Instead, save yourself time and energy by applying for the top companies that’d be the best fit for your personality, work style and qualifications.

2. Ask for help

If you are having doubts about your chosen career, then a good place to start is to think about what makes you unhappy in your current role. You can then reach out to your line manager to see if there are any opportunities for progression or other roles in the organisation that could be a better fit. If not, it can help to talk through your options with friends, family, coaches, mentors or people you know in new fields that you’re interested in exploring. Connecting with new people and contacting recruiters in the industries you’re interested in could also be an excellent source of information.

3. Start the process as quickly as possible

Now is an excellent time to search for a new role. It’s a job seekers market with 800,000 vacancies currently out there and employers struggling to fill a range of skilled and unskilled positions. There are also many other people looking to make the move now too, so there’ll be even more vacancies to fill. With the application and interview process potentially taking months, and notice periods of two to three months now common, we’d recommend you get the ball rolling as quickly as you can.

4. Be wary of the work computer

You might be tempted to use a work computer to browse new opportunities at your desk, but we would certainly advise you not to. Even if you doubt your company has the time or inclination to monitor your usage, you should always play it safe. That goes for work devices such as computers, tablets and phones that you use at home, as well as work email addresses. You don’t want to burn your bridges. It could be that there are opportunities in your organisation you may not be aware of, and if you do move, you will inevitably need a reference.

5. Don’t give up

Once you’ve decided it’s time to leave, the process of finding a new job can take longer than you might like. There’s also likely to be some rejection, which can be demoralising. The key to maintaining your motivation is to set a realistic time frame for the processes involved, from searching and applying to interviewing and serving your notice. The whole process could easily take six months or more, so don’t get downhearted if your progress is slower than you might have hoped.

Looking for a bilingual role in 2019?

At Linguistica Recruitment, we have a diverse range of well-paid, rewarding bilingual roles across the south coast. Submit your CV today or call 02392 987 765 to take that all-important first step.