Even with the high demand for employees, not everybody has the luxury of being fully-employed in the healthcare industry. If there were times when you weren’t employed by a clinic or hospital, you can expect your work history to have gaps that can span for months or even years. While this is a common occurrence, it doesn’t mean you should ignore these gaps. Failing to address work gaps may rob you of further job opportunities later on.
A CV showing big gaps may be unavoidable, but you can make it so that it doesn’t reflect as badly as it normally would. If presented the right way, an employer will likely look beyond the gaps and focus more on how you work during the times you were employed. Here are a few tips on explaining work gaps in your medical CV.
Honesty may be the best policy, but your CV doesn’t have to be so blatant about your work gaps. You can make changes to your work history so that it doesn’t focus on the work gaps. For example, you can limit the details on the date of your employment showing only the year instead of including the months. You can also do away with details about why you left your previous jobs so it brings less attention to the gaps.
Use Your Cover Letter
A work gap can look bad on your CV, but it might also help increase your chances of being hired. Use your cover letter to explain why you were unemployed for so long. After that, explain how getting hired for the position can be the perfect way to get your career back in shape. Not only do you come out clean, you could also gain the sympathy of the employer.
Never Blame Your Previous Employer
If you left your previous job on bad terms, you might feel tempted to put the blame on your previous employer. If there’s one thing you need to avoid in your CV, it’s anything negative to say about anyone. Blaming the previous employer and failing to own up to mistakes could damage your reputation as a professional.
If You Were Unemployed by Choice, Tell Them Why
You may have work gaps in your CV because you choose not to work during those times. These kinds of gaps don’t give such a bad impression, especially if you have a valid excuse. For example, if you were recovering from job burnout and you had to take a sabbatical at the time, the employers would understand the situation and wouldn’t hold it against you.
Highlight the Good Part about the Gap
Not being employed isn’t always that bad, and you can use that knowledge to explain work gaps in your CV. Going back to the previous example, you could say that you had to take a break because you were concerned that working while suffering from job burnout could cause you to make mistakes that could affect the patients, your track record, and the reputation of the employer in general. This makes the gap look more justifiable in the eyes of the employer.
“Plug” the Gap with Activities
Having a work gap in your CV doesn’t mean you were doing nothing productive at the time. If you attended any special activities related to the field such as volunteer or freelance work, or if you completed certain courses during the time, feel free to highlight them in your CV. The employer will appreciate how you’re constantly looking for ways to be active even during times when you weren’t employed.
Work gaps in your CV may not always be avoidable, but that doesn’t mean they should act as black marks in your CV. By knowing how to properly explain these work gaps, they may even be your ticket to getting accepted the next time you apply.