In our personal sessions, one of the most frequently asked questions is what to do about career gaps. Do we need to mention the career gaps in our CV? How do we talk about career gaps in interviews?
Firstly, in a country like Germany, career gaps are accepted if you are able to justify and provide a convincing reason. It is quite common among graduates to have a gap before starting their job after graduation. Of course, you can always blame it on COVID-19, but let us try to stand out in these challenging times.
Below are few inputs on how you can positively & confidently showcase your career gaps in CV & Interviews (especially after graduation):
We have always championed updating skills & gaining knowledge during your job search. Instead of saying that you have been looking proactively for a job in the last 6 months, you can showcase the skills acquired during this time frame. For an employer, this shows your time management and outlook towards achieving a goal.
For example: If you are looking at IT project management jobs, you could get certified in PMP, CSPO®, SAFe® 5.0 etc.
Entrepreneurial Experiments / Adventures
This could be an unorthodox and not so popular approach. But the learning will be immense as you will get a complete end to end overview of handling finance, marketing, strategy, sales, procurement etc. in your company / initiative. Once you start your career, it will most probably be a very straight line without much deviation and space for experimenting your ideas. Do you like to experiment? Maybe now could be a chance for you to showcase your entrepreneurial experiments.
You can always confidently talk about your journey and convince your future employer that, since I had time to reflect on finalizing my area of interest, I am now ready to start my professional journey in a specific domain.
Volunteering for social causes or initiatives is an excellent way to showcase the gap in your CV. Volunteering for something you are passionate about will develop your network as well as help you develop soft skills such as team work, leadership, communication etc. You could also pick up totally new skills sets, for example, website development, digital marketing, social media marketing etc. Maybe you could volunteer for Reflections? Let us know your thoughts on how you could support us.
At Reflections, we have done all of the above during our job search journey in Germany. We have been able to navigate through this phase of finding a job after graduation.
Do you think we can support you in strategizing your job search? Feel free to reach out to us for a personal session.