How to explain Career Gap and establish suitability for the job ?
I am a MBA Graduate passed out in 2012. I worked in a distribution company as Administrative Executive for 8 months (January 2012 to august 2013) I didn’t taken any certificates like offer letter, reliving letter.
After a long gap now I am searching for job in Human Resource Department.
Can you please help me out on :
a) How can I handle the interview without certifications and
b) How can I self check whether I will suitable for the department or not?
a) It depends upon how was your parting with the Company. If it was smooth, perhaps the HR Department still has your records and can give you the relevant experience and relieving letters. Even if they don’t have such records , maybe someone Senior still working there can give you a recommendation if not proper certificates.
But your short tenure ( Jan. 2012 to Aug. 2012 ) seems to indicate the parting was not smooth. However, try NOT to bad mouth the Company. Instead, keep the focus on your strengths and what you learnt and contributed even in adverse circumstances. A testimonial from a Senior may help here as well.
Same goes for why you took a gap. Whatever be the reason, if you are over it now you have to convince the interviewer/ potential employer you are not going to be just an unstable employee but are looking for a long term, stable career now. Some gaps are easier to explain than others and certainly it would help if you can demonstrate that even while you were not doing a ” regular ” job you were updating your skills or acquiring new ones relevant to your Career Planning.
b) Re Self check, that is relatively simpler 🙂 Ask the potential Employer to give you the Job responsibilities. Maybe you can even offer to work for them for 2-3 days without salary so that both of you can mutually decide whether there is a good fitment or not. You should also be flexible on salary.
Coming back into a Job after a gap AND with a short previous tenure is not v. easy. So you have to be that more vigorous- and creative – in your approach and interview. Essentially, you have to convince the potential employer you are a good fit AND you intend to stay for the long term.
Some would recommend say Year 2012 ( omit months ) in your CV. To me, frankly, that’d not matter much since during interview it’d be clarified anyways and would give an impression that you are being ” sneaky ” .
Some more tips in case you are having only a short stint in your present job – or a number of such – or trying to come back to work after a gap :
1. Write a skills-based CV, focusing on results
Objective i to grab the Recruiter/ Employer attention- list your skills and how they contributed to the reults you achieved.
2. Explain why you left each job
Only if required, and only if the reason is genuine and positive. Some such could be – Company closed down/ merged/relocated, was a temporary assignment, my superior left and strongly recommended me to the new Company….
3. Try to be Positive, always
Even iof you are leaving a ” job from hell ” try to put it positively – Company culture did not encourage collaboration, I don’t like politicking, not much work, wanted to learn more, …
Focus on what you learnt out of each experience..patience, for example..
4. Prepare a clear answer should you be asked during the interview about your job hopping
Of course the reasons should be plausible and verifiable;e, if need be. For example :
– Company in a state of change and I am not able to deliver / learn much.
– Job role not clear and my skills not being used optimally.
– One of many employees made redundant due merger..
– Not a right fit due…
5. Prepare WELL for the interview…
Even a mock interview with a colleague / partner could help.
Also, realize that you are certainly not he ONLY person with gaps / short jobs. Many Employers could have faced the same situation themselves and would understand why good employees are made redundant or seek out better pastures.
Just my thoughts. Hope it helped, Karunya.
Have any more thoughts and experiences to share ? Comment in !