Mind the gap

Gap years are a great way to take some you time to reflect and figure out what you want to do. But when you’re back, how do you explain the gap in your CV to employers?

Here are a few ideas of how to talk about your gap year when you’re on the job hunt.

Travel with a purpose

Travelling helps you build qualities that employers are always eager to see in their employees – things like independence, a sense of responsibility and organisational skills. So, when you get asked about your gap year, you'll have a wealth of experience to draw from. Use your experience to evidence how and where you’ve built and used the skills they’re looking for.

Volunteering

Did you do any voluntary work on your gap year? Volunteering experience is valuable content for your CV and is likely to impress future employers. You will have built experience that will help you later on in your career. On your CV, talk about your volunteering experience and relate the skills you used then to the ones the employer is looking for now.

Part-time work

Did you do any part-time work to save up for your travels? No matter what it was, you will have built up some valuable, transferable skills that employers are looking for. Things like time management or customer service.

Research for your future

Gap years are exactly that, a gap. It was a chance for you to find out what you really wanted to do and prepare for work life. Employers will be reassured that your gap year has made you confident about what you want to do next.

Put in some preparation

Making sure you are professionally prepped with a killer CV and LinkedIn profile is the perfect way to launch your career after a gap year as many employers use LinkedIn as their job search hub.

Now you know yourself better than ever, research which job roles are the right ones for you. Take time to carefully read through job descriptions to see if you’re interested in the role, and if you’re their ideal candidate. You can take your research one step further by going to careers fairs – they can be a golden opportunity to meet a room full of potential future employers and get more of a feel for what working with an organisation would be like.

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