CV Problem Areas
18 December 2008
CV Problem Areas
Some of you will come across problem areas when writing your CV, and knowing how to handle these problems on your CV could be the
decider of you getting or not getting your foot in the interview door. The last thing you want to do is lie about any gaps
or firings, because the truth has a habit of coming out eventually.
If you have major gaps between
If you have major gaps between jobs (say, more than a year), be prepared to explain why. Were you pursuing higher education?
Taking courses? Caring for children or parents? If you did odd jobs during that time, and you bring that up, be prepared to
give them a list of those jobs. You want to show your potential employer that you are dependable, so it's best to explain
the gaps in employment as situations that have been settled, and will most likely not occur again.
You should be prepared to answer questions about gaps in your resume
If you were fired from a Job
If you were fired from a job, it's best not to volunteer that information. If you are faced with the direct question, then
it's time to fess up to it. But being fired need not reflect poorly on you! If your company was downsizing, just mention
that fact (no bitterness though!). If you were fired because of inter-personal conflict, poor performance, or
insubordination, etc, it's best to avoid details. Be candid, and brief, but keep it positive as well.
Don't badmouth anyone! Be sure they know that you learned from the experience and are a better employee because of it.
You may want to anticipate questions about your firing and prepare in advance what you might say.
If you are caught off guard, your body language may signal discomfort with the subject. You want to come across as
mature and confident!
Disclosing a Criminal Record
If you happen to have a criminal record, it's your prerogative whether or not to disclose this on your CV.
Some companies do not require that a criminal record be disclosed, while others do (if it is required, you will have to mention it). As a general rule, it's best to be up-front about such things (as they will probably
come to light later, anyway). Normally, having a criminal history is only an issue if it's perceived as a danger
to the job you're applying for. Again, when discussing this topic with your potential employer, be sure to emphasize
what you've learned and how you've changed. Most people are willing to give young people a second chance to start
their lives, if they demonstrate maturity and a willingness to learn.
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