CV problem Watch

3458349058349053
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#1
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#1
I’ve got a bit of an issue with my CV

I’ve been volunteering for three months in my local branch of Cancer Research which has been a positive experience. It has given me a reference, gives me something to put on the CV and frankly has done something for my self-confidence that had been battered by scores of job rejections. I’ve even quite enjoyed it – it being one of the most collegiate and friendly places I’ve ever worked.

Prior to this I worked in the House of Commons which might sound prestigious but it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. I had no access to training courses, was given little responsibility and I’m really not tribal enough for party politics. Suffice it to say it wasn’t for me.

Take home point – I realise now it is better to be happy in some minimum wage retail job than unhappy in a supposedly "prestigious" job.

My problem is that employers see a CV gap of 9/10 months between these two things and do not like it.

The fact I graduated into the worst recession since The Great Depression doesn’t wash. The fact I was on antidepressants – well they don’t want a sob story do they?

I’m now ready to re-enter the job market and get back into paid work but this period of unemployment is proving a red flag on my CV/at interviews and is proving a stumbling block as I attempt to get life back on track.

Employers don't give you the benefit of the doubt in this economy and I'm unsure what to do as the period of unemployment is frankly unacceptable to many employers - a bit of a catch-22.
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Hedgeman49
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#2
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You just need a story, any story, and confidently set it out in the interview if asked. Say that the HoC was a fixed term position and that due to the difficult job market you struggled to find work in the intervening period. Or alternatively say that you took the opportunity to go travelling after the HoC role. Or just say that you had some health issues that are now resolved. As long as you don't go "err, well, um..." in the interview then they will most likely understand.
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3458349058349053
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#3
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(Original post by Hedgeman49)
You just need a story, any story, and confidently set it out in the interview if asked. Say that the HoC was a fixed term position and that due to the difficult job market you struggled to find work in the intervening period. Or alternatively say that you took the opportunity to go travelling after the HoC role. Or just say that you had some health issues that are now resolved. As long as you don't go "err, well, um..." in the interview then they will most likely understand.
Yeah I think I’ll have to make up something travel related.

Unemployment is such a red flag for employers. I got an interview four months after finishing in Parliament and I really got grilled in an interview as to what I had been doing with that time. Unemployment has to be masked even if that means lying. :-(
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Thaiba
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The answer is there in your question, it is hard finding a role and you have been trying simple! plus you do not need to tell a sob story just be honest and say you had circumstances at the time which did not help you in securing a job due to poor health, i mean either way it is the truth.
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3458349058349053
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#5
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(Original post by Thaiba)
The answer is there in your question, it is hard finding a role and you have been trying simple! plus you do not need to tell a sob story just be honest and say you had circumstances at the time which did not help you in securing a job due to poor health, i mean either way it is the truth.
It isn't that simple though. There is a bias against hiring the unemployed.
I had an interview with a public sector regulator which I won't name here after four months out of work.

The four month cap on the CV was a red flag for HR and it was even suggested I was hiding something. My status as "unemployed" essentially proved a barrier to getting the job.

As such I am loathe to tell the truth.

There is also a bias against hiring people with mental health problems though I consider myself ok now.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by 3458349058349053)
It isn't that simple though. There is a bias against hiring the unemployed.
I had an interview with a public sector regulator which I won't name here after four months out of work.

The four month cap on the CV was a red flag for HR and it was even suggested I was hiding something. My status as "unemployed" essentially proved a barrier to getting the job.

As such I am loathe to tell the truth.

There is also a bias against hiring people with mental health problems though I consider myself ok now.
Don't get yourself wound up over this. Unemployment really isn't the big issue you are making it out to be. Many employers, especially those with safeguarding responsibilities, ie working with children, must be able to account for every month of your time since the age of 18, so they always dig at periods of unemployment, a public service regulator is quite likely to be the same. Just because an interviewer asks lots of questions about a subject doesn't mean they are forming negative opinions. I recruit for an educational organisation and we go through gaps in work forensically, but only because we have to, and so long as we get answers, we don't take unemployment as a negative per se.

However, being out of work for a period of time does often make you less competitive than other applicants for a role - 3 months out of work in a year makes you 25% less experienced than someone in a full time role. So try and ensure that during any period of unemployment you take up some volunteering or education so that you can appear to be busy and applying useful skills.
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