How to explain the long gap in my CV? I will never find a job without recent work experience.. All I did was take care of the family!
Every so often, the fear of missing out on job opportunities becomes a topic of conversation among expatriate partners. And for a reason. Competition is tough in most sectors and international experience is not always rewarded – or even acknowledged as an asset of a potential employee.
However, a brief glance into the contemporary recruitment professional’s tool box may help you prepare and become more confident in planning your international trajectory. A simple four letter word can work magic; STAR.
As a model used in quite many organsiations worldwide, this word guides how interview panels scan for the competencies that allow an incumbent to succeed in a given job role.
The STAR model encompasses: Situation, Task, Action and Result.
In order to assess to what extent a candidate possess the required attributes for a job, the panel will look for examples of past situations where specific skills and competencies were displayed. If a project manager needs to be people oriented, the panel may ask for a situation where the candidate had to tackle a conflict between colleagues or stakeholders. What was his/her task at the time? Which actions were taken and what was the result or the reflections upon solving the conflict?
Gather examples. Think in STAR moments
Knowing that most interviews will revolve around sharing examples of past experiences and how you are able to project the skills and competencies needed for the position, planning your professional and personal development path becomes easier. Why? Because you can free yourself from the notion that you have to work full time for x years in order to stay relevant and suited for the next job. That a packed CV is a guaranteed ticket to a job in your current or next posting.
Instead, you may choose to plan to collect stories, examples. achievements. In other words; collect evidence that you can succeed in any given job role. Manage a project. Solve conflicts. Connect people. Plan and execute on ideas. And most of all, that you are capable of taking risks and being mindful of balancing priorities and demands in a global context.
So, rather than focusing on the CV gap, you may wish to fill it in more creative ways. Show a future employer that you are a whole person; not afraid to face challenges and embark on unknown endeavours. Confident that every short term assignment or single task achieved during an expatriation is a stepping stone for you to build your character, professional experience and personal stamina. Surely, the type of employee that any recruitment professional or hiring manager would want to get to know better – disregarded any career breaks or years spent as a home manager.
Jannie Aasted Skov-Hansen is a Global HR professional and the founder of here we are.