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DcoC
8th August 2011, 16:48
Hi,

I've just registered here and am wondering if anyone else has had this issue.

Been a contractor since 2005, but due to major family problems have not been available since June 2009. As a result, I now have a huge gap in the CV!

What's the best way around this? I can fill the gaps with some training I've done, but obviously that won't cover the whole period.

Another problem I've got is the people I worked with have now moved on (Banking industry), so I don't really have references or contacts to fall back onto.

I've already had agents refusing my CV due to the length of time out - it's the usual excuse, "The client wants someone with recent experience". :rolleyes:

It would be good to hear from anyone who has had similar problems, and the best way to get round this, as the money has nearly gone :suicide:

Thanks

KimberleyChris
9th August 2011, 13:05
Sounds to me more as though you have been working part-time from home, and that's kept you up-to-date.

We won't tell anybody if you dont :-)

DcoC
9th August 2011, 16:10
Sounds to me more as though you have been working part-time from home, and that's kept you up-to-date.

We won't tell anybody if you dont :-)

Thankss for the response.

Problem is inventing contacts to fill the gap (and lack of contact details for the work) is going to look suspicious, if I'm asked about them at interview stage

Or do I fill the gap with non-IT work? I can blag my way through the interview, not sure about outright lying though

JamJarST
10th August 2011, 06:59
Thankss for the response.

Problem is inventing contacts to fill the gap (and lack of contact details for the work) is going to look suspicious, if I'm asked about them at interview stage

Or do I fill the gap with non-IT work? I can blag my way through the interview, not sure about outright lying thoughHave you considered telling the truth? A novel concept I know but it might just work.

DcoC
10th August 2011, 07:26
Have you considered telling the truth? A novel concept I know but it might just work.

Yes, but like I said the Agents are reluctant to forward my CV on, as I don't have "recent experience"

I am willing to take a lower rate if it gets my foot in the door, but this doesn't sway them

JamJarST
10th August 2011, 07:35
Yes, but like I said the Agents are reluctant to forward my CV on, as I don't have "recent experience"

I am willing to take a lower rate if it gets my foot in the door, but this doesn't sway themWell it is up to you I suppose but when an agent has asked me to lie I have refused. If you get found out it could end badly and getting a reputation for dishonesty could hurt more than having a gap on your CV.

KimberleyChris
10th August 2011, 10:23
It's very difficult. I think most people have various versions of their CV, and I suppose you could be cynical and say "Keep your honest CV for when you meet an honest employer".
I think that the best step would be to have a chat with the agent you feel the best relationship with, and take their advice, as they are best aware of industry trends etc.
It does seem unfair that somebody should be disadvantaged by having a hiatus in their CV enforced by family circumstances.
Am I right in assuming that the banking industry is such that you no longer have an 'in' via the direct approach - i.e. not via agencies?

JamJarST
10th August 2011, 10:55
It's very difficult. I think most people have various versions of their CV, and I suppose you could be cynical and say "Keep your honest CV for when you meet an honest employer".
I think that the best step would be to have a chat with the agent you feel the best relationship with, and take their advice, as they are best aware of industry trends etc.
It does seem unfair that somebody should be disadvantaged by having a hiatus in their CV enforced by family circumstances.
Am I right in assuming that the banking industry is such that you no longer have an 'in' via the direct approach - i.e. not via agencies?There is a difference between tailoring a CV to a specific contract, and out and out lying though. I have never lied on a CV.

DcoC
10th August 2011, 11:45
Contacts? You're kidding! I went through 3 agents and just as many PMs when I was there! I doubt there's anyone left that remembers that far back

No way back in for the forseeable....I was let go when they moved the post to India.

There are some contracts being advertised, but they're being drip-fed through so slowly, it'll be another few years before my areas come up :laugh

KimberleyChris
10th August 2011, 13:10
Surely as an IT professional you have many 'transferrable skills'?
Does it have to be banking?

DcoC
10th August 2011, 13:52
Oh yes, I've got a fair list of skills, and I'm not fussed about whatever sector I work in, I only listed banking as that was the last gig.

The problem is the 2 year gap

KimberleyChris
10th August 2011, 15:06
Good Luck to you anyway. I hope you get your break.

It looks more like your problem lies with agencies (in such a depressed market) having no option than to send only their 'best shot'.

After browsing this site for some months, I can't understand why - with such wide expertise, and so many pairs of eyes 'spotting' vacancies across the country across so many industries - nobody has suggested ContractorUK actually becoming its own agency.

Imagine the size of the CV database we could assemble as a collective.

Zippy
10th August 2011, 18:28
Oh yes, I've got a fair list of skills, and I'm not fussed about whatever sector I work in, I only listed banking as that was the last gig.

The problem is the 2 year gap

Once you get a gig or two on there the two year gap will become less of a problem.
Could I suggest contributing to forums, creating a website shop window, writing a blog, offering tips to others? If you are a techie having something out there is really helpful. If you are more business focussed you could write a few papers on projects you have managed, best practice/lessons learned etc. Try to get some work from small clients (on a self-employed basis) to help fill the gaps.
Track down some people you have worked with who would be prepared to vouch for your work. Your private clients don't give references because they are still your clients and you want to keep them.

Stay away from banking for a while. There are loads of smaller companies out there who really don't care about breaks on the cv (if you can do the job). You are right about trying to price yourself correctly but don't pitch too low - it looks like you are lacking confidence. You can reluctantly accept a lower rate because you really like the company/want to gain experience in that sector etc. etc.

The best of luck to you - something will turn up.

DcoC
10th August 2011, 19:50
Thanks for the responses all.

Looks like I'll just keep applying and hope I get lucky with the agency :eek:

Ren
19th August 2011, 11:04
I've got significant gaps in my CV... one of 18 months and one of 9. I was honest and told them I only work when I need to and I keep up to date. Confidence is your friend... if you project it and let them know whatever technical tests etc don't scare you a decent agent will put you across for client consideration. Maybe you've been unlucky with lazy agents?

Good luck :)

northernladuk
19th August 2011, 13:42
There is a difference between tailoring a CV to a specific contract, and out and out lying though. I have never lied on a CV.

Am with JJST on this one. Lying on the CV is a no no for me as well. It is down to individuals how liberal they are with the truth, or 'artisic licence' if you want to call it that but personally it wouldn't be much. If you have a gap on your CV you have to put it and deal with it. Either go perm for a bit or just keep plugging away.

I am sure someone will come along and suggest you did some work for your own company developing apps and stuff but that will look rubbish and give them a chance to pick holes in you and prove you are being liberal.

There is no way back from this one in my mind. Take on some stupidly low rate work, do it for free for a bit, go perm or keep plugging seem to be the options I can think off.

DcoC
22nd August 2011, 14:43
I've got significant gaps in my CV... one of 18 months and one of 9. I was honest and told them I only work when I need to and I keep up to date. Confidence is your friend... if you project it and let them know whatever technical tests etc don't scare you a decent agent will put you across for client consideration. Maybe you've been unlucky with lazy agents?

Good luck :)

Cheers mate, that's good to know.

TBH, I think my biggest problem with the agents might well be the lack of recent contacts

DcoC
22nd August 2011, 14:47
Am with JJST on this one. Lying on the CV is a no no for me as well. It is down to individuals how liberal they are with the truth, or 'artisic licence' if you want to call it that but personally it wouldn't be much. If you have a gap on your CV you have to put it and deal with it. Either go perm for a bit or just keep plugging away.

I am sure someone will come along and suggest you did some work for your own company developing apps and stuff but that will look rubbish and give them a chance to pick holes in you and prove you are being liberal.

There is no way back from this one in my mind. Take on some stupidly low rate work, do it for free for a bit, go perm or keep plugging seem to be the options I can think off.

Agreed. I'm fine with tweaking my CV, but am not comfortable with outright lying. Too easy to get caught out

I was just looking for a way to explain the gap that wouldn't put off either the agents or the client, but it looks liek there's no easy way to do it

Greedo
18th October 2011, 14:34
To the original poster, how is your contract search going?

What approach are you taking to explain the gap in your CV?

How are you fareing with the agencies?

I am hoping to re-enter the market myself soon and any replies based on your experience would be helpful.

TheFaQQer
18th October 2011, 15:01
Once you get a gig or two on there the two year gap will become less of a problem.
Could I suggest contributing to forums, creating a website shop window, writing a blog, offering tips to others? If you are a techie having something out there is really helpful. If you are more business focussed you could write a few papers on projects you have managed, best practice/lessons learned etc. Try to get some work from small clients (on a self-employed basis) to help fill the gaps.

And if you use the right blogging software, you can back-date the posts so it looks like you have been a regular blogger for the time you haven't been working.


Apparently.

DcoC
18th October 2011, 21:19
To the original poster, how is your contract search going?

What approach are you taking to explain the gap in your CV?

How are you fareing with the agencies?

I am hoping to re-enter the market myself soon and any replies based on your experience would be helpful.

Not so good. I've been honest about the length of gap, and why I have been out for so long. I'm getting the CVs out to the agents, they are re-assuring me that the gap is no problem, then I don't hear any more :eyes

I've been getting fobbed of with the follow up calls (agent out of office, no word back from client (after a week!), job went internally). Maybe some of it might be true, but I'm getting frustrated, especially since the cash is fast running out.

I really need to put something realistic in the CV to explain the gap, but not going to invent contracts as I'll only get found out!

You might have better luck, the stuff I do is fairly specialised so competition is tight. Let me know how you get on (it might just be me ;) )

northernladuk
18th October 2011, 21:24
Nothing you put in the mail above is out of the ordinary. I remember last few bench time sending CV's left right and center and despite making myself a perfect fit the percentage of interviews to CV's was low. I would just assume that is the way it is and keep plugging away.