You should cover up the holes in your CV because of this, that and the other and you should cover up the holes in your CV in this way, that way and another way. It is all getting a bit boring now isn`t it?
Can you see the link between the two squares below?
Of course you can and you are correct. The people mentioned in the grey square have all experienced one or more of the problems highlighted in the blue square. And you know what? They all have one thing in common; A big and significant black hole in their CV.
I have worked within recruitment and management for aproximately 14 years now, and not a day has gone by when I have not been involved in or overheard a conversation around ” the big black hole” in a CV. 14 years. That is at least 5000 times so please excuse me for being somewhat fed up with the whole thing. Nevertheless, my feelings are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
This is not another text about how to cover the holes in your CV or how to turn a hole in your CV into something positive. There are already plenty these texts (some good and some bad) and therein lies the problem. We shouldn`t have have to read texts about holes in the CV, we shouldn`t hear about holes in a CV, we shouldn`t have to talk about holes in a CV and we shouldn`t have to think or worry about holes in a CV. You know why?
The answer is rather simple: It is what it is; A big black hole or a big fat nothing.. It is insignificant and irrelevant, and we waste time talking, thinking and writing about it. (Rich coming from me)
A very good aquaintance of mine, lost someone very dear to them in the London bombings in 2005. This person went through a difficult time and as a result did not work for 12 months. When she was finally ready to apply for new positions she discovered something that should surprise us all but unfortunately doesn`t. Out of 15 applications, 7 of them were automatically rejected due to the fact that it was “Company Policy” not to recruit anyone with a hole in their CV
Situations like these deserve nothing but simply being laughed at, but one would be surprised to see that although there a high number of companies who in my opinion have no problems with people having holes in their CV, some companies and that includes large blue chip organistaions still discriminate in the worst fashion. Even more worryingly, I have heard about similar situations to that my friend experienced both in Norway after the 2011 terror as well as many other places around the world.
Ultimately one could argue that it is the companies who discriminate that loses out. They are the ones that will carry on recruiting the same people with the same experiences who have barely experienced one stumbling block in their whole life, the type of people that have been wrapped up in cotton wool. It is these companies that never will have the opportunity to interview the next Steve Jobs or the next Walt Disney and that is almost punishment enough in itself. However, as an additional punishment to these companies, we can all do one thing: Stop talking about holes in CV`s as if it is a fault and a weakness. It is netiher a fault nor a weakness and is rather a result of natures wonder that gives people additional strength.
2 thoughts on “Is there a Bermuda Triangle in Your CV?”
This is an excellent article! You uncover the truth, and the truth is that many companies and/or hiring managers have bought into the false paradigm that gaps and holes in a CV must have a nefarious undertone. And, beyond that, these gaps and holes have become a convenient disqualifier which allows the recruiter or any other HR staff person who reviews CV “completeness” as if they have some kind of check-off list to eliminate summarily CVs that do not meet the standard for form. Why would this be convenient? It reduces the number of applicants for consideration, which in turn, reduces the workload of the screeners, thus allowing their “time-to-fill” measurement to maintain an acceptable level, which in turn, rewards the HR screeners for meeting this particular target. What’s wrong with this? You, Mr. Hansen, have clearly articulated the short-sidedness of this practice, thus describing exactly what’s wrong with this approach. The barrier to changing this paradigm is, nevertheless, convincing as well. Management will dutifully raise the issue that “some” gaps (they typically use the more certain term “many” rather than “some”) are proof that an applicant is hiding something on purpose; the gap is really an omission with the purpose of suppressing unflattering information about the applicant. Well, that is what we get when company policies or norms override qualified HR staff’s ability to look at the entire CV and exercise reason and discretion. If policies, norms and procedures are to dictate initial selection, without consideration of extraneous information or inferences, then I question the business logic of these companies to staff fairly well-qualified employees to separate the goats from the sheep rather than investing in a programmable electronic scanner to cover this brainless function. Management science taken to its level of degeneration.
Tom Lowe, thanks for your great input into this. You are making som valid points here and I couldn`t agree with you more.