It is common to see graduates who have spent over two two years after graduation doing nothing and the gap of inactivity shows in their CV when they submit it for job applications. Gaps in your CV when you have not done any meaningful thing is not good enough for your chances of getting a busy and lucrative job. Prospective employers need and want to see that you have used most of your time in useful pursuits and not been idel and unproductive.
You will have to make your CV look busy and fruitful as it shows you are a person in tune with the demands of being productive.
How do you then make your CV look busy even when you have had no job for sometime after graduation?
Ways to Use Your Unemployed Time and Make your CV look Productive
- Seek Part time or Contract Assignment: While seeking a more permanent job be sure to seek out opportunities to carry out temporal jobs and assignments that you can include in your CV and that will enhance your experience and knowledge.
While in school one of my engineering lecturers told a story of how many engineering graduates turn down opportunities to work with the works and technical department of local government councils claiming the pay and pedigree of the jobs were too low for them. These gradautes believed they deserve to work with Oil companies and Telecommunication giants in the country and go on seeking these elusive positions for years.
Somehow some of them come to be asked maybe during interviews why they have so much gaps and periods of inactivty in their CV. They do not know how to go about answering such questions and most times end up not being considered for the jobs.
Most recruiting oragnisations will shy away from taking the risk of employing (so to say) someone who has been inactive for a long period of time. If you are a young person who has spent many years out of school without jobs or past responsibilities in your CV they tend to see you as rusty and out of tune. You cannot be recruited as a graduate intern/trainee as your academic sharpness will be in doubt. Neither can you be employed as a full staff as you will be seen as being too inactive and unable to quickly understand and cope with the modern work demands.
So the importance of doing something while you seek a more permanent job cannot be overemphasised
- Take a Course: You can show through your CV that you have been actively involved in something useful by undertaking useful academic programmes. These can be in form of workshops, seminars and short training or academic courses.
- Volunteer: Another smart way to fill up your CV with useful experiences and proof of useful activity is to volunteer with non-governmental organisations in the areas relevant to your job interests. While several of them will not pay your salaries they may offer you stipends and allowances to make things a little bit easier for you while you gather the needed experience and knowledge to help your greater career objectives.
- Start a Side Business: If you are the more daring type you can use your empty time before you land a job to start a business. Sometimes if you are lucky enough you may end up actually employing people and waving a final goodbye to the labour market.
- Write or Blog if You Love to: You can start a blog around your career passions and I assure you that if you become good enough at it your chances of getting invited to lucrative jobs will be greatly enhanced.
- Attend Industry Workshops and Conferences: Attend industry events and actively participate while you seek a job. Going to relevant workshops and conferences in your career field will expose you to opportunities to network and meet people who might help you better in your job search. Plus you can always use these events as proof in your CV that you are active enough and improving your skills for the job.
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