Dear Lifehacker, I've been on a self imposed extended holiday (3.5 years) from work (I was supported by my partner). I haven't done anything particularly exciting during this time, but I have enjoyed it a lot! I'm now looking at getting back into employment, but the large gap has been flagged by friends in the know as "bad" when it comes to recruitment. Some have even said to change employment dates on my CV. What advice do you have to make a guy in his early 30's look more employable due to this large gap in career history? Thanks, Mr Happy
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Dear Mr Happy,
I'm a big fan of honesty being the best policy. You will never know who knows who so if you are less than honest on your CV there's always a chance that an informal check of someone who knows someone will catch you out. I've been involved in interviewing and hiring for some time and every now and then I'll see a candidate who has worked at a company where I know someone. I'll often make an informal call to check that the employment history is accurate.
If the break was self-imposed then say it. In this day and age, people take holidays, gap years and family-related breaks. I'd note the gap in your CV and describe the reasons you took the break.
You CV should be a reflection of your strengths and why you should be hired. Focus on the positives in your experience and highlight how you can fill the role. Given your age and the break, it's likely that the people you'll be competing against will be a little younger than you. That can work to your advantage as some extra life experience may make you a more rounded individual and, therefore, a better candidate.
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