Career Quandary: Should my CV mention career breaks?

Neville Rose, director of CV Writers, answers the third in a series of CV career dilemmas

CV Writers

Question: “Having enjoyed a successful career as an account director I am looking to return to work having taken a few years out to start a family. Should I include this on my CV? Will I be disadvantaged in not having worked for a while?”

Neville says...

On a technical level you don’t need to include details of why you may not have worked for a while in your CV. This is as true for starting a family as it may be for other personal reasons such as long term illness or caring for someone close to you. A CV is a record of your work history. Anything outside of this is not part of your work history and therefore does not need recording on your CV.  

The second part of your question is more difficult to answer. You don’t say how long a ‘while’ is and this could potentially have an impact on the level or type of job you apply for. Being out of the workplace for five years or more would be quite different than say one year. The nature of work does change over time and being away from the workplace for an extended period can sometimes naturally result in a loss of skills or confidence. 

For instance, in PR, digital and social media skills have really come to the fore. Depending on how long you’ve been away from the workplace you may or may not have acquired these (posting photos of baby on Facebook doesn’t count!).  If these aren’t a strength you could consider gaining a social media qualification or choosing a job where this is less of a requirement.

The good news is that good account directors are always sought after. So, if you can demonstrate concrete examples of achievements in your CV in addition to evidence of your leadership and strategic account management skills then this will go a long way to counterbalance the fact you may have been out of the workplace for a while.

Put a plan together. Let all your network of friends and ex-colleagues know you are looking for work. Speak to some recruitment agencies and start applying for jobs. This will quickly give you a feel for how the marketplace is. It may be worth considering some freelance work. The important thing is to keep positive and determined and I am sure it won’t be long before you find a suitable role.  

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This CV advice is provided by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers. CV Writers are the official CV writing partner to PRWeek Jobs and they specialise in writing CVs for PR professionals. In addition to a CV writing service, they can help with Linkedin profiles, cover letters and interview coaching. They also provide a free CV review.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Haymarket Media Group. 



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