CV Gap for IT Contractor
Big CV gap on my resume due to caring for terminally ill elderly parent. Will I ever get back into contracting?
I‘m an ISEB certified Test Analyst/Systems Tester with over 6 years‘ experience after completing 11 contracts.
Since the spring of 2010, I had to take a break from work completely to care 24/7 for my terminally ill father.
He passed away in spring last year which means I have not worked on a contract for 6 years.
New Testing Contract
As expected I am struggling to find a new testing contract now due. That’s to my CV gap and the current employment situation. So I am asking for some help with this.
To date I have used the normal methods to apply for roles. I registered with agencies and apply for roles from the usual websites including jobserve, jobsite and cwjobs etc.
The agents sympathise with my situation. However, when it comes down to the bottom line they only make money from placing people.
Recent Roles on Their CVs
So other candidates with similar experience BUT with unbroken work records and recent roles on their CV‘s are more saleable to clients than me.
I am realistic about my situation. I am preparing myself for a long hard slog but have had no luck in the last 3 months. So am looking for some other suggestions if you have any.
I don‘t think I‘m a completely lost cause. I have applied for permanent testing roles and have got to second interview stages so this has given me a bit of a boost.
The reason I have been given for not getting these permanent roles has been that the clients felt that once I had got some recent experience under my belt I would be looking to return to contracting again.
This is probably true but of course I didn‘t mention this at the time.
Gaining Skills in Testing Arena
I don‘t want to give up and waste all the hard work I have done gaining the skills and experience in the testing arena. So I am determined to find a new testing contract.
In the past I have paid for my own training too. I was successful in passing industry recognised qualifications which are now standard in most testing job adverts.
Other things I have tried to find roles have included writing spec letters to known companies that employ testers. However, to date, I have had no luck with these either. I am prepared to work all over the UK so am flexible on that score.
When I got my first testing role I had no skills/experience or official qualifications then. However, maybe the buoyant job market made a difference as an agent took a chance on me and I have not had much of a problem finding work until now.
So maybe it‘s just a matter of persisting in my job search and I may get lucky again.
I don‘t want to leave it down to luck though so would welcome any suggestions you may have.
CV Gap – Applying for Lower Rate Jobs
I am applying for jobs with lower rates. When they advertise jobs as ‘market rate‘ I have said that I would be phappy to go forward at a lower rate. So I am flexible in this area too.
The National Careers Service reviewd my CV. They said it‘s the best it can be now and my reason for a CV gap is genuine. However, I know it‘s because of this gap that I am still struggling to finds a suitable role now.
Agents have always said to me before I took my break that I had a good CV. Before I took my break for my most recent 3 roles I only had one interview on each occasion and got the roles. So I was in a strong position then.
Written to British Computer Society
I have also written to the British Computer Society (chair of the testing group) to see if he can offer any help but he has only offered a partial solution.
He sent me details of an online company that asks people to test its websites on an ad hoc voluntary basis. So I have done some work on this (and have indicated this on my CV).
However this type of work is not as comprehensive as my previous testing roles but at least gives me some minimal current experience. At the same time I work in a part time admin role to earn some money to live on.
That‘s about it really, a struggle for me yes but I want to get back into a contract testing role hence my reason for getting in touch with you. Hope you can help.
With my CV Gap will I ever get a job in IT again?