Mind The Gap

A gap in a résumé is not unusual – in fact, these days it’s becoming the norm in many industries. Sometimes the gaps are due to family or health reasons, for example, or when taking a sabbatical; and, to misquote Twelfth Night, some have gaps forced upon them. However, some recruiters and HR people seem to shy away from CVs that have them.

The gap since my last full-time role continues to grow as I keep searching for a new Agile coach position that’s a good fit. Does that gap mean that I’m not doing anything? Of course not! Finding the right job is a full-time job in itself: I spend a few hours each day reviewing new job postings and potential companies; a few more following up on leads; and if I have time left, I invest that in developing my online presence (my “brand” if you will) and/or on personal development (e.g. reading around my domain or taking a course).

I’ve experienced one recruiter imply that the gap in my employment history shows that I’ve forgotten how to work! If anything, it has helped me hone many of the skills used at work.

  • I am constantly revising my prioritised backlog – it’s easy to keep adding things to a To Do list, but it’s important to prune the list and reassess the relative order of the items, as well as keeping an eye on any deadlines.
  • I use timeboxes to avoid falling into a rabbit hole when researching a company, or to limit the time I spent tweaking my LinkedIn profile. Sometimes I break down my backlog items and use the Pomodoro technique to rattle through them; sometimes it’s a longer focused period with reminders to come up for air.
  • I seek out feedback on my résumé, for example; sadly the days of receiving feedback after an interview seem to be long past.
  • I spend time with my peers in various Agile community groups. One of the good things to come out of COVID lockdown is that many events are online, which means I have also been able to join groups outside my local area, further expanding my knowledge and network.
  • In addition to those community events, I constantly seek out new ideas. I prefer podcasts and videos over books, and with the field of knowledge continuing to expand there’s shortage of material out there.

And all of this without the need for a manager to check up on me 😀

As much as I want to find my next role, I don’t believe the gap in my résumé should be a concern – if anything, it demonstrates determination, focus and self-organisation.

If you happen to know of any Agile Coach / Scrum Master opportunities in Toronto, then please let me know!

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