I am not a manager but after listening to Manager Tools for a few years I know I would like to be one. I haven't been able to do anything about this in recent years but I think I might soon be able to.
I am 30 and am just starting a new job search. My problem is that my CV is patchy and has some gaps. There are good reasons for this.
I graduated in 2005 and had a job in political campaigning for 2 years and then a further similar unpaid position for a further two years. During that time I got married. Since then, my wife has suffered from a debilitating long term mental illness and we have had two children. I have been unable to pursue a 'proper' career as I have had to take large time out from work and take part time work in order to look after my family. Things are improving as my wife is getting better and in the autumn our youngest will be old enough to enter full time childcare. I now want to start a new career in a new area. I know my relevant experience is limited so I will probably need to enter at graduate level, which isn't a problem for me.
So, enough context, here are the questions.
1. Do I need to mark on my CV which jobs are/were part time?
2. Do I need to say that the job that was unpaid was unpaid? The job was full time, in an office, and I delivered exceptional results (top 5 performance UK wide). My thinking is that this is every bit as valid experience as it would have been if I was getting paid. I just don't want to risk any prospective employer thinking I am trying to mislead them.
3. Should I explain the two large gaps (6 months and 12 months) in my employment history on the CV itself, or in my cover letter?
4. Anything I could or should say to convince an employer that I have good reason to be applying for graduate jobs 8 years after I graduated.
Thanks in advance for your help.