Lots of oil and gas industry professionals have had time out of work over the last few years but this is slowly changing and jobs are starting to appear. If there is a gap in your CV then it can stand out as a weak point when being selected for a new role, so it is important to explain this to a hiring manager when applying for an oil and gas job or having an interview.
For a lot of people out of work they had little choice in the matter – they were either fired or no new oil and gas freelance jobs were available. However, a gap in your CVstill requires explaining, and if the answer is that you spent a few years away from work to focus on family / travel / doing the garden, then being truthful about it would be recommended – most hiring managers understand how hard the industry has been and will not hold this against you, they will however question why you are now applying to roles. Also make sure to highlight any further training or charity work you have undertaken while out of work as this will help you stand out and show your motivation, all positives when trying to land a new oil and gas job.
If you managed to pick up work outside of oil and gas but are now looking to get back in, then an interviewer will surely want to ask why you want back into the industry. Answering “because it pays more” is not recommended (even if it is true), but you should focus on the fact that as an oil and gas industry professional your skills are going to waste in another industry, or emphasise that even though the downturn was bad O&G is still an exciting place to be and an industry you want to be involved in.
Your cover letter is a great place to explain any work breaks as you can easily use a couple of sentences to highlight why you were out of work, what you did, and why you now want to get back.
For those of you trying to find a new job after an enforced career break – we wish you luck with your oil and gas job search.