Over The Hill and Under The Radar

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How to deal with gaps in your CV

How to deal with gaps in your CV

During our working life many of us will sadly have gaps in our CV due to various reasons which can include redundancy, medical, caring for relative  or taking a gap year  So how to deal with gaps in your CV is detailed below.

Your future employer will want to know why there are gaps. Explaining the gaps can be a challenge and if you do not disclose the gaps in your CV it could mean it could take longer to find the perfect role. Some employers may think you are hiding something such as being in prison or even on the run!

Below are some examples of how to deal with gaps in your CV and to make sure you get the job interview.

How to deal with gaps in your CV


Be upfront and honest

What ever reason for the cap in your CV remember that being honest is the way forward.

Of course you do not have to go into detail as some gaps in your CV you may not want to discuss fully and want to be discrete. But do not cover it up by extending your length of service with a previous employer as your future employer may call your previous company for a reference and if the dates do not match they will want to know why.


Never apologise for the gaps

Always be optimistic about the gaps. You could say I have been busy job hunting and decided not to temp so I can fully concentrate on securing a new role. If I did temp them I feel I would not be able to fully committed to a company while job searching. You could also add you are a loyal worker and want to give 100% to the company I work for.

While job hunting you should consider taking a work related course (many of them are free on-line) so you could say to your potential employer I have also been updating my skills while searching for a new role. I have actually done that and placed this on my CV. It is often a good talking point at interviews.

Also consider volunteering in your local area – however if you are claiming job seekers allowance then do check with the Job Centre to make sure it does not affect your benefits.

Also get some personal recommendations from friends (and ex colleagues) who can provide a testimonial for you. Not only will this show the future employer that you are a good worker but could get you to the top of the pile if the testimonial is attached to your CV.

Just make sure you are doing something

How to explain reasons why there are gaps in your CV


Good: ‘Sadly I was let go by my last employer as they had to make some budget cuts due to the company not securing a new order. I really enjoyed working there and was sad to have to leave’

Bad:  ‘I wanted to leave anyway so I volunteered for the redundancy as it was not a place I liked working in’


Good:  ‘I have a medical condition which is under control. However, I felt I could not continue in my role. I am delighted to say that now I returned to excellent health and looking forward to a new opportunity’

Bad: ‘I get ill quite a lot and it affects my work and companies do not want to deal with people with my medical condition’

Caring for a family member

Good: ‘Sadly I had to care for a very sick relative over the last few months but now their health has greatly improved and they do not need round the clock care anymore’

Bad:  ‘I do not want to discuss family issues’


Good:  ‘I wanted to experience new cultures and learn new languages’

Bad: ‘It was wild…I cannot remember all of it…’

How to deal with gaps in your CV


Some gaps do not need to be mentioned

One honest way of getting around gaps if the gaps were only for a few months is to only give the years you worked rather than the months. In addition if the gaps were more than 10 years ago you may not need to mention if you only cover the last 10 years in your employment. However if the gaps in the employment have been used constructively you may want to add that to the CV to enhance your skills.

How to deal with gaps in your CV

 Finally…remember that any gaps in your employment record may have been outside your control but what ever the reasons you must make sure to explain in a positive manner. This way when being interviewed you will be confident enough to explain why there are gaps in your CV and get the job.


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