What to consider when explaining gaps in your CV

Many people have a gap in their CV at some point during their career and there are any number of reasons for it – but it doesn’t have to impact on your job search.

Regardless of whether you took time off to travel, had health issues to overcome, or simply had to hunt for a job longer than you expected, such spaces in your resume will still need to be addressed.

It is important to approach any gaps in your CV in the right way and to focus on any positives that resulted from them. View travelling as an opportunity to experience new cultures for example, or time of through illness as an opportunity to recharge your batteries ahead of a new challenge.

Provided you give prior thought to addressing any employment gaps, you should be able to ensure that they are not an awkward topic during an interview and that they do not act as barrier to you finding work.

Right time and place

It is perfectly acceptable to omit the month and only show the year while stating the dates of your employment on your CV. By doing so you will keep your CV short and to the point and will also keep gaps to a minimum.

However, if you do have a significant gap in your employment history, there are better places to address them than right in the middle of your CV. You can save such information for your cover letter, where you can elaborate and go into greater detail.

The most important thing is to address the issue early; if an employer starts thinking you might be hiding something then they may be hesitant about moving forward with your application, so it is always best to be honest and open.

Why you need to be proactive

If you are struggling to find a role and feel that your employment history might be to blame, always try and be proactive. Perhaps you could use your time off to take a course, find some professional mentoring, or attempt to get some work experience somewhere. It will tell employers that you are putting your time to good use and that you are wanting to better yourself despite the position you are in.

Even if you cannot find a course or work experience that suits you, you can always demonstrate your talent in other ways. For example, writing a blog can be a great way to showcase your skills and also highlight a willingness to further your career, while also proving you can maintain a digital presence.

If you’re a graduate looking to kick-start your career, have a chat with Discovery Graduates and see how they can help get you started...

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