How to explain gaps in employment on a CV - CV Plaza

How to explain gaps in employment on a CV

author Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert         date 4 Jan 2021

Gaps on a CV or Resume are quite obvious to spot by Employers; as can be seen in this image when looking at the dates.

The first thought that crosses an employer’s mind when they spot a career gap on your CV is ‘Why is there something missing here?‘ and if there is no good reason for the gaps the second thought of an employer will likely be along the lines of ‘This applicant has taken a long time off work; will it happen again?’

The above-mentioned scenario is reason enough for a CV to be rejected, unfortunately.

Employers are wary of employment gaps because they may indicate:

  • The applicant went to prison!
  • The applicant is not committed to a job (unstable)!
  • The applicant is a mother; she might have another child soon!

How to explain or conceal employment gaps on your CV

If your employment gaps are short-term and lasted only a few months this can be best concealed by listing your jobs down by year rather than by month.

If your employment gaps are longer than merely a few months your best bet is to make a note of this in your cover letter but never try to explain your employment gaps on your CV!

By the way, lying is not an option. Any lies that are uncovered – even after you’ve been offered the job and you’re working for many months – will result in instant dismissal. You have been warned…

To sum up, the best way to deal with employment gaps on your CV is;

  1. Make the gaps less obvious
  2. Explain the reasons of long-term gaps in an honest and convincing way on your Cover Letter
  3. Focus on all the other important aspects of your CV; presentation, layout, structure, qualifications, skills, hobbies and interests…

Get these things right, and you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Written by Sobhan Mohmand
Sobhan is a qualified Careers Advisor and Professional CV Writer with over 10 years of experience in helping job seekers get a job. He is a Member of the Careers Development Institute (CDI) and is listed on the official UK Register of Career Development Professionals. He holds a Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development (QCF).