How to deal with gaps in your CV

Blog TalentYard PA agency London PA recruitment CV tips CV gaps

The last year has been extremely tough for many candidates with a high number of unexpected redundancies and a sharp fall in job vacancies. This means that many of us will end up with gaps in our CV. There are however ways of explaining these gaps in a positive way to potential employers. This blog is focused on using these CV gaps to your advantage:

  • Firstly, don’t beat yourself up. In this day and age it is very normal to have a gap in your CV here and there, and most of the time for very valid reasons (raising a family, travelling, illness, family bereavement, struggling to find a new job, etc).
  • Secondly, it is important that you tell the truth on your CV as employers will pick up on your dishonesty at the interview or down the line, and this will make things much worse.
  • There are different schools of thought on this but we personally believe that you don’t have to explain every single gap on your CV. Our rule of thumb is that if the gap is longer than 6-8 months then it is worth including a short explanation.
  • If your unemployment gap is longer than 6/8 months we usually advise that you write a short statement in italic explaining this gap such as “Took some time off due to illness” or “Redundancy due to Coronavirus and lack of career opportunities”. If it was due to an illness or any personal matter, please note you do not have to give details and it is illegal for your potential employers to ask you to do so.
  • If you have had trouble securing a job and have taken on a new course, have volunteered or undertaken some freelance work definitely include this in your explanation as it will show your potential employer that you have been productive during your time off work. It also may showcase any transferable skills and that you are still focused on career development.
  • Lockdown- if the gap in your CV is related to Coronavirus/lockdown do include anything interesting you did during this period (not Netflix!) such as caring for anyone, voluntary work, webinars or professional virtual events you have attended, relevant books you have read, any courses you took, charity work, etc! Don’t go into too much detail, a few sentences will do the trick. You want your employment history to take the most space not your CV gaps!

Having gaps in your CV is extremely common and nothing to worry about- our advice is to own it! You should be proud of having raised a family or having looked after a poorly family member. During the interview it is also all about confidence and positivity, just remember that most people have gaps in their CV- such is life!