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3 Tips for Explaining Employment Gaps on your CV

By: Aquent

LAST UPDATED: April 7, 2023

There are many reasons why you might have an employment gap on your CV. Whether it was taking a break because of children or caring for a relative, taking time out for studying, travelling or a period spent job hunting after a redundancy. 

Employment gaps don’t have to be a red flag on your CV. In fact, it’s a misconception that gaps will affect your chances of landing a new job. It’s often how the interviewee chooses to explain the gaps that can sometimes accidentally create a negative narrative and misconception of their abilities. So with that in mind, here are 3 tips to help you to navigate the conversation.

1. Be Prepared to Talk About it

Employment gaps will naturally raise questions from Hiring Managers, so it’s best to know ahead of time how you’re going to address it. Be confident in your explanation but avoid sounding defensive. There’s no need to dwell on the gap, but be prepared to address it, but don’t feel as if you need to acknowledge it for more than a minute or so.

2. Be Honest, but Don’t Overshare

Lying on your CV is really bad, and employment history can easily be verified, so don’t use false dates to cover up employment gaps. Explain the gap, present facts and re-direct the conversation from why you found yourself out of work in the first place and back onto the present job opportunity.

3. Stay Positive

Having a CV gap isn’t always a negative and you shouldn’t apologise for it. Show how you’ve grown during your time out of work. How have you been using your time? Did you do volunteer work? Concentrate on upskilling or personal development? Mention the activities you did during the gap that reinforce the job you’re going for.

Answering questions about any period of unemployment can be uncomfortable but you’re not alone, as gaps are actually becoming a lot more common. And remember, your employment gap is just a small part of your larger employment story, and doesn’t need to affect your chances of securing your next role.


This blog was originally posted on our Vitamin T partner site.