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How to Deal with Employment Gaps on Your CV

At some point or another, everyone has had time when they have been out of work for a number of reasons as we will examine below, it is how you deal with these gaps in your CV so that you can answer the questions that an employer will be thinking and wanting to know about.

Be upfront

For any time and gaps in your CV it is important to be honest about it. Don’t try and cover it up as this will not go down well and will leave any employer thinking that you are a dishonest person which extends into your work. If there is an issue, make sure that you always address it.

employment gaps

Why is there a gap?

Look at where the gap is in your CV and think about why there is a gap there. Is there anything that you can do about this gap? Were you doing something but don’t feel it is worthy of being on your CV? If you did any course during this time for example then even if it is not relevant to the job that you are going for it still completes that gap in your CV. Look at when the gap is, if it is directly after finishing university for example then this is to be expected.

Related: How to Write Your CV If You Lack Relevant Work Experience

Be proactive

If you have a gap in your CV, be proactive and explain to any employer what you were doing. Were you searching for jobs, if so how? Were you looking to further your skills? If so how? This is what they are looking for, to see how you have been conducting yourself during a period of unemployment. They want to know that you did try to gain employment through applying for jobs, visiting employment agencies etc.


If during the gap in your CV you were travelling following your studies then this largely expected by employers but it is about how you tell an employer that. You want to tell them that you wanted to travel following your studies so that once you began employment you wouldn’t take a break from it as you want to concentrate on your career so it was an experience that you wanted to get out of the way before your career begins.


If you gap in your CV is due to sickness then as I mentioned before you need to be very honest and tell your potential new employer the reason for your sickness. It happens and as long as you can explain this without hesitation then I am sure an employer would be willing to listen without judging.

Family issues

Families are complicated things so it is almost certain at some point or another someone will have problems in a family situation that means that they are unable to work for a period of time. This could be the death of a relative, a breakup of a marriage etc. All things that will take your focus off work for a period of time to allow you to be able to concentrate on putting things right. Be honest and give an employer the chance to see the reasons for the truth.

Related: 10 Helpful Tips to Improve Your CV For a Better Job Application


A difficult situation that many people have faced that more employers understand more often. Due to the economic times a lot of companies have made people redundant meaning that more and more of us have had times when we have been out of work due to this. This is a simple one to explain to a new employer.

List years not months on your CV

Look at revamping your CV if the gaps are bad so that it lists your work history in years rather than months so it is not as obvious and you can then concentrate on discussing the work history that you have rather than the gaps.

Raising a Family

If you have been off whilst you have had a family and raised young children then this is to be expected by most employers and completely acceptable. Employers realise how hard it is to juggle childcare and work so if you are looking to find a new job once your children are at school then it makes you in a more flexible position.

Further Education

If your gaps are when you were doing further education or further training then you should be pleased that you have stood up and looked at your career and how you could make improvements.

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