How you can explain an employment gap on your CV  

If you’ve been out of work for a couple of weeks, then there is nothing to worry about. Your work experience timeline only has to show months and years for each job, and an employer will not be concerned. However, if you’ve been out of work for a few months then an employer is likely to wonder why.

Having a lengthy gap in your employment history can often raise suspicion. Were you out of work because you struggled to find a job? Did you just not bother looking for one? Were you sick?

These are the types of questions an employer will ask themselves, so instead of letting them make up their own mind you should tackle it head on.

Here’s how you can explain an employment gap on your CV…

Use a cover letter

Due to the formal nature of a CV it can be quite difficult to explain an employment gap. So instead, you could consider writing a cover letter and addressing the issue on there.

The letter will allow you to be more direct about why you want the job, what you can bring to the table, and anything else you want to discuss – like why you were out of work for 8 months. Your cover letter should help put any unease and suspicion to rest.

What to now how to write a cover letter? Here’s a great article which will help you write the ultimate cover letter for your CV – How to write a cover letter

Put a positive spin on your gap

If you were out of work for health reasons, then don’t be afraid to tackle the issue head on in your cover letter or CV. You don’t have to go into any specifics, but just state that you were off for personal health reasons and that you are now fully recovered and eager to get back to work.

Don’t let it happen

If you are currently out of work, then don’t let a lengthy gap happen. Whilst applying for jobs you should also look for part time roles and even voluntary work. Part time positions can sometimes be easier to come by, and will plug any potential gaps in your work history. It’s also nice to still earn a salary whilst out of work.

Voluntary work is often forgotten or misunderstood, but can play a vital part in ensuring a lengthy employment gap doesn’t happen. Even though you won’t be getting paid, you need to think of the bigger picture. There is no point in sitting at home waiting for an employer to contact you for an interview. Even if you only work a few days, you can stay busy and help a good cause.

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