Gaps on your CV

How to explain employment gaps on your CV

Unemployment can sometimes be difficult to address on your CV. At some point, most people will experience becoming unemployed, whether you’re a graduate struggling to find a job, or you’ve been made redundant, it can happen to anyone. If you find yourself in this situation, you shouldn’t worry about writing your CV. Here’s our guide to help you handle the awkward gap on your application.

Keep it professional

Remain professional when covering the gap on your CV and why you have been unemployed. There’s no point in dodging anything if you want to get a job. Addressing the reason on your CV will help recruiters gain a clearer understanding about what happened.

Remember, you should avoid stating any negative reasons why you left your job – only briefly expanding on this if it ended badly. You don’t want to give potential employers a reason to avoid hiring you. Stay professional and unbiased with your input to strengthen your chance of getting that job! 

Be honest

It’s normal for people to become unemployed at a point during their working life. Recruiters come across unemployment on job-seekers CVs all the time and understand that circumstances change.

Don’t be afraid to state gaps in your career no matter what you think it looks like to an employer. Honesty is the best policy if you want to succeed and employers will respect you for this.

If you’re right for the job, it won’t stop you from getting hired. Keep in mind that if you were recruited and lied to your employer, it could end up making the situation a much worse for you.

Focus on the positives

Discussing the jobless period on your CV can be extremely intimidating. However, including positive information such as what you learnt and gained from the scenario can really help to make your application interesting for employers.

You should show to recruiters how you can successfully recover from setbacks and overcome difficult challenges in life. Unemployment means lots of free time so reflect on your period away from work and what you did to become a better employee. Show to recruiters that you’re determined to succeed.

Another way of remaining positive on your CV is focusing on the good things you’ve achieved so far. Include previous education and/or employment with the essential, transferable skills you gained from the work experience. Tailor your CV to the specific job you’re applying for to impress employers, relating any skills you have. 

Improve the 'Interests and Hobbies' section

If you’ve been unemployed and lack experience in the workplace, you should make sure the interests part of your CV stands out to employers. If possible, make it as relevant to the role on offer as you can.


It can show to employers that you’re a motivated individual that has remained active during unemployment. Expanding on your interests and relating it to the skills you need can make you stand out more. 

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