Explaining Gaps In Your CV

Many people have gaps within their CVs, but no matter what the reason, it can be difficult to translate this into an interview. Gaps can make one appear unreliable or reckless but often have taken place for good reason.

You’re not alone if you’re worrying this will impede your chances of getting a job. There are a few steps you can follow to help explain the gaps in your CV and turn the gap into a bridge that your future employer will want to walk over:

  • Whatever the reason was for your CV gap, be positive, clear, and genuine with your response, without going into unnecessary detail.
  • Start by explaining why you were out of work, then go into detail about what you did with your time and finish by emphasising why you think the position you’re applying for is the right opportunity for you.
  • When speaking about what you did during your time away from the workplace, you should highlight how this was beneficial to you. For example, you may have been adding to your skillset by undertaking a course, volunteering for a local charity or had a part-time job on the side. If this is the case, you should highlight it, as well as the lesson you’ve learned.

Common reasons for CV gaps and how to discuss these in interviews

You’ve been job seeking

  • Explain how you have been continuously looking for a job
  • Make it clear that you have used the time to think about what you want from a new role and employer.
  • Mention any skills you may have learnt or developed during your time away.

Example: “When my job came to an end 3 months ago, I instantly started looking for a new role which would push my career in the right direction. In-between interviews I have been developing my skills by undertaking an online course with Google Digital Garage. This role particularly interested me due to the possibilities that this job would provide me, such as A, B and C.”

You went back into education

  • Explain the specific skills you wanted to gain or the qualifications you wished to require.

Example: “I made the decision to return to education as I wished to further my career in X industry. Now that I’ve successfully completed the course, I’ve been looking for new opportunities in which I can put apply these new skills. I thought this role was an excellent fit to do so.”

You went travelling

  • Explain why you decided to go travelling, whilst focusing on developing your cultural understandings, broader mindset, and personal development.
  • Be enthusiastic that you’re now ready to return to work.
  • Be enthusiastic about the potential opportunities the role has to offer.

Example: “I took a year out to discover new perspectives and exciting environments by travelling to Cambodia and Thailand. Not only did I achieve this, but I learned valuable life lessons. I’m now ready to commit to the next stage of my life and the career opportunity before me. I’m interested in the possibilities that this job would provide me, such as A, B and C.”

You’ve been looking after your children

  • Clarify that you took time away to prioritise your family.
  • Explain that you’re ready to get back into work and are looking for new challenges.
  • Be enthusiastic about the role and why it is a good fit for you.

Example: “After becoming a parent, I needed to focus on my family and raising my child after leaving my last role. Now they’re at school, I’m eager to start working again and take on new responsibilities and develop my professional career.”

You had to take time off due to illness

  • Don’t feel obliged to give specific information about the illness
  • Let them know that you’re ready to get back into work, highlighting why you think you’d be a good fit for the role.
  • Mention anything you did during your time away such as developing a skill or any industry news you kept up with.

Example: “I felt unable to continue my previous role due to a recurring medical issue. However, I’m now ready to return and make a meaningful impact within this role. It’s a position which suits my skill set, fits my values, and appears to be an exciting opportunity.”

You were caring for someone

  • Don’t feel obliged to provide any information about the cause of the illness or your caring responsibilities.
  • Be enthusiastic and state that you’re ready to start working again.

Example: “I had to leave my previous job to care for one of my family members. My relative is now being looked after fully, so I’ve started looking for a job again. I feel I am a good fit for this role and am excited for the opportunities that this job would provide, such as A, B and C.”


If you’re returning to work after a gap, we can help you find your next role. Contact us today.

For advice on preparing for interviews visit our blog.

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