How to Explain a Gap on Your CV ?

An employment gap refers to the period (months or years) a job applicant was unemployed. Many professionals take some time off from work. Some take time off to travel, some to find a new job and some have to take a break due to illness. While these reasons are easy to explain, the cases where an employee is laid off are tricky to explain. Unable to come up with an explanation, many people are tempted to ignore the gaps on their CVs in a hope that recruiters won’t notice them. That happens seldom. Why? Try looking at it from a hiring manager’s point of view. Even you wouldn’t help but perceive a CV that’s full of unexplained employment gaps as a warning sign. And that becomes a major reason why your job application isn’t even considered.

For any relationship to grow and develop, it is important that the parties involved are completely honest with each other. This holds true when you are looking to develop a professional relationship with a hiring manager. In this case, being honest starts with your CV. If you try to cover up or lie about a slightly long employment gap in your work history by extending the months you have worked, you might get caught during the reference check stage. However, if you know how to approach it the right way, your career break need not be a hindrance. Although people may have specific situations, here are a few tips on ‘how to write a CV or a cover letter when there are employment gaps’:


Utilize cover letter to explaining the employment gap

It is perfectly okay to make use of your cover letter as a platform to explain the employment gaps that you may have in your employment history due to your illness or any other reason.

For example, you can write your reasons for employment gap in the manner shown in the cover letter sample below:

Also Read: Applying For Jobs in the UAE? Here’s What  Recruiters Look For in a Cover Letter


Cover Letter Sample Explaining Employment Gap



[Full Office Address]

Dear Mr. / Ms. [Name],


To give you a little brief about my professional experience, I have over [time] years of experience in the [industry name]. In my previous organization, I was responsible for [job responsibility]. During my tenure, I had shown positive results in the roles and responsibilities held by me and my time. [Insert some quantifiable / notable achievements here.]

In the [mention month / year of the break period] I took some time off my career to [state your reason here]. However, I am [state your reason as to why you are ready to start over again] and determined more than ever to take up new challenges and restart my career.

During the break, I have done my best to refresh my skills. I took up some independent study projects and invested my time in reading great books like [mention the names of the books related to your field of work]. I even [mention assignment or event attended related to the field of work], which really helped me in brushing up my skills and re-acquainting myself with the industry.

I am confident, experienced and have a proven track record of success and that, I feel, makes me the perfect candidate for this role.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Best Regards,


[Contact Number]

Also Read: Answering the Interview Question: “How Will You Explain Your Employment Gap?”


Tips to Explain Employment Gaps

Here are some interview tips as well as CV writing tips that you could use while explaining an employment gap:


    Tip #1. Be truthful

There are numerous CV writing tips available on the Internet but very few tell how to explain employment gaps in CV. The best tip to follow here is telling the truth. Lying about an employment gap is a very bad idea as the recruiters can easily find out the truth while checking your work history. The recruiter may become suspicious and it then becomes the grounds for dismissal of your candidature later on even if you do manage to get the job.

Also Read: 7 Secrets for Making Your CV Ready for 2018


  1. Tip #2. Leave out a job or two

It is not necessary to include all the jobs that you have worked in the past in your CV. When you have been in the employment for many years and held a number of different positions, it is expected that you will cut down on the detail of a few jobs. You can utilize this to your advantage while updating your CV.

Also Read: Top 8 CV Formatting Tips for More Job Interviews


  1. Tip #3. Be confident

The most important job interview tip for the interviewee is to be confident. It becomes more important when you have to explain employment gaps. Prepare your answers and practice your speech beforehand. Don’t stammer and you will be able to convince the hiring manager.


  1. Tip #4. Emphasize how you utilized the time off

Make yourself more attractive by informing the recruiter about the skills that you have gained during your time off. This should be related to something that has made you resourceful. Did you take up any language skills or was spending time in brushing up your technical skills with some online learning? Show you’re proactive.

Also Read: 6 Steps to Learn New Skills for Your Career Development


The truth is that hiring managers are used to seeing employment gaps in CVs. Gone are the days when people use to stick to just one or two companies for longer periods of time. Modern-day professionals change jobs frequently due to lower job security and frequent disruptions in the industry. What’s needed is learning how to explain employment gaps to prevent a tricky job interview situation.


CV Quality CheckerKnow your CV Quality Score for Free!


Image Source: maradon 333 /

5.00 avg. rating (97% score) - 6 votes
Categories: CV Writing

About Megha Raizada

Megha Raizada is a professional writer with a keen interest in the global job market. She loves to keep a track of everything interesting happening around the globe. When not writing or browsing the Internet, you will find her creating furniture out of used tires.

Comments are closed.

Related Articles: