How to explain the gap on your CV

Explain the gap on your CV

Did retrenchment, a sabbatical or family responsibility take you away from work for an extended period of time? Read this article to find out how you can explain the gap on your CV to recruiters and potential employers.

How to explain the gap/s on your CV

Firstly, be honest about your employment record. Do not extend your employment dates from a prior or later job.

Craft a response. When asked why you weren’t employed for a period you have to have an answer ready. Don’t go into specifics but rather just give a brief overview. Use positive language and don’t apologise.

Emphasize why this employment opportunity is for you – and what you can bring to the position.

Recruiters and potential employers want to know what you did with your time – did you learn new skills, keep up with the industry, study or even consulted on the side?

Common reasons for gaps on CVs

  • Time off due to illness
    Don’t provide specific details but explain how you used your time to learn new skills – even if it is an online course.
  • Taking care of an ill family member
    Don’t share personal details but mention that x has recuperated or passed away and you are ready to take on a new role with enthusiasm and skill.
  • I was retrenched
    You could mention budget cuts or why your role was made redundant – but make it clear that you are ready take on a new challenge. Also mention if you completed any further studies or sharpened your skills while job hunting.
  • I went on a sabbatical/travelled
    Emphasise your quest for personal development, increased cultural awareness and gaining new perspectives – but be sure to mention that you are ready to return to work.
  • Took time out to raise my children
    Focus on why you now feel ready to get back to work and what excites you most about the job offered.
  • I studied
    Emphasise you dedication to personal development and why you think your skills is suitable for the job offered.

Remember, you can always ask your recruitment agent how you should answer “the gap in your CV questions” before going for an interview with a potential employer.

GoldenRule is a resource partner of choice with an IT focus. We take the time to understand your business and individual needs, including your company culture and your requirements that make up the ideal candidate. Read more about us here.

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