What to do with a gap in your CV?

Published on: 22 November 2023

A curriculum vitae (CV) is like a business card, but not all CVs are flawless. Our recruiters frequently encounter "gaps" in a CV. Don't panic! This doesn't necessarily mean your CV will end up in the rejected pile.

Sometimes, a break in your professional journey is unavoidable. Perhaps you haven't worked for a while, and there are gaps in your CV. However, recruiters will want to know more. As a recruiter, the main goal is to get to know the candidate better and determine if they are suitable for the position. Therefore, it's likely that you will be questioned about these interruptions during an interview.

Here are some tips:

Never lie!

Lying will eventually lead to the truth being revealed, putting you in difficult situations. Be honest from the start.

Be well-prepared

When invited to a job interview, prepare thoroughly. Don't forget to explain any periods of interruption in your CV.

Not all interruptions are the same

Whether it's a trip around the world, caregiving for a sick relative, taking a study leave, or experiencing a layoff, there are many different explanations for gaps in a CV. Take the time to make a list of everything you did during this period. This will show that you were not inactive and that you used your time in a structured manner.

Link it to the vacant position

You can highlight your skills and previous experience on your CV to push interruptions into the background. Alternatively, you can link these empty periods to the position you're applying for. Take the time to connect your activities to the position or type of company you're applying to.

For example, if you're applying to a charitable organization and volunteered during a period of unemployment, mention it. This demonstrates your motivation and commitment.

Show your motivation and stay positive

It can be difficult to accept that your CV is not perfect. However, try to stay positive. Be constructive. For example, show that you want to turn challenges into opportunities. Even if your CV has some gaps, it's equally important to leave a positive impression.

If you're eager to start a new job, check out our job offers here.