How Should I Handle Gaps in my CV?

18 Nov 2014 | Naomi Marshall

Gaps in a CV are common. But the big question is, how should you handle the gaps in your CV? Do you mention them or ignore them? Do recruiters and hiring managers really notice gaps?

YES! Yes, we notice and yes you need to address them.

First and foremost – be honest! Honesty and transparency are important in writing your CV and when you are in the actual interview. If you try to pull the wool over your interviewers eyes, we can tell that something funny is going on (remember this is our day job and we are paid by our client to make sure everything checks out).

On your CV, any extended gaps should be explained clearly. Just jumping from January 2013 to October 2013 with no explanation leaves question marks. In this employment market, where there is a lot of competition, you don’t want question marks. It makes it too easy to be put in the “maybe” pile instead of the “must meet” pile.

We understand that sometimes, things are sensitive or difficult to discuss. However, you still need to address it. If you’ve had a long gap due to illness or caring for a family member, etc., put context around this gap. You only need to be brief but put some background around the gap and highlight that you are now in a position to meet the requirements of the job description and the employer won’t be affected.

Fill the gap – If you are currently experiencing a “gap” in your career (for whatever reasons), think of your CV and try to find some fillers whilst you are looking for your next role.

“Various temporary assignments” is a great filler. So whilst looking for the right long term position, take on some temp jobs. Temp jobs are not only a great way to fill in gaps on your CV, they are also the perfect way to increase your skills and build some important networks (which may just lead to a longer term position). Read our blog on temping if you want to know more about why you should temp.

Studying short courses or online courses are a great way to up-skill while filling a gap. Taking an extended holiday is also valid reason for a gap in your CV.

Alternatively, look at some unpaid, voluntary work or taking on an internship. As far as your CV goes, these are great ways to fill in some time whilst looking for your next career move. They are also great points and topics to bring up in your interview. Just think how impressed a hiring manager will be if you say you were volunteering with “X-Company” in between interviews, as opposed to saying “I was catching up on Ellen and other day time TV”.

The important thing to remember is it is not so much about the reasons for your gaps as how you handle the gaps. Take some time and think about how you can honestly address these in your CV and during your interviews.

If you want to fill in your current gap by taking on some temp work – get in touch with the team here at Sprint. We have some great temp roles on at the moment and we would love to speak with you.


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