Career break on your CV – How to explain it.


Career coaching Uckfield, Sussex

It can sometimes feel like a catch 22 situation: you’re looking for work and yet you feel your biggest block is coming from the career gap you have in your CV.

There are many reasons why someone may decide to take a break from work. But no matter what the reason is, knowing that having gaps on your CV isn’t going to be detrimental to your chances of getting the job, it’s just important that you are able to truthfully explain it. You aren’t alone in having a gap in your CV, many people for a range of reasons.

If you’re unsure how to explain your gaps we have some guidance:

Advice for Short Career Breaks

Sometimes, if the break was only for a short period you may not even be asked why you were off, however it is important to still remember what you did to fill that time. If you did any volunteer work, studying and had a reason to not be off, you should be prepared to explain this.

Advice for Longer Career Breaks

If you’ve been off for a longer period, there is a very high chance you’ll be questioned on this. You’ll need to plan your response so that you can positively justify your reasons.

It’s good to think about it in three stages: how long you took off and why, what you learnt from the experience and then refer back to why you want the job.

For example, if you took time off for travelling you could say:

“I had 8 months out to understand and experience a variety of cultures around the world. I feel it taught me valuable lessons on communication, lifestyles and my perspective on dealing with different situations. It is now that I want to immerse myself back into work and use these life skills within this role.”

How to Format Your CV

A CV Writing service such as Premium CVs , will be able to help you format in a way that can help highlight your experiences in an honest but positive way.  Because it isn’t necessary to include all your information on your CV, especially if your gaps were from early on in your career.

CV writing service Sussex

Ultimately, you’re looking for a job because you are no longer in a situation where you need time off – whether that was travelling, health reasons or family commitments. Therefore, reinforcing the positives of why you want to transition into work is encouraging for the recruiter. An example: “I was unexpectedly made redundant and I’ve been looking for a job similar to the one I had before”

If you are struggling with work, remain active and do things that can show you’re using your time effectively. Do some courses or volunteer somewhere that can help utilise your skills.

Use your skills by writing a blog or creating a YouTube channel on your expertise.

As long as you’re prepared with an answer to any questions about gaps in your CV, able to explain how the timeout was a positive thing, the break shouldn’t hinder you from progressing in your career.

The main thing employers want is for you to demonstrate your enthusiasm to return the workforce. A CV is what will get you to an interview so it needs to be tailored to the role you’re applying for and well written, get that right and a career break won’t be held against you.

Charlotte Lynch, Marketing and Social Media Executive for Jems Recruitment

Jems Recruitment love helping people shape their lives and careers. Specialising in Financial Professionals, Management and Business Support they’ll have you find a job you love. #lvwrk