How to explain a gap on your CV

In the latest of our blog series about returning to work after a break we’d like to share a few tips about how to deal with the gap on your CV.  

Remember that employment gaps are nothing unusual. Employers and recruitment agencies are used to meeting candidates who have taken time out to raise children, care for sick relatives or even just to go travelling. They will want to see your career break explained so think carefully about what to write on your CV and prepare what you will say when you go for interview.  

Be honest. Although it may be tempting to fudge your previous employment dates to cover up a gap please don’t! A properly explained break on your CV will not stop you getting a job but being caught trying to cover it up definitely will.  

Speak positively about your break. Explain briefly why you took time out and add something about your attitude towards the future. For example - “January 2015 – January 2019 – career break to look after my young children. Following my time at home I am excited about returning to the workforce and focusing on my career.” 

Highlight any skills or achievements you’ve gained. If you’ve done any volunteering or contributed your work skills to a community project then make sure to mention these. For example, if you’ve set up a carers’ group, or done some work for a local charity, or designed a website for your children’s school then put these on your CV. If you’ve done any relevant courses or updated your skills then mention these as well. Our advice is NOT to mention day-to-day home activities, such as managing household finances, arranging family travel and so on as these tasks are undertaken by all working parents and could irritate your interviewer – see parenting website Mumsnet’s advice on this here

Tailor your CV. We advise everyone to do this – although it is time-consuming to tweak your CV for every application we think the extra effort is worth it because it shows your commitment and enthusiasm. 

If you are thinking about returning to work after a career break we would love to hear from you. We have many years experience of helping people get back into employment – so do get in touch on 01279 758855 or through

Posted on Monday Feb 18