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How to explain gaps on your CV

It's important to be honest and positive when explaining gaps on your CV


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment


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If you’ve been out of employment or education for a period of time, sometimes potential employers ask you to explain this. Don’t worry though - here are some tips on how to answer.

Explain why you haven’t been in employment or education

It’s good to be honest, and there are plenty of reasons why you might have left your last job or have been able to find one. Rather than hoping that the employer won’t notice, be open about the reasons why you haven’t been in work.

Keep it positive

Be honest, but don’t be negative. For example, if you left your last job because you didn’t get on with your employer, it may be better to provide a different reason.

If you left a job voluntarily, it’s ok to explain why

If you needed to leave work because of a health issue, an issue in the family, or you decided to go travelling, it’s totally ok to say this.

Make sure to talk about what productive things you did during the gap

It’s important to highlight any positive things you may have done during that time. For example:

  • Did you learn a new skill or take up a hobby?
  • Did you do any freelance work?
  • Did you do any voluntary work?
  • Did you complete any personal projects?

Be honest

Remember, it’s always best to be open and honest with an employer. Focus on the positives and your skills but be open about anything else.

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Published October 24th, 2016
Last updated November 28th, 2016
Tags employment work jobs
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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