Explaining the gap in your CV

“Why is there a gap in your CV?” This nightmare question doesn’t have to have a nightmare answer. You can turn a period of time in your employment history when you weren’t working, into a positive with the right approach and preparation.

Knowing how to approach and answer the question is key. When the moment arrives during the interview process you need to be prepared to explain what you were doing during this time. This is about being upfront, honest and showcasing the positive elements of what you did with that time. There are a multitude of reasons that can contribute to the gap in your CV. How you explain them can make or break your chances of landing the job.

  • Family obligations
  • Illness
  • Travel
  • Laid off/Redundancy
  • Fired
  • Left voluntary

Honesty is the best policy: Explaining why there is a gap won’t necessarily hurt your chances to get the job…but lying about what you were doing will. So, be honest. Don’t hide the gap in your CV, explain it. You’ve made redundant, don’t say, “I was let go” or “I got fired”. Instead, explain the company’s restructuring and be positive on what you a learned in the position. “My previous employer was making changes to the department and unfortunately I was the last hire so I was made redundant. It was a great experience and I was happy with what I achieved during my time there.”

Hone your skills: If you are taking a break from employment or job searching, be proactive. Invest in taking some courses, get certifications, volunteer, talk to mentors. Ask someone you admire and respect to talk about their career path. Research online courses that can help you move forward and hone your skills.

Mind the Gap: Emphasize the valuable experiences and skills you’ve acquired in your “time-off”.  What skills did you pick up outside of employment?  How are these skills transferable? Your CV shows time off to travel. Put emphasis on communicating with locals in a different, negotiating in markets, traveling independently and being self-sufficient.

Proforce Top Tip: The unemployment rate in Canada was recorded at 7 percent in September of 2016 according to Statistics Canada. If you are one of the 7%, make sure you are also in the % of candidates that are actively, moreover proactively investing in yourself and finding your dream job.


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