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How to answer questions about gaps on your CV

The majority of us will have some sort of gap on our CV. And for a multitude of reasons that anyone can understand. But when you are emailing in your CV without being able to explain a gap in person it can be difficult to know what to do. So, how do you answer questions about gaps on your CV?

What to add to your CV

Depending on the gap it can be useful to add a brief line to your CV before submitting it in an application. This can work for gaps such as:

– Taking time out to study

– Caring for someone

– Maternity or paternity break

– Redundancy

– Health conditions and disabilities

It is up to you what you do or don’t disclose to a potential employer. If you’re in any doubt about what to put on your CV then organisations such as Nacro or Acas can be a good first point of call.

Think about your cover letter too. This is a good opportunity to explain about gaps and why you are right for the role you are applying for and your commitment to the job.

How to answer questions about gaps on your CV in person

If you get through to the interview stage this is your chance to explain more in person. Our advice is to prepare for questions about the gaps in your CV and how they helped you develop into the person you are today.

We’d always advise being honest but with discretion. You might not necessarily want to reveal everything to a potential employer and neither should you. Being positive about the gaps, why they happened, and what you learnt is an opportunity to showcase skills a prospective employer might want such as resilience or reskilling as well as empathy and honesty.

For example, if you’re returning to work after redundancy you might say:

My previous employer was reluctant to let me go but due to a company restructure my department was no longer needed. I’m still in touch with some of the team there and wish them well.

Rather than something that puts a less positive spin on the gap:

My previous employer just didn’t care about my department or me. I’m glad to no longer be working there.

How a recruitment agency can help

At Good Egg Recruitment we always look past gaps on CVs and encourage our employers to do so as well. We know that a CV won’t always reveal all the skills that a candidate has. We always take time prior to the interview to get to know you and learn more about your reasons for taking gaps or leaving a role. This enables us to help you prepare for an interview so that you feel positive and confident.

Have a look at our current job vacancies or email or to discuss our potential roles.

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