Have a Career Gap in Your CV? Here’s How You Can Explain It

While having a gap in your resume might seem like a drawback that could discourage employers from considering you for a position, know that in 2023 this situation is more common than you’d think with employers more understanding than dismissing.


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Why it’s important that you explain a career gap to your interviewer

If you don’t explain a gap in your resume or are vague about the situation, they might suspect that you’re hiding something, leading them to make assumptions and lessening your chance of being hired.

The same goes for trying to fudge dates of your previous roles because if an employer realises something doesn’t add up after a reference check, you’ll most likely lose your credibility and ruin your chance of securing a job with the company.

So, be honest about any gaps you have from the beginning and write about these in your cover letter or CV to briefly fill in the blanks. And if you’re working with a recruitment consultancy like us at Humanised Group, let your recruiter know early on in the process, so we can help carefully explain this to your interviewer.

After all, if it’s a company worth working for, they should be able to understand the reason behind your past decisions.



There’s a range of reasons for career gaps, but here are some of the most common and how to explain them:


Unemployment gaps can be caused by several reasons, including redundancy, quitting, and being unable to find a job. With each of these, you’ll need to explain their unique situations.

If you’ve been made redundant, you could mention why your company had to make this decision and as a result how you grew personally and professionally from the situation.

If you decided to leave on your own terms, you could explain that the role wasn’t suitable for you, which is why you’re searching for a new job that will give you more job satisfaction. Or, if you’re unable to secure a role, explain that you’re searching for one that will challenge your skills and promote career growth.

For any of these unemployment reasons, you might also like to emphasise your skills and accomplishments within your past roles to show what you can achieve and your ability to succeed.

Parental leave

Taking time away from your job for parental leave can contribute to your personal development and is a valid reason to explain why you stepped back from your career.

When discussing this career gap, you could focus on the skills you gained during your parental leave, such as building on your multitasking and communication abilities.

Talking about how you decided to put your family first will reflect nicely on you as an individual, and discussing what you’re looking forward to achieving, now that you’re ready to return to your career will show that you’re motivated and inspired to get back into the workforce and are keen to succeed.

Career break

Started freelancing? Or took a leap of faith and started your own business, or travelled overseas to find clarity?

Any of these can fall underneath a career break. With these comes growth and development, which can leave a great first impression. Explain what skills you gained from these experiences, how these can contribute to your new role, and what you learnt.

If you started your own endeavour and worked for yourself, you can explain what responsibilities you took on and how this new work ethic improved your organisational and decision-making skills.

While on the other hand, if you took a break by travelling overseas, you can explain that it improved your cultural competence, and if you learnt a new language this might show that you’re not opposed to tackling difficult tasks.

If during your career gap you spent time:

  • Volunteering
  • Interning
  • Or studying, then elaborate on these and what you gained from these experiences.

This will prove that you’ve not only used your time meaningfully but are proactive with your career, looking for any new opportunities that arise.

If there are other reasons that we haven’t specified in here that you’d like to discuss, please give us a call or contact us at Humanised Group. We’d be happy to talk you through how you might address any career gaps. We’re here to help you succeed.

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