How to explain a career gap


You are either agonizing over how to explain a gap in your work history. Or trying to conceal this fact in your resume by being vague about when you ended that last job and when you started the next one.

We put our best minds together on this one - find out the most effective tricks for dealing with a career gap in your CV.

For starters, always only state the month and year during which you started and left jobs in your resume. Nothing more, nothing less.

Recruiters often find it annoying if applicants state only the year as that doesn’t provide any useful information about how long they’ve been at each job. Often times, they do so to hide a career gap or very short stints in each employment.

The second rule of thumb: if the gap is nothing more than 6 months, leave it.

Not drawing any attention to it could be the smartest way of dealing with it.

Wow the hiring team instead with an amazing CV by practicing our other resume tips.

Your kind of unemployment is simply what economists call frictional unemployment - or the time it takes for an individual to find a job, which could be months, especially as a fresh grad or at the senior level.

Now comes the tricky part: what if your career gap is more than 6 months? Our career specialists recommend what they’ve seen some good candidates do:

  • Address any burning questions that any recruiter or hiring manager will have immediately. Don’t hope for them to miss it (as they won’t), nor expect to explain it in person or over the phone. You most definitely won’t get a chance to if you don’t explain this gap in your resume already.
  • If you had a break of more than 6 months, obviously you weren’t just chilling out at home. Also, you probably had compelling reasons for leaving that previous job without something else lined up. You want to make sure you are addressing both these questions in your CV as they are sure to raise immediate red flags


  • Candidates have cited anything from childbirth and care, to finishing their studies, focusing on a side hustle that turned into a full time thing, helping out with a family business, etc. as valid reasons for a career sabbatical. All of these are fine, the key here is to make sure you are completely honest and can elaborate in greater depth and detail about why you did what you did, how you decided on the break, and why you finally opted to go back into the workforce.

Still scratching your head over what to say in your resume?

Seek professional help! We turn mediocre resumes into gold, with a solid dose of pragmatism. Our experts will work on a personalized solution with you regardless of how impossible your situation is.

On a side note, if you’ve been jobless for the past few months and are actively looking for opportunities, we hope this article provides you with timely advice for addressing why you left your last job and what you’ve been doing in the meantime (answer: something useful).

Again, aim to address these two questions in every resume you are sending off to companies.


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