Not Every Gap Needs To Be Explained
There will be some gaps that you may not need to explain such as a couple months off or gaps that occurred from long ago. On a CV, the best way to avoid these types of gaps from being highlighted is to only give the years of your employment rather than the months. You may not be able to do this with an application form if it requires the months too!
One growing trend is workers taking a certain amount of time off from their careers to have time off. This is usually to go travelling either in certain regions or countries e.g. American, Asia etc. If your break was over a few months (6+) then you may wish to state a little something about it. Not every employer looks at these breaks as a disadvantage. Many believe that the cultural awareness and sense of independence you will have gained as a result of the experience will prove invaluable to you in your future career. Perhaps you were able to undertake further qualifications or training during this time and, if so, these should be included.
Many workers have gaps due to taking leave for a year or two to raise their children which you should include. You don’t have to go into detail but you must state that you took time away to spend it raising your children. If you’re a new parent, you will develop a new skill set which you may be able to transfer to the jobs you applying for.
Accidents or Illness
If you have taken time off from your career to recover from accidents or illness to fully recover, then try to be positive about it. Meaning, state that you are fully recovered after the time off and are fit & raring to go.
Prolonged Unemployment Gaps
Sometimes, no matter how hard you have been trying, the right job is just not out there for you and you have a gap in your employment history purely for this reason. It can be very difficult to put a positive spin on this as employers will assume that you have just been very idle during the time. The key is to highlight positive actions that you have undertook during this time. Whether it was doing some voluntary or community work or completing some new qualifications or training. If you have not done anything, then perhaps you need to look at doing something to add value to your CV. Either way, when explaining the gaps to make sure that you clearly state how you have been proactive in your job seeking during this time and that you are readily available to start work.
Some individuals feel its ok to extend their employment dates to hide any gaps. While this may seem harmless, new employers will do a check on your work history and it will be discovered that you lied which will disqualify you for the role. Whatever the situation is, just be positive and make sure that you come across as enthusiastic and ready for work. Don’t make your chances harder by lying.