Gaps in Employment history on your CV

The CV is the basis on which the employer makes his/her first impression about you. We all know that. Hence, we always tend to put our best qualities in it so as to create the best possible impression. However, sometimes there will be some minor (and some major) hiccups. Are you able to sail through with poise and rationale? The most common reaction is to bluff (or tell a white lie) but with an employer it is really not an advisable path to take because truth has the knack to come up at the most unfortunate moments of your life and create some major embarrassment, if not more. There are better ways to handle difficulties - with the truth put across plausibly:

  • Scenario no 1: Suppose you have a two years gap in your CV between two jobs when you did not have any job. 'What happened in the gap period?' the employer will ask. In most cases, people leave their jobs to pursue higher studies - if that is the case with you, let your employer know. In this context the gap will be seen as a benefit. If this is not the case, and you have just been in between jobs for a gap of more than one year - you might say that you have helped your father, uncle, bother, friend, etc to set up their business (be sure you have the details ready as you will be asked for them); you may also say that you have volunteered to work for some philanthropic cause that your family, community, or friends created (again be ready to give details); you can say you wanted to be with your family for sometime before you started working again (be sure you have plausible reasons - like grandmother sick or wife/husband having a too demanding career which neglected the children who were young at the time.
  • Scenario no 2: Suppose you have a minor gap of a few months (less than a year). In that case nobody needs to know about it really. All you have to do is write your CV with yearly gaps instead of giving the month and year. In this way, when you mention only the years, it will not be visible that there is a gap of a few months in between. If the gap indicates the time period you took for having a child, then it is good to tell them so, without any qualms.

The point is that you have to assuage the fears of the employer that you may not be dependable. They will be worried to see the unexplained gaps because they would picture you as an unreliable person. Hence, it is best to explain the gap in as simple and realistic situation as possible, which in all probability, will not recur in the future.