Returning to work with gaps in your CV?

Many people’s career plans were hit hard over the last 18 months, affected by furlough, redundancies or simply less permanent or Interim jobs available during lockdown.

We regularly talk with highly experienced people who are struggling to understand how to best present these gaps in employment on their CV’s and this can be a problem many people have never faced before.

How do employers view employment gaps?

Employment rates are climbing and more job opportunities are available, competition is high as people in work feel greater confidence about going back on the market. So, what is the best approach to cover gaps in your CV in a competitive jobs market?

Firstly, this can simply be a confidence issue, given what has happened over the last 20 months the age-old stigma of career gaps is being viewed much more sympathetically by recruiters and currently this is a ‘candidate market’ with more job opportunities than active applicants, which means in the short-term this can be to your advantage, so act quickly.

We have rarely seen anything like 2020/21, so this will not be a hindrance in job searches. According to the ‘International Labour Organisation’, an incredible 255 million jobs were lost globally due to the Covid pandemic therefore employers expect to see gaps in employment for this time period. 

‘What did you do, when you were not working’? 

Hiring companies will be looking for more information about what you did during any gap in employment and this is where you can turn the situation into a positive advantage.

Did you learn or develop any new skills? Gain new qualifications? Undertake any charity or volunteering work? Work as an NHS covid jab volunteer? Use the time to exercise more? Or become a home-schooling teacher to your children. All are incredibly valuable.

A few key tips to keep in mind
Be Positive

It would be easy to fall into the trap of discussing gaps in employment from a negative viewpoint. Try to take any of the positives that came out of the time, in terms of new skills developed and focus on these, which will speak volumes about your character.

Be clear about your availability

Immediate availability can be a big attraction to employers so make sure this is clear on the CV.

Be Honest

Recruiters are very understanding about employment gaps so don’t cover it up. Make sure you take the opportunity to sell your life experiences and self-improvement activities during Covid.

Employers expect your CV to present you in the best possible light, so take this opportunity to portray as many positive aspects about yourself as possible, whether its competency based or general life skills. After all skills are what all employers are after! Read

Most good employers will look past Covid employment gaps, so show how you demonstrated your resilience during the pandemic, either by remaining productive or seeking meaningful experiences which can tip the advantage in your favour in what is likely to become an increasingly competitive employment market.


We work with clients to find, assess and recruit the best procurement and supply chain talent for your business. 

Get in touch with one of our advisors to discuss how we can help you and your business stand out from the crowd. We partner with organisations in a transparent and open approach to ensure they have all the external market knowledge and information needed to make the right hiring decisions.

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