How to explain a gap in your CV

May, 2023

If you have gaps in your CV, you'll need to explain these in your cover letter. Find out how to account for holes in your employment history with our example cover letter

You need to explain interludes in your employment, so a potential employer doesn't misinterpret a break in your career history. If you approach it positively, it shouldn't be an issue.

Reasons for gaps in your CV include:

  • going on a gap year
  • having children
  • caring for a sick relative
  • suffering from a persistent or recurring medical condition
  • redundancy.

Talk about the gap in the third or fourth paragraph of your cover letter and explain what you did during this time and the skills and knowledge you've learned from the experience.

Finish by demonstrating your enthusiasm for the position and add that you're now ready to focus on your career.

Please be aware that this is an example. Use this cover letter template to help you explain a gap in your CV and structure your own document but avoid copying and pasting. Your cover letter needs to be original and tailored to the job you're applying for.

Ben Chapman 14 The Park Smalltown Smallshire SM52 6ZN 07889987987

Stan Stanislas International recruitment partner International Company International House Northtown PJ7 2LX

5th May 2023

Dear Mr Stanislas

Re: International business graduate programme

I would like to apply for your international business graduate programme which I have seen advertised on the website and on your company website. I am enclosing my CV.

I am in the third year of an English with drama degree which has equipped me with skills such as:

  • Being able to present to groups of all sizes in formal lecture settings as well as on stage.
  • Organisation (of myself and others) when staging productions, for my course and in extra-curricular activities.
  • Written and verbal communication through coursework, essay-writing and workshops.
  • Working with others on timebound projects in groupwork, presentations and productions.
  • Set-building, prop-making and lighting and sound.

I am particularly proud of initiating a workshop production of Grease in a local special needs school, as my final-year project. With three other students, I worked with 13 to 19 year olds who had never performed for an audience - increasing their self-esteem, concentration and life skills. As you will appreciate, this involved a lot of negotiation with the school, parents and young people as well as nurturing to bring out unrealised talent. We won the department drama prize for this project.

Before starting at university I took a year out to work and travel. I was pleased to be able to use (and improve) my language skills - French in the Far East and Spanish in South America. I spent some of the time travelling alone which exposed me to local culture and developed my self-reliance and resilience. I also did some casual work, in a bar and a hostel, while in Australia.

Travelling and working abroad has whetted my appetite for an international career. I can see how different parts of the world can learn from each other and work together. I look forward to putting this into practice on your international graduate programme - and with your company in the future.

Yours sincerely

(Sign your name here)

Ben Chapman

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