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Why Does a CV Gap Raise a Red Flag?

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

CV gaps are often misunderstood by potential employers and will certainly raise red flags for recruiters and hiring managers. They can be interpreted as incompetence, a difficult personality with high or unrealistic demands, lack of loyalty or seriousness and the list can go on. It depends on each job seeker how he/she motivates this CV syncope.

Reasons for returning to work after a career break can be varied and justified:

  • Voluntary work

  • Raising a child

  • Taking care of a sick family member

  • Travelling

  • Going back to school

  • Firing

  • Starting your own company or business, which unfortunately failed

I would suggest not hiding a CV gap, but getting the potential employer to understand the reason that lies behind it. It’s also best to explain it in your CV and not wait for the interview for this explanation, because it can be the very small detail that gets your CV rejected and you won’t have the chance to justify your career break.

I have seen in CVs that sometimes small gaps of a few months are covered by not indicating the month, but only the year in which employment began and ended. Nevertheless, there are employers who know about this trick and they require this specific detail to be written in a CV or they will ask during an interview if they have doubts.

The most difficult aspect to explain during an interview is why you were fired if this is related to your performance. It doesn’t happen often, but it should be a big question mark for the job seeker who should strongly rethink a career switch. Everybody is good at working in a field and sometimes it’s not the one we have studied and prepared for.

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