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A big gap in my CV

  • 06-06-2023 5:40pm
    Registered Users Posts: 7

    Hi folks,

    I am looking for advice on my current CV. I have taken a couple of breaks during my career for travelling (maybe 6 months each) and I was advised to include them. So my CV reads something like this for example

    Company C Jun 2018 - Mar 2022

    International Travel Jan 2018 - Jun 2018

    Company B Oct 2016 - Jan 2018

    International Travel May 2016 - Oct 2016

    Company A etc.

    In a job interview, I have no problem talking about the travel gaps. 

    However, I haven't worked since March of last year (2022), mainly due to some personal / health issues. This is private stuff I would rather not talk about in an interview.

    How do you think I should add this to my CV? And how should I approach it in an interview?

    Thanks for any advice!


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,939 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    Vague comments about the sick relative you were caring for often work well.

    Have a story worked out so you stick to it. But give as few details as possible and just say the situation is now, sadly, resolved.

    (It's not totally untrue: hou we're caring for yourself. But details aren't necessarily helpful.)

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,369 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Were you still employed during your illness? If so then I believe your employment record will not show a gap in your CV and I doubt your former employer would make any mention of it as that is very sensitive personal information

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 RookieRick

    No I haven't been working since last March. At the moment I'm wondering what I should actually write on the line of the CV, or just leave it out completely.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 RookieRick

    Thanks! Yeah I figured I would need a solid story in my head. At the moment I'm wondering should I add it to my CV or just leave it out completely. For example, something like

    Personal Time Mar 2022 - Present

    Company C Jun 2018 - Mar 2022

    International Travel Jan 2018 - Jun 2018

    Just trying to come up with something better than "Personal Time" :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,939 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    No need to draw attention to it. Just leave it off.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,317 ✭✭✭CPTM

    I wouldn't write Personal Time if it were me because it sounds a bit casual, like you wanted to watch Netflix or something. Could you write:

    "Compassionate leave (further details available upon request)".

    Theoretically that's granted when you're working at a company and you need to take time off to care for someone or there's a death of a relative or something.

    Have to say leaving it blank could be a good option as well. Just throwing this on the table for consideration.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,369 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Perhaps "Personal Development" might be an option? If the OP did any training or anything during that time then it counts

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,478 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    Leave it blank, do not put anything on your CV about time off for personal issues. Rightly or wrongly it would be a red flag and for many employers it would be enough reason to bin the CV and move on to the next one.

    It doesn't matter what the issue was, they don't even want to know what the issue was, but if they know this candidate needed to take a lot of time off the first thought will be that they will need time off again in the future.

    Remember, when filtering applications we are looking for reasons to rule candidates out as much as to rule them in. Don't give a reason.

    A gap isn't great but it is an unknown so won't immediately be a red flag, and then if asked at interview you have time to clarify why it won't affect their business going forward.

    Ditch the backpacking dates as well, I don't need to know the candidates travel itinerary, it isn't needed. Tell them about the work you did, not the times you did nothing.