Why are gaps in resume bad


In the ever-changing world of careers, it's common to face periods of transition or gaps in employment. Whether these are by choice, due to unforeseen circumstances, or in pursuit of growth, handling them skillfully is crucial. Forbes notes that career transitions can be challenging but are vital in steering your career path towards your desired destination.

This blog offers valuable insights for professionals aiming to smoothly navigate career gaps and transitions, especially when it comes to refining their CVs.

In this post, we will cover:

  1. Understanding Career Gaps
  2. How to Handle Career Gaps on Your CV: 5 Key Strategies
  3. How to Navigate Job Transitions
  4. Key Takeaways

1- Understanding Career Gaps

Career gaps are times when you find yourself out of work, for reasons that can be either within or beyond your control. These periods can last from a few weeks to years and come with their own set of challenges and opportunities.

Choosing to take a break can lead to enriching experiences often overlooked, while involuntary breaks, like layoffs, require a sensitive and understanding approach. Recognizing the unique value and challenges of each type of career gap is the first step in presenting them in a positive light on your CV.

2- How to Handle Career Gaps on Your CV: 5 Key Strategies

Addressing career gaps on your CV is about highlighting the transferable skills you've gained during these times. Here are five strategies to help you showcase these periods effectively:

a- Be Transparent About Your Employment Gap

Honesty is the best policy. Instead of hiding the gap, explain it briefly and truthfully. This builds trust with potential employers by showing you value integrity in your professional life.

b- Fill the Employment Gap and Highlight It

Use any period of unemployment to your advantage by engaging in activities like freelancing, volunteering, or furthering your education. Highlighting these experiences shows continuous personal growth and a proactive mindset, both highly valued by employers.

c- Provide More Context with a Cover Letter

A cover letter complements your CV by offering more detail about your career gaps. Use it to explain the situation, how you stayed professionally active, and the valuable skills you gained during this time. For more tips and guide about cover letters crafting, you can check our dedicated article.

d- Design Your Resume in a Professional Manner

The layout of your CV is crucial. Opt for a clear, professional design that makes it easy to spot and understand your employment history, including any gaps. Proper formatting, headings, and bullet points can greatly enhance readability and impact.

e- Remain Positive and Optimistic

Keep a positive tone when discussing career gaps. Focus on what you learned and how these experiences have enriched your professional journey. A positive attitude is compelling to potential employers.

3- How to Navigate Job Transitions

Job transitions can be tricky to explain but framing them properly can demonstrate your adaptability and commitment to growth.

a- Develop a Narrative

Craft a clear story around your career change, highlighting the reasons and how it fits into your broader career goals. Authenticity is key to making your story resonate.

b- Uncover the Core Themes

Identify the consistent elements throughout your career. This helps in articulating a coherent narrative that shows your progression and the logical reasons behind your transition.

c- Articulate Your Path in Terms of the Value You Offer

Focus on the value you bring to the table. Emphasize how your unique experiences and skills make a positive impact, showcasing your contributions and potential.

4- Key Takeaways

When addressing career gaps and transitions on your CV:

  • Be value-oriented, showcasing how your skills can benefit your potential employer.
  • Maintain authenticity, openly discussing your career journey and motivations.
  • Ensure professionalism throughout your CV, from format to language.
  • Use your cover letter to provide a fuller picture of your professional development during gaps.


Navigating career gaps and transitions can lead to significant growth. By applying these strategies, your CV will not only address these periods effectively but also highlight your adaptability and value, making a strong impression on potential employers. Embrace your career journey, letting your CV tell a compelling story of resilience and growth.


Mohamed Amri, PhD

Founder and CEO of Supamatch

Holding a PhD from Mines Paris Tech, I excel in identifying and nurturing top talent within the tech sector. As the founder of Supamatch and multiple startups, my expertise in strategic hiring has been pivotal in assembling elite teams that drive innovation.

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