How to Describe a Career Break on Your CV

Describing a career break on your CV can seem overwhelming, if you haven’t written one in a while. What do you say? Will employers read your CV or delete it as soon as they see your career gap? Career breaks can be a great way to break through the door and get an interview – if you know how to write about them. So, if you’re struggling on how to describe a career break on your CV, here’s our tips and examples on how to tackle them.

List Your Activities During Your Career Break.

The first way on how to describe a career break on your CV is to write down what you achieved/done during your time off. For example, did you do any volunteering? Did you complete any courses? Did you manage any events? Did you provide any tutoring? Write down in a list all the activities that you did during your time off because employers want to see how active you’ve been.

A lot of the clients we work with don’t mention their activities because they feel it doesn’t provide any value to an employer. However, if you don’t mention your activity, then you may end up missing out on some great job opportunities.

Once you’ve completed your list, now it’s time to convert into readable content on your CV.

Describe a Career Break on Your CV

When you’re describing a career break, the key thing to remember is to showcase your activity during your time off. Showcasing doesn’t mean embellishing etc, but you need describe this section in a positive and constructive way. Here’s an example (written in 1st and 3rd person):

1st Person

Whilst on maternity leave, I undertook the opportunity to study SQL data administration with ABC College as I was keen to develop my IT skills within this area. Upon completing the course, I volunteered as an SQL Administrator at a local charity and provided expertise in: (a, y, z). This enabled me to cement my skills and experience within SQL.

3rd Person

Whilst on maternity leave, Louisa undertook the opportunity to study SQL data administration in order to further continue her skills within data administration. Upon completing the course at ABC College, Louisa volunteered for a local charity to provide SQL data administration. Duties included: (x, y, z).

It’s also important to reiterate any career break activity within a Personal Statement or Cover Letter as it will confirm to an employer that you are ready and keen to get back to work.

Keep Being Active!

Whilst your job hunting for your next opportunity, it’s important to keep being active and focused. The more active you are, the more chance an employer is going to want to interview you. Sure, there is competition but who’s to say they are better than you? You have just as much chance of getting a job than they do so it’s important to keep going and focused so that you will eventually achieve the job you want.

Finally, Prepare for the Interview

When you’re starting to receive calls for an interview, you will inevitably be asked about your career history-including your career gap. It’s important to prepare, prepare, prepare! How are you going to tackle the “career gap” question in a positive light? Preparing the answer will really make the difference, so that you’re not caught off guard.

Don’t be afraid to be honest. Recruiters are really good at sifting through the weeds and cracks so it’s important to be honest when describing all aspects of your cv.

Published: March 3, 2020

Hi, I'm Louisa

Thanks for reading my article

The biggest thing I’ve learnt from having a career and being a mum is the ability to be strong enough to say, “this is the life I want” and not feel guilty for saying it. I know, it’s easier said than done right? But, I’ve been able to do this by organising my career in a way that doesn’t inflict on family life.

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