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How do I explain a 6 month gap on my CV?

Question :

I was an accounting manager and laid off due to a merger. I have been out of work for more than half a year. I don’t know how to say this on my resume and also interviews. Should I tell the truth that I was laid-off? Or better explain it in the cover letter or wait till the interview if I have a chance?

Posted by Accountant on Sunday, 02 Jun 2013

Comments :


Posted Wednesday 28th August 2013 03:20:09 AM


I was working in a reputated IT company for 2yrs ,however took a break to make my career in Civil Services got selected at state level but couldn't make it to IAS now i am planning to return to IT. Please guide on how can i describe my this career gap in the Interviews.

Chew MY

Posted Tuesday 23rd July 2013 01:32:00 AM


There is always a grey area in between truth and lies. Discreetness is a right of each individual. It takes great skill to subtlety in an interview negotiation. However it is often a forgotten norm that an interview is a two way flow ie. not only for an employer to evaluate an employee but vice versa. When an employer focuses on probing too much on the employment gap as if in a cross examination by a lawyer on a witness rather than to discuss on the competency of an employee that can brings benefit to the future. It is best not to work for such employer since they live in the past.

Debbie Matson - Career Doctor

Posted Monday 8th July 2013 06:09:00 PM


You have a point. Some recruiters don’t spend the time to understand your point of view and may jump to conclusions. Your opportunity in an interview is to put forward your experience in a way that is clear, concise and helps the interviewer understand. If there are a series of events on your resume that you feel make it hard to tell the truth, consider trying to give a general explanation of how these events have figured in your career. For example, maybe you were interested in understanding the dynamics of privately held companies, or you were caught in the wave of mergers and acquisitions in a certain industry. You should feel confident in editorializing and explaining your experience. But I still don’t think you should lie. It will always come out badly.

Chew MY

Posted Sunday 23rd June 2013 05:21:00 AM


Sometimes telling the truth hurts. Usually recruiters will tend to have a less compassionate view for job applicants on the reason of them quitting or being retrenched. The usual perceptions are that applicants are less job loyal and opportunist, can't get along well with peers and bosses etc. Recruiters fail to see the big picture as no matter how dedicated and hardworking and employee, there are many uncontrollable factors not at the hands of employee to control. Matters such as company went under as a result of mismanagement at the top, company that is being manipulated by owners for their benefit at the expense of employees etc. There is always a problem of conflicting views of the ideal world and the reality check.

Debbie Matson - Career Doctor

Posted Friday 14th June 2013 06:07:00 PM


Dear Accountant Handling gaps in your resume is a challenge to everyone and it is a very good idea to consider how you will explain it both in writing and verbally. Don’t lie and don’t omit information. People lose jobs for many reasons and the question is why did it happen and what have you done with your time since leaving your last employer? As to why it happened, if you were made redundant in a merger, I would just say that. A good place to put that information might be in the last line of the relevant job description on your CV. Simply write, Reason for Leaving: Company merger, my position was made redundant. There is no need to discuss this in a cover letter or bring it up unless the interviewer asks. If the reason for your job loss was more complicated, you can think through ways to discuss the situation without getting into excessive detail. If a work environment was not right for you, be prepared to discuss the type of environment in which you do thrive. Try not to complain about a prior employer or place of employment. It is always better to be constructive in a discussion of why you left a previous position or why your contract was terminated. If the employer was difficult, frame your reasoning in terms of what you learned from the situation about yourself and how you will manage conflict in your next position. Regarding the six month gap, be prepared to explain the break without being defensive. Has it been six months because you have been looking and have not found the right position, or is the gap deliberate? Many people in your situation use the period after a job loss to spend a little time with a school age child, study a language, travel or pursue a hobby such as sailing. I have seen all of these examples and the real issue is the passion and motivation of the job seeker. Taking a break for a few months after a long time in a job is fine. You need to think through why you have taken the action and how to articulate it well. Ultimately you will be hired into your next job because of your skills, experience, personality and overall fit for the organization and job. Focus on your motivation, and what you bring to your next employer. Those issues are much more crucial to a perspective employer. Good luck!

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