Gaps in your employment history need to be spoken for, otherwise an employer may assume the worst, eg that there’s something “wrong” with you that prevented you from finding a job. Avoid this scenario by explaining the gap in your cover letter or resume as appropriate.

Always remember to emphasize the positive. Avoid long-winded explanations – be concise, and honest. Be prepared to be asked about the gap in the interview.

Maternity leave

If you have had maternity leave, explain in your cover letter that you are now ready to re-enter the workforce and have made all necessary childcare arrangements so you can work full-time.

Illness / accident

Illness or accident can sometimes lead to extensive resume gaps. Emphasize the positive by noting in your cover letter that you’re fully recovered, ready and enthusiastic to re-enter the workforce.

Laid off

Sometimes it can take a while to find a new job if you’ve been laid off. Stay positive by highlighting any activities you did during the gap. For example, did you do any consulting, helping with a friend’s business, taking a course, or volunteering?

If so, treat these activities as you would any other job, listing the name of the organization, your job title, the dates and so on.

Travel

Travel for a period of time can definitely be a positive, particularly if you were travelling for study or volunteering or simply to broaden your cultural horizon. As is the case above, treat any volunteering or study activities as you would any other job.