Any advice on making a CV where you have a gap of some years due to illness? (hypo but took years to get right diagnosis)

I want to start applying for part time jobs. Does anyone have any advice or could point me to websites they found useful? How can I make a CV with a huge gap in it? One that employers don't just put straight in the bit because I've been ill!!


6 Replies

  • How long is the gap? I would say i took a sabbatical to do some studying, pursue a hobby or something like that.

    No matter what they might say or tell you, unconscious bias will come into play if you mention the true reason

    At my org, employees are allowed to take career breaks of up to 3 years, so if your gap is 3 or less years, you could use this as a reason

  • I've got a gap of about 6.5 years since I last worked.

    Some of it I looked after a family member who was very ill. After they passed away I was very run down, diagnosed as depressed but managed to start a part time Msc.

    A year or so later, after becoming truly exhausted and sleeping all the time, I finally got diagnosed as hypo. It's taken me almost 3 years to get better since diagnosed because I had to fight all the way to get taken seriously and get the right medication. During that time I've some some more of my course (almost finished it) and for the last year I've been working in a charity shop for a couple of afternoons a week.

    What do I say? I know I can work part time because I've managed to work in the charity shop but big gaps on a CV would scare any employer.

  • I don't think you would have a gap if you include it all for that time period. It's how you write it and the language you use. I would write the dates that you were a carer for your family member and what that involved. I would also say you started part time study with dates and mention working part time in the charity shop which shows your capabilities. I think it's okay to mention being ill or having a disability AS LONG as you turn the negative into a positive. If you use the right wording it can show resilience and strength of character, that you can achieve and other fantastic attributes. This link may prove of use to you

    particularly if you scroll down to describing difficulties or disabilities in a CV.

    Good luck

  • I share your pain! I lost a parent so claim that I took 'time out', also had a cycling accident and the NHS kept me waiting ages for surgery. Recovery time was needed as was a second op and physio.

    Just be careful how you dress it and be vague about dates if you can.

    Good luck with finding something.

  • Try googling 'businessballs' for a CV template that will suit you, but please don't use the one with the 'personal statement' at the top!! Most employers throw them straight in the bin!! You want a traditional one.

  • Employers take roughly 6 seconds to put your CV on the "look again" pile or the bin. Here are a couple of tips to keep you in the look again pile.

    Use good quality paper. The employer may not realise it, but the weight and feel of the paper will count.

    Only use black ink, and plain or light cream paper. Use one font throughout. It used to be that you started in the past and came up to date with the info, now it is more common to start with your latest job and work backwards. To hide a gap, use the old style and knock them for six before you get to your "gap".

    You can always say "family committments" to fill the gap. They may ask you about this at the interview, but hey, you have an interview!

    Good luck.

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