Is it OK to pretend a gap in your CV never happened?

Don’t worry about it, says our elder — employers will be more interested in what you’ve done in the years since then.

Dear EWC

Should I leave a job gap off my CV? I was working for Company A, and after two years working there (with great reviews), I left for a different role in Company B. Four months into the six-months probation in Company B, I was let go. I asked them for a reference letter, and in the letter they said I did a good job and would recommend me for future employers. My old company then contacted me, so I went back and six years later and I’m still working with them.

But now I want to look for a new job. Should I admit to this job switch or not? In my resume should I just say I worked for Company A for eight years and omit the gap? My concern is that is that when they contact my HR, they’ll for sure tell them my start/end dates with this gap and it’ll not match my resume.

Excelsior replies

These things happen. You got a good reference, and to your credit, you were asked to return to your former company. What happened at Company B could have been due to management infighting over turf, a belief that you may not have fitted into their corporate culture, or a decision by upper management to switch gears and not fund your position after all. You came out unscathed, as I see it. A prospective employer understands all this, and doesn’t look at such a small thing as consequential. What’s more, that happened six years ago, and you’ve been successfully employed in your field ever since. A future employer will want to focus on what you’ve accomplished in the eight years you’ve been working for your current employer.  

Put the gap in if you’re concerned about being checked up on, but don’t worry about it. If asked, simply say you weren’t given a reason for being let go, but got a good recommendation from Company B, and that your former employer asked you to return to work for them. Good luck! 

Letter #: 433049
Category: Career

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