There are a number of ways that you can address a long gap in your work history and the reasons for the gap. Your strategy will depend on your previous experience and your target job.

If you are applying to a company that uses computer scanning, such as an applicant tracking system, your dates of employment will appear in the resultant report. UK employers want to see months and years in your work history, so you may not want to leave out the months or indeed the whole date.

However, if you have the skills and experience required, you could still be in the running for an interview because of your keywords and the total amount of relevant experience, even if you gained it years ago.

If your target company uses staff members to screen the CVs, you could impress the reader with your skills and experience before they notice your employment dates. Explain the gap in a cover letter and profile statement.

Try to explain the gap in the most positive, honest, and dignified way possible. Emphasise that you are ready, willing, and able to re-enter the workforce or at least, to handle the target job.

The reader of your CV could easily assume the worst possible reason for your gap. They could be suspicious that you are hiding something that would affect your ability to do the job or integrate into the organisation’s culture.

People take breaks from employment for all types of reasons. The reasons could be illness or burnout, education, childcare, parent care, travel, redundancy and lack of employment opportunities, moving because of spouse’s job, or prison time.

You may be able to fill the gap partially with a course or workshop or other activity that you did during your recovery. Also, include education or training information in the appropriate section.

EDUCATION BREAK: Certificate in Something, Training Institute, London <insert either a comma or tab to the right> 03/2012-06/2012

Whether your gap is short or long, prepare a strategy for your CV and interview.

There is no shame in periods of employment, so keep positive and remember why you are the best person for your target job!