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How to address a career gap on your CV

  • December 12, 2018

Returning back to work after maternity leave, a period illness, study leave (or if you had some time away for another reason) can seem rather daunting, but it is important to remember that you are not the first doctor to experience this and the GMC and NHS hospitals recognise that sometimes a break in practise is necessary.

In this post, we give you our top tips on how to successfully find a post after a career gap and some advice when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Tip 1 – Remain honest

It is important to ensure that you state the exact dates of your career gap and within this section, you should state what you did with your time.

Tip 2 – Stay up to date

Whilst you are taking a break, try and stay up to date with medical news and developments – both generally and developments within your speciality. Speaking of recent medical developments and news with prospective employers will demonstrate that you have a passion for your speciality and you will be able to quickly adapt once you take up employment again.

Tip 2 – Make use of your career break

Although you have decided to take a break from practising, you can use this opportunity to maintain your skills and develop new ones. This could include volunteering work or a training course – experiences that will enhance your CV.

Tip 3 – Preparation

When you are invited to your first NHS interview, it is important that you take the time to prepare. It is very likely that the interview panel will enquire about your career gap, especially if the gap was more recent. Therefore, it is vital that you prepare your answer to ensure that your break comes across in a positive way and it will not impact your ability to practise safely as a doctor.

When you feel overwhelmed about the gap impacting your invitations to interviews, you should try:

  • To obtain an NHS Clinical Attachment for a couple of weeks to adapt and obtain exposure to the UK system
  • Talk to other doctors who have been in this position
  • Remember you are a qualified doctor and all your accomplishments to date
  • Go on a course to update your skills
  • When you start, ask for a mentor and an educational supervisor, who can help you organise a Personal Development Plan

Get in touch with us

If you are an IMG who would like advice on the above article or you are interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS – we can help you. Please email your CV to [email protected] and the relevant Specialist will be in touch with you.

Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! By joining, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs.


Health Careers. (2018). Returning to medicine. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018].

Career Advice. (2018). How to address a career break on your CV | CV-Library. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018].


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