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How to Address CV Red Flags

In this article, we will cover common CV red flags and how to address them correctly so you can create a positive first impression.
How to Address CV Red Flags

When applying for jobs, we all want to create a positive first impression and showcase our best attributes to potential employers, but what do you do if you have employment gaps in your CV or have hopped in-between jobs? In this article, we will cover common CV red flags and how to address them correctly.

Employment Gaps in your CV

A regular CVs is a long and unexplained gap of employment. Generally, you do not need to explain gaps shorter than three months or a long time ago. For anything longer, be prepared to explain the gap to avoid any negative assumptions.

If you have a gap in your CV due to COVID-19, do not worry. It is understandable as many people have faced job issues, such as redundancy or furlough. CV gaps due to the pandemic are expected. – If you need any advice or assistance, we are always here to help.

If you are in-between jobs and can dedicate some time to furthering your skills, consider taking a short online course relevant to the jobs you are applying for. When asked about your employment gaps, lead with this.

Unexpected Departures

It’s usual for recruiters or potential employers to ask why you recently left a job. When you need to address any unexpected departures, leave the negatives behind you and keep it as positive as you can.

Talk about what you learnt in the role and any relevant experiences, accomplishments or skills that have helped you to grow professionally.

If you need to talk about getting fired, keep it professional, brief and transparent. If it helps, prepare a short response beforehand.

Job Hopping

Moving from one job to another in a short period of time is usually seen as a red flag in CVs and can raise concerns over commitment or performance issues. Although it’s not great to change jobs every year or more frequently, job-hopping is not always a red flag if you are doing so to seek out new opportunities to develop and grow your skills.

If you want to downplay job-hopping on your CV, you can:

  • Make your accomplishments the focal point
  • Show how you have learnt from exposure to different leadership styles and best practices
  • Highlight any progression, increased responsibility or challenges from a new role

Make sure you focus on the positives, what you learnt and what you accomplished. If you have changed jobs frequently because of the length of the contract or you moved to another area, make sure you mention it to avoid any negative assumptions.


Red flags on your CV doesn’t mean an automatic rejection if you know how to address them correctly. When it comes to addressing gaps in employment, job-hopping or unexpected departures, be positive, honest and focus on what you can offer your potential employer.

Note from Author, Caroline Seear

I hope you have found this article useful. If you need any advice or assistance with your job search, we are specialist recruiters that are here to look after your needs and not our own. For more information, head over to our website.

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