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Tips for Managing Gaps in Your Resume Due to Mental Illness

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Getting your resume right is imperative if you are looking to start or further your career. Unfortunately, many of us find that we really struggle with resume writing, and it can be even more challenging if you are also living with a mental health disorder.

Indeed, the challenges of mental illness can make writing a resume seem an almost impossible feat.  However, there are many different ways to manage gaps in your employment history due to mental health, and we are here to help you improve your resume. We understand the difficulties this task can pose, and we’re here to help you make your resume truly exceptional, so you stand out from the crowd of other job applicants.

Why Resume Writing is Hard

Resume writing is hard. Except for a select few individuals who possess the rare knack for writing these documents, creating a relevant, interesting, informative, and useful resume for potential employers can seem like an impossible challenge. But why is it that so many of us struggle with writing this seemingly simple document? To effectively manage gaps in your resume, you first need to understand why this is such a challenge.

The most common reason people struggle with writing their resume is the immense pressure this task places on us. Your resume is a highly important document in your career progression. Without a good resume, you’ll struggle to achieve your goals and dreams. Naturally, anything that comes with so much pressure attached to it will cause distress.

Another reason people struggle with writing their resume is that there is simply too much to say. Having too much to include in a resume might seem like a good thing, but really, it’s not. It can make the act of getting everything you want to say difficult. The opposite is true for those who are new to the workplace. How can you truly sell yourself if you are only just entering the world of work?

All of these and more are reasons to struggle with writing your resume. It’s easy to see how mental illness can complicate the picture when there are large gaps in your employment. After all, the world is full of hard-working individuals. Standing out can be hard in the best of circumstances.

How to Manage Gaps in your Resume

So, you’ve recently struggled with mental health, and are now looking to get back to the world of work. Or perhaps you are looking for a way to get involved in your local community by getting a job closer to where you live.

Struggling with mental health can leave gaps in your resume that might be concerning to a potential employer. This can make it hard for you to complete your resume in the way you would like. You’re not alone in this, either. In many cities, large numbers of people struggle with depression or other disorders due to the stressful nature of our busy modern lives. But don’t panic – we have a few tips for how you can manage the gaps in your resume caused by mental health conditions.

Gaps Aren’t Always Bad!

So, you’re worried about the gaps in your resume and the impact that these gaps will have on how you appear to your potential new employer? It’s not strange at all to be worried about this sort of thing, but don’t spend too much time fretting over them. For a start, many employers are not going to worry about time you took off years ago. Furthermore, you can even turn the gaps to your advantage by using them to demonstrate responsibility and professionalism. The fact that you took time off to work on your mental health can show you in a good light with employers, as this is evidence of your responsibility. It’s far better to have employees who will take time off if they are not up to the task than employees who fight to come to work every day and put themselves, their colleagues, or the business’s customers at risk.

Focus on Other Achievements

So, there are a few gaps in your resume. That’s not the end of the world either way! Instead of worrying about gaps in your resume, focus on highlighting the achievements that you have made. This will help your potential new employer see how you could contribute to the team.

Don’t Hide

When it comes to writing a resume, there is no point in trying to hide the gaps. Your potential new employer will see them and may want to ask questions about why you took time off. If this happens to you, don’t panic and don’t try to hide the truth. Being honest with your potential new employer will show you in a good light. Of course, don’t feel that you have to go into full detail with your new employer.  Taking time off at work was your choice for personal reasons, but try to have a response ready in case of questions.


Battling mental illness is a difficult task, especially when you’re trying to get your life back on track. With these tips, you’ll be more able to focus and create the perfect resume that fully represents you and your growth as an individual. Your potential employer will be impressed with your tenacity and grit, giving you a higher chance of landing that next job.


About the Author: Alex C. Porter is a career expert and a genius in helping people curate their CVs (resumes). When people ask, “What is a CV writer?” Alex is the best example. He has assisted multiple people in curating the CV that best represents them and who they are as a person.

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios only.

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