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A CV sample is a great starting point if you’re looking to apply for a job, or for higher education, following a gap year. Using our sample framework, you can surmise the valuable transferable skills you have acquired and contextualise them to fit the position or course you are looking for.
You also might want to look at our expert CV examples before you start. You’ll find that there are many more design and content frameworks that will help spark the writing process. These examples will give you an idea of what a personal statement looks like, how to list your qualifications, and any other skills you might have.
Ready to begin? Read closely as we delve into:
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Sample CV with a gap year
22 Pippington Place
Bristol BS1 0HG
07912 345 678
Experienced Graduate and intellectually curious person always seeking new information and driving research forward. Balances classroom, laboratory and practice time to help students develop into knowledgeable, confident professionals.
December 2022 – October 2023
Travel and Exploration
- Travelled extensively throughout South America, gaining a deeper understanding of different cultures and perspectives.
- Engaged in volunteer work, including teaching English as a second language in Paraguay and Peru.
- Developed strong interpersonal skills and adaptability through exposure to various cultures and environments.
March 2021 – November 2022
Bristol College – Bristol
- Established effective classroom routines by providing high-quality practical support to teaching staff.
- Supervised students to maintain adherence with health and safety requirements, inside and outside classroom environments.
- Helped teachers with lesson plan development, class preparation and student mentoring.
February 2020 – February 2021
Homer Fellows – Bristol
- Created presentations and important documents for staff meetings.
- Answered phone enquiries and directed phone calls to specific departments.
- Assisted with research and writing tasks for marketing and communications materials.
- Student engagement
- Student assessments
- Social development
- Maintaining safe environments
- Teaching techniques
- Mentoring students
- Team player
- Behaviour modelling
- Individual and group instruction
- Exemplary communicator
University of Bristol Bristol
Master of Arts English, Literature
Gap year CV template
Creating a CV after a gap year can be a difficult thing – especially if you’re going up against applicants who have more extensive work experience. That’s why we’ve created an extensive library of online resources, including pre-made CV templates, so you can focus on what you’re writing with the assurance that the design and structure is exactly what recruiters want to see.
CV format for a gap year
Before you add content to each section, it’s vital to think about your format. How can you create a cohesive CV that covers everything you bring to the table? Luckily, you won’t need to make a structure from scratch. We have a series of tried-and-tested CV formats that have been designed to catch the eye of employers.
There are many different styles available, but it’s best to go for a skills-based CV. CVs with a gap year will be missing some of the key work experience that employers may be looking for – so you’ll have to find a way around this! This is where a skill-based CV is perfect. This format is all about giving examples of transferable skills.
Unlike a reverse-chronological CV, where experience is listed starting with your most recent, a skills-based CV has an expanded skills section where you can dig deeper into broad skill groups like interpersonal skills or IT literacy.
What else should you keep in mind?
- Your CV should be 1-2 pages long maximum
- Use a professional font such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial
- Make it easy to read with clear headings and bullet point lists
- Ensure all of the information is tailored to the job advertisement.
- Send your CV as either a Word or PDF file unless directed otherwise
How to write a CV with a gap year
Once you’ve got your format, it’s time to delve deeper into the writing process. In the following sections, we’ll explain how to write a CV from the ground up.
We’ll give you an idea of all the details you should include, how to present them in an eye-catching way, and then answer some of the most common questions about gap year CVs:
- What contact details should I include in my gap year CV?
- Gap year CV personal statement
- Work experience on a CV with a gap year
- CV skills after a gap year
- Get education right on your gap year CV
What contact details should I include in my gap year CV?
You may not believe this, but many candidates forget to add their contact details at the top of their CV. This is a surefire way to drop your employer’s interest, as it prevents them from contacting you. You want to make sure that they can reach you, so it’s important to note your information somewhere near the header, in a large or bold font. Make sure you include:
- Full name – first name and surname
- Location – including county and postcode
- Phone number – mobiles are best
- Email address – make sure it’s professional
Example of contact section for a gap year CV
2 The Cottage, Little Village
Gap year CV personal statement
Are you looking to make a terrific first impression? Create a persuasive personal statement that sums up your most important achievements, skills, and qualifications. Hiring managers are looking for a candidate that wows them. However, it’s important to note that you won’t have a lot of words to do this in. You need to try and do this within three to four short sentences. But how can you cover everything so quickly? Check out the below formula.
Sentence one is all about introducing yourself. Explain your experience, your career focus, and give the employer a fast understanding of what you’re about. The second sentence should outline what you have achieved with real world evidence. Let’s say in your gap year you helped to restore a bombed church – this would be a great time to mention this!
Sentences three and four can explain any specialisms you have. It’s here you want to outline your special skills that will help to bolster your application.
Here are some other important factors for you to keep in mind:
- Write in the third person to sound more professional
- Keep to the word count between 50 and 100 words
- Keep the tone friendly but formal
- Use keywords and phrases from the job advert to catch the hiring manager’s eye
Example of personal statement for a gap year CV
A bright, motivated, and committed professional with plenty of transferable skills used to great effect during a gap year. These skills include leadership skills, team-building skills, independence, fund-raising, language development, and more. Ambitious to study English and French at University.
An ambitious team player with extensive real-world experience gained through a year of travel. Spent six months in Bolivia helping to build a health centre, working as part of a team of six other volunteers, and local professionals. Particular skills in communication, languages, and problem-solving.
Work experience on a CV with a gap year
While you might lack direct work experience for a CV following your gap year, it’s vital to include all relevant work experience you’ve gained over the years! It is one of the first places where an employer will look, so you’ll need to make sure that it is cohesive and informative.
How can you format this section so that it catches the employer’s eye? You’ll need to list any relevant experience and note multiple responsibilities for each. Try to tailor this section so that the responsibilities you list line up with the job advertisement or required skills for the course you’re applying for. Make sure you include:
- Your job title or type of experience
- Start and end dates
- Company or organisation name
- List of key responsibilities
- Achievements or awards
As with your personal statement, it’s a good idea to add some real-world evidence. Make sure you include facts and figures that show the reader how effective you have been. For example, if you did charity work in your gap year, include details such as “helped to build a well that will give water to the local village”. Anything like this will act as an important talking point if you get a callback. Remember that being specific will only strengthen your application.
It’s also vital that you don’t add anything that is boring or repetitive. Ensure that each responsibility you include is relevant to the job you are applying for and that it strengthens the image of you as a candidate. You should focus on important skills that are transferable.
It’s also a good idea to use plenty of positive adjectives and action verbs to engage the reader. For example, you might be “punctual”, “collaborative”, or “creative”. Action verbs are anything you can use to replace “responsible for”. Some of the best ones to use are words such as “motivated”, “advised”, or “oversaw”.
Example of work experience for a gap year CV
Charity Work – June 2021-July 2022, All-hands on deck Charity, Bolivia and Colombia
- A gap year spent working in Bolivia and Columbia. Six months spent in Bolivia helping to build a health centre, and five months spent working in Columbia helping to restore a bombed church.
- Finances for the gap year were made available through fund-raising efforts.
- Working as part of a team of six other gap year volunteers, alongside local professionals and other charity workers.
Meeting Organiser – August 2022 – present, Little Village Public Support Home, Manchester
- Regularly helped to organise point-to-point meetings at home in Little Village, which are attended by over five hundred supporters and participants.
CV skills after a gap year
When employers are short on time, they may skip right to the CV skills section of your CV. This is so that they can get a quick understanding of what you bring to the table. These keywords and phrases are going to ensure the reader that you have the transferable skills and direct experience needed for the position in question. We would suggest that you note around 12 skills in total – split between hard skills and soft skills.
For the uninitiated, hard skills are anything that you have gained through direct experience or through education. It could be “literacy”, “languages”, or “numeracy”. Soft skills, on the other hand, are anything personality-based. This means anything that paints a picture of you as a candidate. You could be “punctual”, “a great team player”, or “reliable”.
In short, you’ll need to list both to succeed. Experience is not important without a good character profile. By contrast, having a positive attitude is not a replacement for a lack of direct experience. By creating a balance of both, you will be able to show the employer that you are a well-rounded individual who excels in various settings.
Are you looking for some more ideas? Check out our lists for inspiration:
Desirable aptitudes to set you apart
- Time management
- Emotional intelligence
- Active listening
- Physically fit
Get education right on your gap year CV
Your education section will act as a strong foundation for your CV. Although it’s important no matter what you’re applying for – it’s especially vital for a CV when you’ve had a gap year. This is the time to show that your educational background is stellar and that you have the brains to back up your application. You should discuss your school, college, and university courses, as well as any professional training you have had. In short, it’s anything that could set you apart from your competition!
However, there are some things to keep in mind for this section. You want to avoid mentioning any poor grades or incomplete courses as these won’t strengthen your application. You should also avoid any qualifications that aren’t relevant to the job you are applying for. You only have limited space here, so make sure that each qualification counts!
Always list your highest qualification first and explain the result you achieved. Since your work experience is likely to be limited, you can spend a little longer on this section to make sure that it truly shines.
When outlining your education, use the following format:
- Name of school, college, university or other awarding body
- Study start and end dates
- Subject title
- Qualification level
- Qualification result
Example of education for a gap year CV
Bristol Sixth Form College
2020 – 2022
A Levels in French, Spanish and English Language
A, B, B
Bristol High School
2015 – 2020
10 GCSEs in English, Maths, Triple Science, Religious Studies, Geography, History, Food Tech, and Design.
A*, A*, A, A, A, A, B
Dos and don’ts for your gap year CV
- DO spotlight your unique skillsIt’s extremely important for you to highlight any unique skills you may have. You’ll notice that in the above examples we have painted the picture of a candidate who has language skills. This would be a great thing to mention! It not only shows that you have the dedication to learn another language, but it is also an important skill that many other candidates will not possess.
- DO tailor your CV for the companyYou need to tailor each CV that you send to the company in question. Although this may feel like a chore, it is a surefire way of putting you ahead of the competition. If you do this, each CV that you send will be written for the employer who is reading – and this will go a long way to making you appear professional, and as if you are taking the application process seriously.
- DON’T forget to add a cover letteA cover letter is one of the most important parts of any application. It is your chance to show the employer who you are with a carefully crafted piece of writing – especially after a gap year, as you will be able to justify some of your inexperience and explain how you are an effective candidate. As we mentioned above, you will need to also tailor a cover letter to the job advert in question.
- DON’T skip error checkingErrors are natural, but you don’t want them to get to the hiring manager. A good way to make yourself seem professional in your application is to ensure that it is free from errors. Proofreading can be difficult, but a good way to catch errors is to pass your CV over to a trusted friend, colleague, or family member. Two pairs of eyes are often better than one, and they may catch things that you have missed!
Your gap year CV questions answered
How to make a CV with a gap year?
To make a gap year CV, you’ll want to compile a list of all your important information. Using the CV examples and templates we have provided, you can simply work through each stage and note down all of your relevant experience. Make sure to double-check everything and ensure that it is all truthful and relevant to the job advertisement in question.
What to include in a gap year CV?
- Your contact information
- A persuasive personal statement
- Any work experience
- Your key skills
- Your qualifications
Can you get a job without much experience?
The answer to this question all depends on the type of position you are looking for. Entry-level positions are specifically for candidates who don’t have a lot of experience – so a hiring manager won’t be expecting years of work in a relevant role. However, you’ll need to define all of the relevant experience you do have. As a general rule, the more relevant things you can add to your application, the better!
What common gap year experience is good to add to a CV?
If you’ve done charity work, you should absolutely add this onto your CV. It will show that you are an active, passionate individual who has learned skills helping others. If you worked with a team, it’s also important to make note of this as this is a desirable skill for many job roles.
Add a gap year to your CV today
This CV example with a gap year is just one of numerous examples that can help you to create a CV tailored to your situation, whether you’ve taken a gap year between A Levels and University or for another reason, such as having a baby or illness. Jobseekers are recommended to try our tools and CV builder also on our website for more useful tips and tricks that could help you to land the job of your dreams. Check out more CV examples and CV templates if you are in need of more inspiration!