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The Big Q: I took a lot of time off for sickness. How do I explain that when looking for a new job?

Posted on 18/07/2019
by Client Server


Q: I was working as a developer when I was diagnoised with a serious illness. I took about 9-10 months off for treatment. The company welcomed me back and I've continued working there for three years. 

I'm now looking for my next challenge. My CV states I worked 3 years at Company X, but in reality I worked 3 years minus 9 months. I’m uncomfortable with this inaccuracy, but I don't want to disclose details about my illness. 

What is a good strategy for the future that minimises the inaccuracy but avoids disclosure of my illness?

A: Nobody is expecting you to deduct leave from your CV.

You don't need to feel uncomfortable about stating that you worked at your current job for N years. Your sick leave happened within your employment.

If you had taken annual leave, maternity leave, caregivers leave, whatever leave, it doesn't change when you started employment and when you ended employment with that company. 

It's not a lie to to say the period you were employed was N years.

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