What is the best way to show a maternity break on one’s CV?

Dear Ranjani,

I’m just emerging from a maternity break and starting to look for projects again but don’t want to scare people off with an unexplained yearlong gap in the CV. I’d really appreciate any suggestions you may have.

Thank you!


Hey Lara,

Thanks for writing in.

A younger me would have said “Put it boldly on your CV. Say 2012-2014: Personal sabbatical” or some such.

But in the last few years, I’m wondering if we focus more on what’s not there than what is. For instance, if you have 10 years of experience with a gap of two years in between, why worry about explaining the two years instead of on highlighting the meaningful / valuable 10 years.

So, today, my suggestion would be, ignore it. Mention the dates for each job role clearly so that you’re not hiding or obfuscating your break. But unless specifically asked, there is no reason to volunteer information about your maternity break.

An organisation that looks down upon career breaks in 2020 is probably not the place you want to work in, anyway.