Gaps in resumes are extremely common.
How bad the gap is perceived depends on how you explain it. For example, if it is evident in your resume that you spent six months out of the workplace taking a class to improve your qualifications, or if you spent a year volunteering in a third world country, or exploring our amazing planet, then a gap in your resume isn’t bad at all, and you should make sure you include the things you learned during this period!
If you have taken a break due to physical or mental health reasons that you don’t want to discuss with a potential employer, you can just list this as a sabbatical.
We advise that you include maternity leave in the dates you were working for the company in which you took the break. For example, if you worked as a Business Development Manager for Company X from July 2010 – July 2013 and then took 12 months of maternity leave (to July 2014), you can list that time on your resume as July 2010 – July 2014. It is no one’s business if you have children, and as this can go against you, so you do not legally have to disclose it.
If the reason behind the gap in your resume isn’t clear, make sure that explain this period of unemployment in your cover letter. For instance, if you were made redundant, explain that your company restructured or the COVID-19 created mass layoffs. If you took time off to be a stay-at-home parent (and are comfortable disclosing this), be open and honest about it.
If you don’t explain it clearly in your resume and get through to an interview, be prepared to discuss all gaps as openly and honestly as possible.