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How to Explain Medical Leave on Resume

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Have you ever been surprised in a job interview with the question: “Why is there such a gap in your resume?”

The breaches can be caused by a wide variety of factors, but let’s focus on those caused by health issues such as injuries, some illnesses you’ve faced, or even professional voids caused by moments in which you’re taking care of loved ones.

According to governments’ open data, there’s an average of 15 days of hospitalization leave per employee year-wise. While the sickness absence rate has increased 6.6% in the 3rd quarter of 2021.

Hence, let’s keep in mind the unquestionable observation of Thomas Fuller: “Health is not valued until sickness comes.” Undoubtedly, this will happen to all of us at some point in life.

Most people have a hard time finding the appropriate way of describing in their resume a  medical leave, but with the right tools and strategies, addressing such matters can be less stressful.

Explaining medical leave on your resume can be challenging, but there’s more to job hunting than crafting an excellent CV. Be sure to visit our TopInterview reviews and gain insights from previous users’ experiences to stand out in your upcoming job interviews.

As it happens, a medical leave of absence on a resume might be extremely tough to handle because we need to achieve a delicate balance, so let’s learn how to deal with it and succeed despite it.

How to Put Medical Leave on a Resume?

First things first. Since an essential part of any learning process is repetition, let’s quickly go over the basics:

  • Don’t lie about your GPA on your resume (if you’d like more information about that, visit EduReviewer); nowadays, that’s not even essential, so just keep it for yourself unless the company requests it.
  • Adapt your resume for each company and, ideally, for each job position you apply for by rewriting your work experiences using words from the job description.
  • Why? Because this will make your CVs more appealing to the hiring managers, especially if you’re submitting through a platform of some sort, doing it will certainly help you score higher at the software.

It’s a quandary when you must explain an employment gap to a recruiter but still don’t want to compromise your privacy; therefore, we list a series of ways to justify it without openly mentioning there was any health issue involved:

  • In case it happens in the future:
  • Do some online courses and learn from nursing writing services reviews like the ones on our site, develop a digital project, or engage in a volunteer program. Through any of these activities, you’ll be able to develop new skills or enhance the ones you already have. If it’s possible, keep your body active and your mind busy with short tasks.
  • In case it has already happened:
  • It’s tough to recall all that you’ve been through, but it’s also true that having a lot in your cup can also mean that you’ve developed personally. What have you learned? Make a list.
  • Most likely, you’ve also changed professionally. Find ways and words to mention that in a work-relevant way. You may put these new skills in your CV or just keep them in mind for a job interview.

Mention Medical Leave on a Cover Letter

How to put that project you’ve actually developed in your resume? Drag the attention towards what you’ve accomplished by describing the abilities you’ve acquired in a list of skills (organizational, personal, or technological) and prepare to give some practical explanation of what it meant in your cover letter.

  • Resume Example:

10/2018 – 06/2020                 Independent Initiative | Software Development

  • Cover Letter Example: “It was rough to opt-out of the job position I’d before in order to take care of my elderly father full time. However, I’ve never abandoned the professional inside me; I’ve engaged in self-education activities whenever I could find some free time.

Should I Explain an Illness-Related Resume Gap?

It’s not mandatory to write down any illness-related gap unless that’s explicitly requested in the job vacancy announced. That’s why, if you did manage to do some personal development project, it would be a smart way of drawing the recruiters’ minds to something else.

At the same time, don’t forget that in a job interview, they might always intent to go deeper at any written information. Thus, you must be prepared to answer with solid information.

Can I Show a Medical Leave on My Resume?

Though it’s always up to each one’s judgment, we’d advise you to show any medical leave of absence on resume because this might be something easy to spot by the trained eyes of a recruiter.

Plus, it might add some strokes of resilience to your personality, which might be extremely valued. Especially if you can transmit a “yes, I’ve been through some medical issue, it’s already dealt with, and I’m ripe to get back to work” attitude.


How to show medical leave on resume? Here it goes:

  • Keep it simple: 05/2021 – 07/2021           Medical leave of absence
  • Find the right words to describe it in a meeting.
  • Rehearsal this part of the job interview so you can feel more confident speaking about it.

How to show medical leave on resume?

How to Explain Employment Gaps on Your Resume

Being honest and straightforward in your resume and at the job interview, the best option is always not to get worried, unconfident and cough at any slight falsehood. Whereas it’s vital to transmit with nonverbal language as well as with the words you choose that you’ve got over with.

Moreover, in case you’d rather not give any clue of that illness imbroglio, you can always say you’ve got a sabbatical.

On the other hand, if you have, at the same period of that furlough, got involved with any valuable professional activity, it would be wiser to mention a busman’s holiday instead of the two options mentioned above. Thus, if, for instance, you’ve become a notary by doing all the paperwork and taking your oath.

How to add notary to resume? It can be done by listing it with other technical skills or certifications by including the title “notary public, (state)”. You can find some other useful materials regarding this question on our website.

Or as work experience as the example below:

how to add notary to resume

Remind yourself: practice will make perfect and keep up the good spirit and good luck.

dont keep your dream job waiting


Do I have to put in the resume that I took medical leave?

You don’t need to unless it’s demanded in the vacancy’s advertisement. Therefore, it’s up to you. However, it’s recommended to add it, depending on the length of your absence.

Should you put medical leave on your resume?

Yes, in the case of a long one for which you cannot provide any other professionally relevant information for the equivalent period. This shows honesty towards the new employee, which can be a great starting point for any work situation you might encounter. If you need help with your resume writing, then check here our list of these resume writing reviews writers online and be sure that you have perfect documents.


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