Avoid a CV gap by addressing your garden leave

Q: How should I include "gardening leave" on my CV?

I resigned from my previous company at the end of May 2018 and had a 6-month gardening leave period until November 2018. Thus, I was paid until the end of November and my employment pass was terminated at the end of November 2018. My question is, how should I put the last month of working at the previous company on my CV? Is it November? Even though I didn't work from June to November? Or is it May?


For those who are unfamiliar with the term, garden, or gardening, leave is typically requested by an employer when a senior member of the organisation resigns or is terminated. During the executive's notice period, the employer may ask the individual not to work in the office, at home, or elsewhere. The idea is to restrict this senior employee's access to the organisation's sensitive information, its clients, and its other employees for a certain amount of time. However, the person on garden leave must be on standby during that time period, should the current employer require his or her services.  

If you were put on gardening leave, I suggest using the end date of your garden leave for your CV, rather than the last day that you physically worked in the office. Even if you were at home for the past several months, you were contractually bound to your employer and still on their payroll. There's no reason to document an employment gap on your CV – something that often raises a red flag with recruiters and employers – in order to account for your garden leave. The same dates can also be used if you are required to complete a job application for a prospective employer during the candidate vetting process.

Alternatively, you may choose to use only the year, rather than the month and year, for your CV's employment dates. If the topic is brought up during a job interview, you will need to address the matter honestly with your interviewer. However, there's no reason to draw attention to your garden leave if your prospective employer isn't questioning your time between jobs.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on Campaign.

Amanda Augustine is a certified professional career coach (CPCC) and resume writer (CPRW) and the resident career expert for Talent Inc.'s suite of brands: TopResume, TopCV and TopInterview. On a regular basis, she answers user questions like the one above. Have a question? Take a look at our career advice or ask a question on her Quora page.

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