Most people use a chronological format on their CV, which lists your experience from your most recent job backwards and includes start and end dates for each job. Recruiters prefer this format and not having dates for your employment can put up red flags so it’s best to have them in there. 

With this format, you will need to put in when your last job ended but honesty is always the best policy when it comes to applying for a job. Keeping a ‘to present’ date when you haven’t been working for months, isn’t going to help you get a job any quicker.

Although you really should put the dates in, there is nothing to say that you must highlight them. Listing them on the right-hand side of your CV and using a smaller or italic font (not bold!) will make them much less noticeable to any recruiter giving your CV a once over. 

Your cover letter gives you the chance to expand on your CV so you should use it to give some context for the gap in your employment. Space on a cover letter is limited and you want the focus to be what you can offer so just a brief explanation will do. 

For example, “My most recent employer was forced to make budget cuts and I was made redundant in the restructure. However, I am now eager to bring my skills and experience to a new role.” 

If you’re making a transition into a new career, mentioning your redundancy can explain why your experiences may come from a different industry than the job you’re applying for. Just be sure to stress that you have plenty of transferrable skills.