Gaps In Your Employment – Aaaarghhh

by | 13.05.19

Explaining gaps in your employment can be difficult, but here are a few effective methods you can use to make it easier.

First of all to explain gaps in your employment it’s really important that you know what reasons are okay to share and which ones you should tell a white fib about or not share at all. You then need to be upfront and comfortable when giving your explanation.

Here are some tips:-

Common reasons for gaps

  • Caring for a sick family member
  • Relocating home
  • Professional training
  • A medical or health issue
  • Studying to improve qualifications
  • Travelling

Reasons that are difficult to explain

  • Starting your own business
  • Wanted a rest from work
  • Didn’t like any jobs that were offered
  • Trouble finding a new job
  • Didn’t need to work
  • Wasn’t offered any jobs

How do you explain gaps?

You need to explain the gap and reassure the employer. For instance if you have been caring for a family member reassure potential employer that you no longer need to do this and are fully available for work. If you have been travelling explain how you have developed and matured because of this experience. Turn a negative gap into a positive in the employers eyes if possible.

Be an in-demand job candidate

If you are explaining a current gap in your employment, you need to sound like you’re being selective and you are focused on making sure you obtain the right job in which you can settle long term, rather than accept the first job you have been offered

Be upfront and honest if possible

Gaps in employment do happen and the good thing is most employers realise this. If you have managed to get an interview there is obviously something they liked about your CV. So when it comes to explaining gaps in your employment it is best to be as honest and upfront as possible. If you haven’t been offered any jobs since you left your last role, a little white fib like I haven’t found the right job yet is acceptable. If you didn’t need to work because you got a large redundancy pay-out, a good thing to say is that you were in your last role for so many years, you took the opportunity to have a short break from the workplace in order to complete long the term dreams you didn’t have time for when you were working

When to fib

It is not a good idea to say you couldn’t find a job, you didn’t need to work or you needed a rest.  None of these reasons will inspire a prospective employer, a little white fib is needed in this instance.  A good idea is to make the gap your choice ie: “during this period I chose to take a break from the workplace to pursue personal interests.

When to definitely fib

If you have started your own business and it has failed this is really difficult to explain, no-one wants someone who has been unsuccessful.  In this instance it is a good idea to just say you didn’t like working on your own and prefer to be in a team environment.

You probably won’t lose out on a job if you explain gaps in your employment positively, you definitely will lose out if you look like you are trying to cover something up or you look like you were not just motivated enough to get a job and are only looking now because you have run of money or are being pushed by your parents, partner or the Job Centre.

Good job hunting