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Career Advice – How to Explain Gaps in Your Employment

Unemployment, it happens to us all, for one reason or another. The prospect of declaring periods of unemployment may seem daunting, and a deterrent in finding work, but it really isn’t anything to worry about! Actually, a little confidence and honesty about your situation can go a long way with potential employers.

Here at JS Recruitment, we’re ready to equip you will all the tools you need to make the most of your interview, engage in open discussion about employment gaps and secure the job that’s going to kick start your dream career.

Sound helpful to you? Keep on reading…


1) Be diplomatic when explaining your current employment status

It’s important a current employer understands your reason for being unemployed, but it isn’t an invitation to talk subjectively about your last role!

Focus on what you learnt in your last role, what you’ve learnt whilst having time off and what you want to learn in your future career.


2) Always be truthful about career gaps

Glossing over career gaps may seem like the best way to keep probing and unwanted questions at bay, but you’re not fooling anyone! Be truthful with an employer; you’ll probably be surprised at how much they value your honesty. Explain how the reason behind leaving your last job has motivated your career goals and expectations in your next role, this demonstrates that you’re taking your career seriously and helps the employer see how well suited you are to the role.

Remember: unemployment is not unheard of; it’s quite the opposite! Be kind to yourself and use the time to find jobs suited to your skills and personality.


 3) Explain how time away from work has benefited you

  • Have you found a new hobby?
  • Have you learnt any new skills that could be transferred into another role?
  • Have you been proactive in looking for a new role?
  • Have you added these newfound interests and skills to your CV?
  • Did you go travelling during this time?


These are all questions you should be asking yourself when moving forward in your career. If you did travel during unemployment, emphasise what cultural exchanges you experienced, the opportunity it gave you to broaden your horizons and experience a different way of life. This shows your adaptability when joining a new team environment. If you can demonstrate this level of self-reflection to a perspective employer, this will show good initiative, readiness to learn and professionalism.


Opening up to employers about unemployment may seem like a scary process, but it doesn’t need to be, it can be a really positive and encouraging experience and if anything, a relief to be honest! It puts all your cards on the table, employers have a better insight into your career goals and nothing needs to be kept secret. Just remember to tell your referees about career gaps too!

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