How do I explain a two-year-gap in employment?

Friday August 30 2019

Alice Nankya L. Nsibuka

Alice Nankya L. Nsibuka  

By Alice Nankya L. Nsibuka

I lost my job two years ago after the company downsized. I still haven’t found any job in my line of work. I believe I am still competent but how do I explain a two year gap on my curriculum vitae to an interview panel? Lydia

The thought of discussing how you came to be unemployed, especially if you were let go can be intimidating, nonetheless it is important to explain the situation clearly but briefly.

Employers may not need a ton of personal details, just core facts may be sufficient. Even if you feel awkward about the whole situation, shedding light on it will be better than simply leaving it to an employer’s imagination.

The most important thing to appreciate about employment gaps is that you are not alone, majority of people have been unemployed at some point in their working lives.
If you have made it into the interview, there’s obviously something the recruiter liked on your resume. Be honest and upfront while explaining the gap, lying about it can be grounds for dismissal if you manage to get the job.

It is also critical to explain how you utilised the employment gap or how it led to a career change decision and probably a realization of what you’re really passionate about.

Try to identify a few benefits you gained and demonstrate how they apply to the job at hand. Taking time off is not something to be ashamed of, present your skills with a straight forward resume format.
Companies prefer hiring candidates with a proven track record of accomplishments, if you can effectively convey this employers will be less concerned about your stretch of unemployment.


Alice Nankya L. Nsibuka
HR business partner
NMG - Uganda