I live in the UK and recently received a job offer, which was conditional on passing a background check. As part of this, they requested my employment/education history for the past few years, however as I am young and have only been at my current job, which was my first out of university, the period they requested includes the time between when I finished university and when I begun work.

However as this was two years ago, any email correspondence between myself and job postings has long since been deleted, and I have changed phones since then so I do not have records of calls between myself and prospective employers. I cannot think of anything I can provide to prove I was searching for work in the months between leaving university and beginning work, so I did not provide any proof to the background check.

Is the background check likely to come back to me to supply additional evidence, and if so, how can I prove I was indeed searching for work in these months?

  • Have they asked for proof of your job search, or are you simply assuming they would want it?
    – David K
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 12:08
  • The web form I was filling out requested proof for the period I designated as "Looking for work".
    – adickinson
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 13:17
  • 1
    How long was the gap and is this for a real security clearance? Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 22:03

3 Answers 3


You may be overthinking this a little. If they can verify your degree, employer and relevant dates, they are unlikely to demand documentation of your correspondence with other prospective employers. Many people only start actively looking for a job after graduation and a few months of unemployment is quite normal.

The background check is meant to uncover weird things such as a 37-month gap between graduation and your first job, or an unexplained 18-month gap between two jobs, where you were fired from the prior job. (What happened, did you go to prison?)

  • So a gap of 3-4 months should be fine? I'm trying not to worry but yeah, the service asked for proof of this even though the drop down box option was "Looking for employment" and I don't know whether they expect this or if it's just bad web design.
    – adickinson
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 10:26
  • I'm sorry to say that we cannot be sure either. The BG check service should be able to clarify this. If they do require additional proof, you may consider providing the names and/or addresses of companies you interviewed with. As it is only two years ago you may be able to reconstruct that from memory, with the help of google streetview and such.
    – MvZ
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 10:32
  • I can do that, I remember 2 or 3 of the places I interviewed at, so long as they have not removed the record of my interview, but would that not just reduce the gap, rather than prove I spent the whole time looking for work?
    – adickinson
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 10:36
  • 3
    It is unreasonable for them to expect you to prove, by means of your daily itinerary, that you never took an afternoon off. Few companies keep a record of every CV they receive, or candidate they talk to. The gap is probably the least interesting thing about you. The check seeks to identify the skeletons in your closet that could make you a liability to your new employer. Suppose they find a tax record that because you were employed elsewhere at the time - or Uni won't confirm your graduation date. Then you have not been truthful in your background check, which may be reason to deny you.
    – MvZ
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 10:49
  • 3
    @adickinson You're overthinking this a lot. Employment history means just that. If you weren't employed, you weren't employed and you say "I wasn't employed." If they need more information, they'll ask for it.
    – Blrfl
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 11:10

I (also from the UK) had a similar issue when I was looking for work. I was lucky that I found a random email for a job application.

However, the company who did the background check used the date I graduated not the day that I finished attending classes/exams for my University course. In my case, I was already working when I attended my graduation which meant there wasn't a gap in the end as they overlapped.

I hope that helps

  • Unfortunately my graduation came before I started work, but thank you for your contribution, especially since I have no doubt there are some out there who might find this question in the future that have a similar position to yours.
    – adickinson
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 10:35
  • 2
    Ah that is annoying. If they are still determined to know what you are doing, I was given the option to get a sworn statement from a solicitor (I think, they might have used another term) about what I was doing in those months where my history was missing. In short, you aren't the first person to have gone through this, they have ways to help out!
    – Randomhero
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 10:41

I happened to me too. I had few weeks gaps while searching for job. I was not able to progress further with the online form. It needed me to upload evidence for that period. I was really stressing out at this point.

I always kept my email communication with recruiters and used it as evidence.

There was never an issue.

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