Employers Overlook Resume Gaps as Labor Market Regains Strength

Pandemic Ushers in New Understanding

Job seekers looking to reenter the workforce do not have to worry about a year-long gap in their resume caused by the pandemic. Most employers are not penalizing applicants for taking a pause in their career, showing more sympathy for the many reasons people may not have been working over the past year and a half.

The job market is heating up right now and companies of all sizes are struggling to land talent. As a result, employers are willing to overlook significant resume gaps.

Changing Norms Surrounding Job Gaps

Discussions about mental health, childcare, and fertility have become more accepted in the hiring process since the pandemic. While everyone was stuck at home, the lines between work and personal lives blurred. It became more normalized to leave the workforce to care for a child or deal with mental health challenges.

LinkedIn (MSFT) recently added an option for users to identify themselves as stay-at-home parents, while HeyMama, a social media network for working moms, urges users to add skills which they gained through parenting to their resumes.

Not All Resume Gaps Are Created Equal

When hiring managers are comparing multiple candidates who have been out of the workforce for some time, job seekers who have used their time to gain new skills or volunteer tend to have an advantage. If an employment gap led to growth and development, discussing that in an interview or cover letter can be a good idea.

It is also helpful to maintain a consistent narrative that touches on the gap and quickly transitions into the job seekers’ skills and achievements. Unemployment stretching for a year or more has become common since the pandemic. Employers are becoming more understanding about pressures outside the office, and this trend is expected to continue. That is good news for job seekers.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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