- The labor shortage means gaps in resumes aren’t seen as negatively by employers as they were, a career strategist says.
- Employers will however want you to be honest about the reasons for the gaps, she said.
- Another expert said adding relevant skills to your resume could help mitigate employment gaps.
Employment gaps in resumes are no longer the pariah they once were, a career strategist believes – and that’s good news for anyone seeking to return to work after time away.
“The advent of the Great Resignation has changed the outlook on gaps,” Stacie Haller, of ResumeBuilder.com, said in an interview with Insider.
There was once a stigma among recruiters that associated long-term absence with a person being work-shy. Now, the labor shortage means employers need to cast their net wider if they want to hire workers.
For those seeking to return to work, employment gaps can be honestly explained inside any job application, Haller said.
Gaps should generally be explained in your cover letter – but if a gap is because of a layoff, that should be in your resume, Haller advises.
If you’ve decided yourself to take time off, explain what precipitated the decision, what you were looking to accomplish, and importantly, how you’re readying yourself to jump back into a full-time career, Haller said.
“Hiring managers are looking for understandable reasons for any gaps and at how the candidate is engaged moving forward,” she said.
Adding skills could mitigate career gaps
Adding skills to your resume can be a good way of mitigating employment gaps, Nikita Gupta, the founder of FAANGPath, which provides career guidance to applicants who want to land roles at a top tech companies, told Insider.
Taking online courses, volunteering, and stints of work experience are traditional ways to do that, but you can also demonstrate skills through your own hobbies and personal projects, Gupta said.
If a skill is related to the role you’re seeking, it can demonstrate your willingness to learn and sharpen your skills, Gupta said.
However, adding skills just for the sake of it “doesn’t make sense,” Haller warned. “It can come across as busy work, and hiring managers will see through that.”
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them at all – just make sure that they’re relevant to the role before including them on an application, she advised.
With any job application it’s always important to tailor your resume and cover letter to each specific role, even if it takes time. It’s also important to avoid “panic-applying” – applying to as many jobs as you can in the hope one will stick.
Being able to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role, and that you’ve researched the company you’re applying to, will further impress a hiring manager, Haller said.