November 27, 2023
As we navigate our careers, unique challenges can arise. One such challenge is the role of caregiving, a responsibility that can significantly impact a person’s career trajectory and create resume gap.
Lauren Lewis, one of our HR and recruitment experts, says “the past three years have brought about unprecedented changes in the workplace, with hybrid schedules, mass layoffs and shifts in priorities due to the demands of caregiving.”
Prioritizing caregiving can often feel like the only option available. But it can leave professionals wondering how to address employment gaps on their resumes. Here are a few strategies to bridge resume gaps due to caregiving and re-enter the workforce with confidence.
Recognize your development
It is critical to recognize the value of caregiving as a legitimate and important role. “The world has adjusted to empathize with the challenges individuals faced, be it mass layoffs or the need to step back for childcare responsibilities during E-learning days,” says Lauren, “the skills acquired during caregiving, including communication, time management, problem-solving and resilience, are transferable and highly relevant in the professional world.”
Be transparent and strategic
So, your resume has gaps due to caregiving. Turn it into an advantage by presenting that information in a way that is transparent and strategic. Begin by acknowledging the caregiving period in your resume, providing a concise explanation for the gap.
Focus on the skills and experiences gained during this time, emphasizing their applicability to the role you are applying for. Wherever possible, quantify achievements to showcase your continued professional growth.
When you sit for interviews, be prepared to discuss the employment gap openly and confidently. Emphasize the skills gained during caregiving and how they align with the requirements of the position. Employers appreciate honesty, and framing the experience in a positive light can set you apart as a candidate who embraces challenges and turns them into opportunities for growth.
Think outside the box
If you are in a period of caregiving, consider alternate ways to build experience such as volunteer work or freelance projects. This can keep your skills sharp and demonstrates a commitment to staying active in your field and maintaining a professional mindset. Be sure to include these experiences on your resume, and ALWAYS keep a focus on their relevance to the target job.
Another way to fill out resume gaps is through your professional network. Try to attend industry events, participate in online forums and engage with colleagues on LinkedIn. This can help you stay up to date on industry trends and build your professional presence as you focus on caregiving.
Life sometimes requires a step back from pursuing career advancement. But this certainly does not disqualify you from jumping back in when you are ready. Whether for caregiving or any other reason, embrace opportunities to remain active and enhance your skills during your time away. It will set you up for success as you re-enter the workforce with confidence.