How to Handle a Career Gap in Three Ways?

how to handle employment gaps on resume

A recent survey had been passed over by LinkedIn to critically understand these major impulsion toward a career gap and the two key takeaways are:

  • Two-thirds (around 62%) of the employees they surveyed, 23,000 in total, did take a break at some point in their career journey when needed.
  • Of which 35% are most women who have been taking/would like to take a career break in the present/future.

Here comes the good part.

Another LinkedIn stat lets out, “While half (50%) of hiring managers globally say that career breaks are becoming more common, and almost 60% of people believe there is still a stigma attached to career breaks.”

Whereas as per the value these breaks are providing, 52% of employers say they are better at their job after having a career break. The remaining 51%, most of which are hiring managers, are believed to be open to switching on and off their careers at any time.

The moral behind leafing through these career gap stories is to make you aware that the scope of taking a career gap is more flexible than ever before, only it stands out for the condition of creating a sustainable valuable approach throughout those years.

Well, the situation cannot favor every dropout out there, what to do then? Is it better to give up and join a sales/BPO job, which you never love to have at all? This is not my kind of advice as you know unless the situation is too harsh to handle. Other than that, you are fine to trust me on this journey.

Want to learn about my three ways to handle the career gap? Read on.

My Three Ways to Handle the Career Gap

One.

Don’t Spill the Whole Bean

Having revolved around the Global HR functions, I coupled down factors while interviewing such candidates.

First, the majority of them willing to restart their career were in the realm of a fixed mindset, I examined. When I say this, I don’t want to imply that they shouldn’t have talked about their background details and details that cut off their chances. Instead, it means to handpick the best of your best data and stick to that while conversing with the recruiter.

Second, no recruiter, especially entry-level HRs with extra duties, wants a whole explanation out of your claims. Making a proper to-the-point approach is the new way to explain your career pause, understand this.

Here’s what you can avoid, given below are the following pointers:

  • Avoid all-negative talks
  • Choose a better reply to their question rather than saying “I don’t know”
  • Stop complaining about the past issues/experiences you had.

Camouflaging some truth under safe lies in combination is how you must secure your seat. Yes, some will understand your value-driven gap given that their experience and culture say so, but you can’t expect the same from all other HRs. See them as different individuals.

There is ongoing inflation, so you need to lie a bit regarding the last job’s cultural issues, financial stresses, or any other way out that moves a genuine reaction on their plate to make them serve their offer to you, finally. Remember you can’t be Yudhisthir every time, sometimes you need to play like Chanakya.

However, I must say I would never encourage you to remake your reality completely, only if you don’t want to put your career at high risk.

Two.

LinkedIn’s New Feature is Here

manage Career Gap

According to the World Economic Forum reports, it is found that 43% of the total 300 companies (surveyed) expect to deduct their workforces with new technology and a competitive remote working structure.

Since then LinkedIn started finding clues to deal with such career gaps more effectively. An initiative for job seekers with gaps, rebuilding the company’s ethic to launch certain career break programs, just like Infosys’s ‘Returnship’ course is based on the same cause. Halfway job-hunting purpose gets covered through LinkedIn’s special unbiased arrangement on erasing the biased gaps as an integral part of it.

As of March 2022, a new transformation then arose when LinkedIn brought the ‘career break’ free listing setting in their features for better optimization. It seems they are trying their best to move away from the norm of how normal gaps were used to be taken care of. Under this latest feature, you can easily customize whatever settings you want regarding your reasons from full-time parenting, layoffs, and bereavement, to certain academic choices.

Their concern behind the motive of doing so is defined in their over 30 words, let me put it out here–

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen these work pauses increase even more as the pandemic upended the traditional workplace. Many people were forced to leave their jobs; others chose to take a career break to better manage life outside of work.”- LinkedIn

All these made the recruiter’s task of being easily aware of the difference between–

Current work experience vs Valid career breaks,

Life experience vs Prospective skills,

and

Talent vs Value.

See how LinkedIn humanizes those concepts in an openly constructive manner.

That’s the power!

Three.

Learn to be Adaptable, Not to be Adjustable

The asset of any organization.

If you’ve asked about one such golden quality that every HR cannot avoid by any means, is your art of learning and part of being adaptable through it. It’s simple yet made complicated as we are constantly bombarded with negative trends with no meaning nowadays.

There are some colleagues of mine whom I have seen go through rigorous success after two to three years of break and there are another bunch of youngsters like them who didn’t in their desired field despite knowing the fact that they took just one year gap. But then I understood, it’s called the adaptability issue.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If asked in brief, what are your tips to justify this gap?

A: Look, there’s no standardized pathway around here to do this and that ‘exactly’ as per what I say. But I would love to share what I know, which is—

  • Oversharing things of no more importance is a waste of time.
  • Give more attention to creating your cover letter and portfolio
  • Express your value boldly and have a move-on character
  • Mention the duration, e.g., a 2-year gap stretches an interval between 1 year 9 months and 2 years 3 months.

Q: How much is there a chance to get a job after a 2-3 years gap?

A:  There is a huge amount to explain about the positive and negative aspects it carries. Let me start with the negative first—while I was surfing through various studies on it, I found one such study interesting and very close to me. Here I share: A career-centric platform ResumeGo noted three key conclusions derived from recruitment process records and callback rates in general.

Career Gap
Source: ResumeGo
  • Applicants with even 3 years gap and above who had clarified their reason on their pitch got ~60% better response from interviewees than applicants who didn’t bother.
  • Among which, 11.3% got hired as a fresher with no career gaps, rather than applicants with a two-year career gap, which was raised to only 9.8% approximately.
  • Whereas the applicants with a 0-2 years gap experienced a slight, the number went up to rates at which technology is evolving.

The reason?

Maybe there is a need for a high-strict skilled team, maybe they don’t want to take a chance on those dropouts because of their company insecurity, or maybe the reason provided by those candidates itself was not legitimate enough. But many like you will get over it as it is not made an issue out of it anymore till you keep believing in yourself and doing what you do.

Now that’s more important than any survey.

Note that: If you are from a technical background, the scenario is always different than if you are from a creative or any commercial background. Well in this I would recommend you to go through some eye-opening opinions of people who had gone through it already or just directly talk to them via LinkedIn.

Click here to read about insightful opinions of people with high regard for career gaps only on Quora.

To Conclude…

Did you know about 40 million quit their jobs for mental well-being or quality of life, called the Great Resignation of 2021? Still more numbers to count on. What I try to mean through this is that handling career gaps or any gap is no more serious concern as long as you opt for learning a new skill, following your passion or raising other personal/professional interests. It is a different story now, but the competitions have grown smarter, mind that and take your decision.

Wisely.

Also Read: Tips to Make Your LinkedIn Profile 2X Noticeable

Signing off!

Till then take care and have a great week ahead.

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