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A new way to address employment gaps in your resume

Having unexplained periods between jobs in your work history has often been considered to be a red flag by many employers. Of course, COVID-19 is changing that, as many people have had their workplaces or even whole industries shut down by the pandemic.

The professional networking social media platform LinkedIn has come up with a new list of official job titles for people who are furloughed or taking a break from their work.

The pandemic restrictions have been particularly hard on working women. The industries that were most impacted tend to be those where more women work, plus with the closing of schools, more women tended to stay home to provide childcare. A recent report from RBC indicates that over 200,000 women in Canada are currently facing long periods of unemployment.

In order to make creating a professional profile easier for mothers, and all parents, LinkedIn introduced new job titles to their platform, including “stay-at-home mom,” “stay-at-home dad” and “stay-at-home parent” to allow full-time parents and caretakers to more accurately display their roles while they are at home.

The social media site also announced that they are introducing a new field specifically for employment gap types to the profile like “parental leave,” “family care,” or “sabbatical,” so that people can address any gaps in their career progression.

If these new titles and fields in a professional profile become standard, they can be used in a resume as well. Use titles such as ‘caregiver’ and ‘stay-at-home’ parent to address a period of time when you were off work, and then focus your resume on your key selling points for the job you want.

A gap in work history becomes more of a red flag for employers if it is unexplained. A mysterious absence from the workforce can raise questions. However, some time spent looking after your family or taking a sabbatical is perfectly reasonable and does not reflect negatively on your professionalism.

Perhaps due to current COVID trends, LinkedIn reports that stigma of employment gaps is already starting to fade. While 72 per cent of job seekers believe there is a stigma associated with having a career gap, the majority of hiring managers (79 per cent) say that they would hire a candidate with a career gap on their resume.

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