How to Frame Career Gaps
The pandemic and lockdown invited many untoward layoffs and small organizations shutting shops. Most candidates lost their jobs, or have had other commitments, which has created a significant career gap in their resume. But job seekers do not need to worry anymore. Career Management Experts have noticed a considerable change in the mindset. Employers frame of mind towards “career gaps” on the resume has taken a different perspective. If someone takes a break from their career, it is now considered as someone stepping up for the families and communities in need. LinkedIn has even updated their profile options to elevate “stay at home parent” roles or sabbaticals for family leave. A few other ways in which candidates can treat their gaps, especially in the current COVID-19 impact, are:
Become a mentor
You can continue to show leadership skills beyond a given job title. For instance, you can sign on to be a mentor for an organization or be an advisor to a start-up. If you wish to be a mentor, find the right mentee. Network and talk to key people in your company. You can also check with your previous schools and colleges about alumni mentoring programs they may have. Becoming a mentor can add value to your experience and resume.
Keep improving your skills:
There is no end to learning. You can find ways to re-skill and up-skill yourself with online education and courses. Not having a full-time job can provide more opportunities for growth in soft skills. This includes communicating, critical thinking, meeting deadlines, being well-organized, collaborating, and the ability to analyze and innovate. Employers are now looking out for these skills more than ever because they are compatible across job titles.
Step into volunteer roles:
Volunteer roles can add expertise and knowledge to your tool kit. Use volunteering as an opportunity to try something new, perhaps a career you have always wanted to explore. Honestly, two things may happen – it could either have all the excitement you ever dreamt of, or it could be immensely boring. Either way, you’ll only know once you try. Follow your passion – when you are doing something you believe, it is much easier to learn new skills. Ultimately, in 2021 employers are much more understanding of gaps in your resume, given the circumstances. This is also an opportunity to keep learning and find what you really want to do. So don’t be afraid of the gaps in your resume, whatever you decide your next step should be, do it confidently.