If you’re in a position where you’re fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take parental or extended leave after welcoming a new child into your life, what a gift that is.
I wish I could say that all parents and caregivers have this moment to adjust to their new family dynamics; however, that just isn’t the case…yet.
A question that frequently concerns parents is, “How do I explain my resume gap after parental leave?”
Well, to start, on March 1st, 2022 LinkedIn introduced 13 new fields in the user profile to address employment gaps with options like “parental leave,” “family care,” and “sabbatical.” It’s great to see organizations like LinkedIn acknowledge these life moments.
And while we have an option to address the parental leave on LinkedIn, you may still be wondering what the best way to approach this is in an interview or on your resume?
My advice is there’s nothing to hide.
Having a parent or caregiver on the team brings a whole new understanding and empathy. Agility, time and project management, prioritization, developed communication skills, and did I forget to mention snack connoisseur? I digress, but in all seriousness, the skills you grow as a parent are noteworthy.
So when you walk into your interview thinking, ‘I don’t have anything relevant to share, or I can’t think of a recent example,’…trust me, you have plenty.
Take note: Make sure when you’re sharing all of these amazing skills you’ve honed that you tie it back and make a connection to the job you’ve applied for.
To support you in considering what you may want to share about or add to your resume, ask yourself the following questions:
- What have you learned about yourself personally and professionally while on leave?
- Consider the way you work, what you value, what you don’t.
- What new skill did you surprisingly learn during your time away?
- Did you take any courses, online or in-person?
- Did you make time to stay up to date with your industry? Think reading or podcasts or writing.
- Did you volunteer your time?
The reality is that the world keeps moving, and industries change (especially within an 18-month timeframe), but you’ve also grown and changed. Don’t sell yourself short!
And one last but significant note. This one is for the interviewers…
Let’s not hold candidates less than when their recent example/s of leadership and prioritization are shared from the lens of their personal life. #transferableskills
If it’s been away since your last interview, check out these two helpful articles, How Do I Prep for a Job Interview and How do I answer interview questions in a clear, concise way?