Recruiters
September 4, 2020

For Recruiters: Should You Hire Someone with Gaps in Their Resume?

Looking at factors that make up quality hires, gaps in resumes might say more about the industry in question than the actual candidate.

There’s a lot more to candidates than their resumes and online professional networking profiles. There’s also the individual, who may or may not have gone through struggles just to overcome and adapt to the job market, or had to undergo personal sacrifices just to be accepted into their field of study.

Whatever the case, life often does not go according to plan, and in terms of finding a new job, having gaps in your resume might signal to a potential employer or recruiter that the candidate in question has something wrong with them—with their capabilities, or that they simply aren’t elite enough for the position or organization.  

But the assumption that having a gap (or a few) in your resume is the result of some dysfunction is not always true, for a few reasons:

  1. A gap in one's resume might mean that the candidate in question took time off to re-align their skillsets or deal with their own personal development before re-entering the job market, which counters the assumption that a dysfunctionality occurred considering that personal development is an honest and very functional part of life.
  2. Internships. Because of the sometimes abrupt ending to internships that are only 3-6 months long, candidates can’t always line up another job in the immediacy after their work is done. This is not a symptom of being unproductive or dysfunctional, but rather dealing with a job market that has never really properly integrated interns and has mostly cast them out for being less than professional. Demand shocks, like the current one due to Covid-19, and other external factors can also explain times when hiring is less feasible for everyone in the job market.
  3. Long interview processes. While some companies do a great job of onboarding employees and getting them started quickly and efficiently with a W2 signed and ready to go, other candidates have to jump through hoops just to get through an extensive interview process. While this is not the fault of the candidate nor the recruiting organization, if a candidate falls through and ends up not getting the job, the time lost on that application, or perhaps multiple, ends up leading to a gap in one's resume.

Breaking down resumes by sectoral influence

Overall, recruiters are usually insightful and understanding that candidates might take some time off to work on personal goals and re-skill before entering the job market, but the issue becomes complicated when there are multiple candidates with no gaps in their resume. How are the former supposed to compete?

In many respects, it depends on the sector or industry in question. If having a marketable attitude and being able to sell yourself is apart of the job description, then it makes less sense for potential candidates to have gaps in their resume. This would be the case for a career in Sales or Marketing. These opportunities are also more available than some other fields that have smaller budgets. Specifically for marketing or sales professions, the skill of selling oneself is associated with both the job in question but also a personality trait. Recruiters should seek to understand gaps respective to industry standards.

For other industries, like the humanities and other social sciences, having gaps in one's resume is part of the process as research opportunities might only be available on a seasonally funded basis. Recruiters need to make sure they are considering whole industry funding streams and seeking to understand employment history through systems thinking rather than just the ambition of the individual.

Using Impactio to shift the focus from Resume Gaps to Publications

Another interesting point worth mentioning is that for some fields publications hold a lot of weight and a reputation that can supplant a resume with gaps. This is the case especially for the humanities and the work of journalists, who can achieve a high level of success or recruitment just by having notable publications to use for networking purposes. For this reason, platforms like Impactio provide a perfect platform for not only establishing oneself in a new networking space, but also having impact analytics and citation metrics available for a candidate's most impressive writing.

Thus, there are many dimensions to hiring, and using a process of elimination method based on someone’s gaps in their resume might be a slightly primitive method of selection in the current job market and skills economy.

TagsRecruitersGapsResumeCandidates
Michael Robbins
Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

Related Articles

Back
RecruitersSeptember 4, 2020
For Recruiters: Should You Hire Someone with Gaps in Their Resume?
Looking at factors that make up quality hires, gaps in resumes might say more about the industry in question than the actual candidate.

There’s a lot more to candidates than their resumes and online professional networking profiles. There’s also the individual, who may or may not have gone through struggles just to overcome and adapt to the job market, or had to undergo personal sacrifices just to be accepted into their field of study.

Whatever the case, life often does not go according to plan, and in terms of finding a new job, having gaps in your resume might signal to a potential employer or recruiter that the candidate in question has something wrong with them—with their capabilities, or that they simply aren’t elite enough for the position or organization.  

But the assumption that having a gap (or a few) in your resume is the result of some dysfunction is not always true, for a few reasons:

  1. A gap in one's resume might mean that the candidate in question took time off to re-align their skillsets or deal with their own personal development before re-entering the job market, which counters the assumption that a dysfunctionality occurred considering that personal development is an honest and very functional part of life.
  2. Internships. Because of the sometimes abrupt ending to internships that are only 3-6 months long, candidates can’t always line up another job in the immediacy after their work is done. This is not a symptom of being unproductive or dysfunctional, but rather dealing with a job market that has never really properly integrated interns and has mostly cast them out for being less than professional. Demand shocks, like the current one due to Covid-19, and other external factors can also explain times when hiring is less feasible for everyone in the job market.
  3. Long interview processes. While some companies do a great job of onboarding employees and getting them started quickly and efficiently with a W2 signed and ready to go, other candidates have to jump through hoops just to get through an extensive interview process. While this is not the fault of the candidate nor the recruiting organization, if a candidate falls through and ends up not getting the job, the time lost on that application, or perhaps multiple, ends up leading to a gap in one's resume.

Breaking down resumes by sectoral influence

Overall, recruiters are usually insightful and understanding that candidates might take some time off to work on personal goals and re-skill before entering the job market, but the issue becomes complicated when there are multiple candidates with no gaps in their resume. How are the former supposed to compete?

In many respects, it depends on the sector or industry in question. If having a marketable attitude and being able to sell yourself is apart of the job description, then it makes less sense for potential candidates to have gaps in their resume. This would be the case for a career in Sales or Marketing. These opportunities are also more available than some other fields that have smaller budgets. Specifically for marketing or sales professions, the skill of selling oneself is associated with both the job in question but also a personality trait. Recruiters should seek to understand gaps respective to industry standards.

For other industries, like the humanities and other social sciences, having gaps in one's resume is part of the process as research opportunities might only be available on a seasonally funded basis. Recruiters need to make sure they are considering whole industry funding streams and seeking to understand employment history through systems thinking rather than just the ambition of the individual.

Using Impactio to shift the focus from Resume Gaps to Publications

Another interesting point worth mentioning is that for some fields publications hold a lot of weight and a reputation that can supplant a resume with gaps. This is the case especially for the humanities and the work of journalists, who can achieve a high level of success or recruitment just by having notable publications to use for networking purposes. For this reason, platforms like Impactio provide a perfect platform for not only establishing oneself in a new networking space, but also having impact analytics and citation metrics available for a candidate's most impressive writing.

Thus, there are many dimensions to hiring, and using a process of elimination method based on someone’s gaps in their resume might be a slightly primitive method of selection in the current job market and skills economy.

Recruiters
Gaps
Resume
Candidates
About the author
Michael Robbins -Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

Related Articles