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Don't Mind The Career Gap

Employers are being called on to end the practice of asking for dates on CVs, in a bid to pr

otect the millions of UK workers at risk of ‘career gap stigma’. A campaign, called #DontMindTheCareerGap, is calling on employers to assess employment histories more fairly by asking candidates to share the number of months or years they spent in previous roles, instead of specific dates.*

The campaign is being led by de-biased hiring experts, Applied, and Women Returners, a service that helps women back into work following career gaps.

Research released today has revealed that 1 in 3 Brits have taken a career gap (a period of 6 months or more out of work, through choice or necessity). But 53% of them would feel more confident applying for jobs if they didn’t have to share the ‘gap’ with employers.

Mental or physical health was the second most common reason for taking a career gap, cited by 20% of all respondents. Health was the most common reason amongst men, cited by 23% of male respondents. Redundancy was the third most common reason overall, cited by 10% of respondents. 9% of people have taken time out to care for a friend or relative.

Employees would prefer not to share their career gap with employers

The research showed that over half of British workers (53%) who have taken a career gap would prefer not to share it during a job application. This figure rises to 77% amongst C-Level Executives, suggesting it can be more difficult to return to work following a career gap if you’re looking to re-enter the workforce at a senior level.

Most importantly we feel at PT, is that , the research also revealed that over half (51%) of respondents believed that they gained new or transferable skills, or enhanced their existing skill set during their career gap, pointing to a disconnect between employers’ and employees’ perceptions of career gaps.

Joanna Scott, Relationship Manager at London Sport, comments:

“I took a 10-year career break following the birth of my second child who is considered to have special needs, as I wanted to focus on his development. This made pursuing a ‘career’ impossible. And whilst I did hold a few casual roles during that period, the challenges I overcame and the skills and awareness I developed outside of work were just as valuable.

“Ready to choose and pursue my own career again, I started applying for new roles. But where I was assessed based on my job history, interviewers instead tended to focus on the gaps and what I might have lacked. At one interview, questions about my caring responsibilities and son’s needs seemed to be more important than the question of whether I was a good fit for the role.

“When I didn’t have to supply my employment history it was a different story. Using Applied, I didn’t have to explain or justify my career gap, or worry that I’d come up against prejudice. Instead, I was able to demonstrate my potential and transferable skills I’ve gained. I got the job: my current role at London Sport. Now, I know that if an employer asked about my career gap in the future, it would likely say more about their preconceptions than my own capabilities.”

'Don't Mind the Career Gap' was founded by Applied, and Women Returners.

Organisations use Applied to build fairer recruitment systems for women.

Women Returners is a purpose-led consulting, coaching and network organisation which enables professionals to return to work after an extended career break

Founded in 2014 with the mission of removing the career break penalty, Women Returners has partnered with over 140 organisations to lead the rapid growth of the returner programme market in the UK & Ireland, and now works on a globally

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