suhara Asked December 19, 2017

Has anyone had gaps in their employment or had to cut back from working full time to part time due to caregiving responsibilities?

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I was a 24/7 caregiver to my mother until she passed in October 2015. After she passed I decided to relocate out West but found out it wasn’t for me. I recently moved back to Connecticut and would like to go back to work, either full time or part time. However, there are gaps in my resume as I simply couldn’t hold a full time job and give my mother the care she needed. Has anyone else experienced this? How do you explain the gaps?

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suhara Jan 19, 2018
I got a part time job as a teacher’s aide in a preschool. This is my second week there. Nothing about my resume gaps came up during the interview. It feels great to be back at work!
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suhara Dec 20, 2017
I had a job interview today. The gaps weren't even mentioned! Thank you all for your input.
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Eyerishlass Dec 19, 2017
It's not uncommon for people in the job market to have gaps on their resume due to caring for elderly parents. So many people nowadays have had to care for their elderly loved ones. Whether you wait for a perspective employer to ask or you offer up an explanation on your own it's OK to tell someone why you have those gaps. I too had a gap on my resume when I went back to work after my dad died but I was hired. People usually understand.
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SuzInEire Dec 19, 2017
Hi Suhara,
I've been researching this myself of late. Currently I am caring for my mother full time but planning on a nursing home within the next six months as her needs (advanced dementia and very limited mobility) now out weight my ability. Trying to get my ducks in a row before hitting the job market after 10 years at the age of 50.

You might find the attached articles helpful. The advise contained mirrors what I've heard from a recruiter; address it head on, in the same fashion as a mother returning to work after raising children. No apologies. If you haven't been keeping your skillset up to speed, start taking a recognised course of some sort now. You can reference this in your cover letter to show that you are being proactive and are ready to hit the ground running. You should also try to meet with a recruiter in your area for an 'informational chat'. They will know the local job market and can give you feed back on your resume as to how it will be received locally.

jibberjobber.com/blog/2014/10/16/how-to-explain-a-sabbatical-if-you-were-taking-care-of-an-ailing-parent-or-loved-one

pongoresume.com/blogPosts/291/has-caring-for-a-loved-one-left-a-gap-in-your-resume

Good luck and let us know how you get on.
Suzanne
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KnittingDtr Dec 19, 2017
I was in this situation when I interviewed for a promotion in 2007 and had a gap in my resume three years before that because of caring for my grandmother.  I volunteered that I knew there was a gap in my resume and said that I was caring for a relative. No details. I got the promotion.  I later found out that the manager was involved in caring for her elderly parents; I don't know if that made a difference.

I had to give up full-time work in 2015 and move cross-country to care for my parents. After my dad passed I began searching for full-time or part-time work but had no options except jobs that would have had me on my feet all the time (grocery checker, coffee shop) and I can't do that due to sciatica. I have an MBA and experience as a health care data analyst but at 55+ it's nearly impossible to get hired. I don't know what the government expects us to live on until age 65.
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