Once seen as a red flag during the interview process, resume gaps are no longer taboo. And, you guessed it, the COVID-19 pandemic played a big role in this shifting attitude that many recruiters and hiring managers are adopting.  

Remember the ‘Great Resignation’? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 47 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021.1 In 2022, that number increased to a record-breaking 50 million people.2 The reasons for this mass exodus varied: some left to care for family members, some wanted to explore a new career path, and some left in search of better pay or a healthier work-life balance. 

In Canada, it turns out the Great Resignation never really happened. Data from Statistics Canada shows that job-changing rates in Canada were mostly similar to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, the number of people who left their job in February 2022 was lower than in February 2020, prior to the pandemic.3 

There are many factors – both personal and professional – that could lead to the once-dreaded resume gap, including the mass layoffs that peaked during the pandemic and which affected more than three million Canadians in March and April 2020.4 

But times have changed. Hiring managers and recruiters are now thinking twice before asking a candidate about a resume gap, which has the potential for stigma.

At ivy Group, we won’t question you about your resume gap. After all, what if you were taking time off to recover from an illness? Or perhaps you were dealing with a delicate personal family matter you would rather not discuss. 

However, we have seen quite a few resumes and LinkedIn profiles where people are outlining the reason behind their gap. We’ve also met with some candidates who have decided to own their resume gap by bringing it up on their own accord. In that case, great! If you want to talk about it, keep the reason brief and to-the-point. 

Last year, LinkedIn introduced an option to add “career breaks” to the Experience section of your profile. The options include career transition, health and well-being, full-time parenting, relocation and bereavement. Talk about destigmatizing the gap! 

Of course, just because less hiring managers are asking this question doesn’t mean you won’t be asked about it at all. There will always be some companies that will ask about your resume gap. For interview purposes, a resume gap is a good opportunity to highlight the valuable skills you gained over that time period, such as completing a professional development course or doing volunteer work. 

When we’re searching for the right candidate, we always look at the whole picture. We understand the workplace has changed significantly since the pandemic, so we look beyond the resume gap to evaluate your overall skill set, work experience, education and professional persona. All of these factors help paint a fuller picture of your abilities, because your overall work experience, skill set and professional aptitude are more important than an unexplained gap of time. 


1 Rick Penn and Eric Nezamis. Job openings and quits reach record highs in 2021, layoffs and discharges fall to record lows. Monthly Labor Review. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. June 2022. https://doi.org/10.21916/mlr.2022.17.

2 Felix Richter. The ‘Great Resignation’ Appears to Be Over. Statista. 2023. 

3 Labour Force Survey, February 2022. Statistics Canada. 2022.4Canadian job postings in digital sectors during COVID-19. Bank of Canada. 2021.