The latest line on resumes: Pandemic parenting gaps

More tech recruiters are seeing “pandemic parenting gaps” on resumes as people reenter the workforce.

People looking at papers

There’s now more respect and support for people reentering the workplace.

Photo: Van Tay Media/Unsplash

We’ve coined a lot of new terms and phrases over the past two years of working through a pandemic. The latest to add to the list: “pandemic parenting gaps.” Recruiters are beginning to see a new type of career gap on resumes as people return to the workplace following stints of caretaking.

LinkedIn has even added new job title entries for people to denote parenting-related career gaps. Last year, to better reflect their members’ career journeys, LinkedIn introduced "stay-at-home mom,” “stay-at-home dad” and “stay-at-home parent" as official titles. It was done to recognize the challenge of full-time parenting, said Suzi Owens, LinkedIn's director of Communications, in a statement to Protocol.

A 2021 LinkedIn survey of over 2,000 respondents revealed that the stigma surrounding career gaps is fading:

  • 79% of hiring managers today say they would hire a candidate with a career gap on their resume, according to LinkedIn.
  • 59% of hiring managers are interested in learning about any transferable skills you have learned, and 58% are interested in lessons that can be applied to a particular job, shared Owens.

Allison Rutledge-Parisi, senior vice president of People at Justworks, also said she’s seen a shifting view toward career gaps. “I sense in the atmosphere a change from the days earlier in my career. If you see a gap on a resume, it's no longer a red flag at all. It's an area of inquiry,” she said. “But the inquiry is not assessing if it's OK or not. The inquiry is more like, ‘Wow, what did you do?'”

There’s now more respect and support for people reentering the workplace. COVID-19 was the “great leveler” because everyone's life was disrupted, said Rutledge-Parisi.

Eric Blumenthal, a father of two, was laid off from his IT job in September 2019, after a reorganization at his company. Blumenthal, who had been working in IT for 20 years, had planned to take some time off at the end of the year to spend with family, and then begin looking for jobs again in 2020. Then, the pandemic hit.

“My oldest at the time was in kindergarten, and by March they went fully remote. So basically any progress I had made looking for a job had to stop right there, because we had to have somebody home with them,” he said. “And then for my baby, he was supposed to go into a daycare once I found a job, but then I didn't find a job, so he was at home with me full-time as well.”

By the time Blumenthal was able to dedicate himself to finding a job again, it was September 2021, and two years had flown by. He estimates that he sent out about 200 resumes by that November. When he reached out to one recruiter, he was told that gap might be seen as a challenge in IT.

“We were going over my resume, and he said to me, "You’re probably going to run into a major issue because of this two-year gap. Because in IT, the technology changes every day and you've been out of work for two years,'” he said.

During the pandemic, he struggled to balance parenting with keeping his tech skills up to date. For Blumenthal, being a stay-at-home parent felt like a full-time job. The job search entailed a couple months getting little to no bites at all on his resume. “It's been tough for a lot of parents like me, they're just not getting that fair shot,” he told Protocol.

But Blumenthal did eventually land a job. In January, he started a new role back in IT. He said when the hiring manager at his current company reached out, they weren’t looking at the gap. Instead, they asked more about what he knew rather than what had happened during the gap. For Blumenthal, it spoke volumes about the organization’s values and culture.

Some companies, recognizing that need for a shot, have launched training and reentry programs for people who have experienced career gaps. Meta’s legal group is launching the third iteration of its “Reconnect Program” for legal professionals who have had to pause their careers. While Meta partnered with The Mom Project for the program, the initiative is for anyone who has paused their career, whether that be to actas a caretaker, to pursue a lifelong passion or for any other reason. Meta’s director and associate general counsel, Nikki Stitt Sokol, said she’s seen candidates with pauses anywhere from two to 12 years.

People just want you to take a chance on them, Sokol told Protocol. She herself took a few years off to care for her children when they were younger. She said it had been an anxiety at the time, “of wanting to have quality time with my family, to take care of my family, but also feeling really passionately about my career. I was lucky enough that I ended up connecting with people who were in positions of power at firms who really understood this … and I was able to on-ramp back into my career.”

She pitched Meta’s Reconnect Program with that experience in mind. The 12-month program now offers participants a cohort for support as well as a sponsor within the organization to give them the best chance of succeeding back in the legal profession. Much like highly skilled tech roles, working within legal in tech is a rapidly changing space, causing some to easily feel left behind.

  • “I think what's so unique about doing these programs right now in tech is that privacy law, tech law, all these issues are evolving so rapidly … Yes, there are some things that people may have missed in the last few years in the area of privacy law, but the law is evolving so quickly, you can jump in and start learning it right along with the rest of us,” she said.

Claire Conneely, who is the talent acquisition lead at Argo Group, said she’s not concerned about whether people can catch up following a break in their careers. The insurance firm is currently hiring for a number of highly skilled tech roles. For her, it’s more about ensuring that job candidates have a desire to learn and are curious. While it is absolutely fair for a recruiter to ask about a career gap, she said she urges her team to focus more on finding the right skills and fit for the company.

“I think especially for those that took a step back, I think they're almost more aware in terms of what it is that they want, not only for their next job, but I think what they want in terms of the intangibles from a career from a company,” said Conneely.


Niantic’s future hinges on mapping the metaverse

The maker of Pokémon Go is hoping the metaverse will deliver its next big break.

Niantic's new standalone messaging and social app, Campfire, is a way to get players organizing and meeting up in the real world. It launches today for select Pokémon Go players.

Image: Niantic

Pokémon Go sent Niantic to the moon. But now the San Francisco-based augmented reality developer has returned to earth, and it’s been trying to chart its way back to the stars ever since. The company yesterday announced layoffs of about 8% of its workforce (about 85 to 90 people) and canceled four projects, Bloomberg reported, signaling another disappointment for the studio that still generates about $1 billion in revenue per year from Pokémon Go.

Finding its next big hit has been Niantic’s priority for years, and the company has been coming up short. For much of the past year or so, Niantic has turned its attention to the metaverse, with hopes that its location-based mobile games, AR tech and company philosophy around fostering physical connection and outdoor exploration can help it build what it now calls the “real world metaverse.”

Keep Reading Show less
Nick Statt

Nick Statt is Protocol's video game reporter. Prior to joining Protocol, he was news editor at The Verge covering the gaming industry, mobile apps and antitrust out of San Francisco, in addition to managing coverage of Silicon Valley tech giants and startups. He now resides in Rochester, New York, home of the garbage plate and, completely coincidentally, the World Video Game Hall of Fame. He can be reached at

Every day, millions of us press the “order” button on our favorite coffee store's mobile application: Our chosen brew will be on the counter when we arrive. It’s a personalized, seamless experience that we have all come to expect. What we don’t know is what’s happening behind the scenes. The mobile application is sourcing data from a database that stores information about each customer and what their favorite coffee drinks are. It is also leveraging event-streaming data in real time to ensure the ingredients for your personal coffee are in supply at your local store.

Applications like this power our daily lives, and if they can’t access massive amounts of data stored in a database as well as stream data “in motion” instantaneously, you — and millions of customers — won’t have these in-the-moment experiences.

Keep Reading Show less
Jennifer Goforth Gregory
Jennifer Goforth Gregory has worked in the B2B technology industry for over 20 years. As a freelance writer she writes for top technology brands, including IBM, HPE, Adobe, AT&T, Verizon, Epson, Oracle, Intel and Square. She specializes in a wide range of technology, such as AI, IoT, cloud, cybersecurity, and CX. Jennifer also wrote a bestselling book The Freelance Content Marketing Writer to help other writers launch a high earning freelance business.

Supreme Court takes a sledgehammer to greenhouse gas regulations

The court ruled 6-3 that the EPA cannot use the Clean Air Act to regulate power plant greenhouse gas emissions. That leaves a patchwork of policies from states, utilities and, increasingly, tech companies to pick up the slack.

The Supreme Court struck a major blow to the federal government's ability to regulate greenhouse gases.

Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Striking down the right to abortion may be the Supreme Court's highest-profile decision this term. But on Thursday, the court handed down an equally massive verdict on the federal government's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. In the case of West Virginia v. EPA, the court decided that the agency has no ability to regulate greenhouse gas pollution under the Clean Air Act. Weakening the federal government's powers leaves a patchwork of states, utilities and, increasingly, tech companies to pick up the slack in reducing carbon pollution.

Keep Reading Show less
Brian Kahn

Brian ( @blkahn) is Protocol's climate editor. Previously, he was the managing editor and founding senior writer at Earther, Gizmodo's climate site, where he covered everything from the weather to Big Oil's influence on politics. He also reported for Climate Central and the Wall Street Journal. In the even more distant past, he led sleigh rides to visit a herd of 7,000 elk and boat tours on the deepest lake in the U.S.


Can crypto regulate itself? The Lummis-Gillibrand bill hopes so.

Creating the equivalent of the stock markets’ FINRA for crypto is the ideal, but experts doubt that it will be easy.

The idea of creating a government-sanctioned private regulatory association has been drawing more attention in the debate over how to rein in a fast-growing industry whose technological quirks have baffled policymakers.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

Regulating crypto is complicated. That’s why Sens. Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand want to explore the creation of a private sector group to help federal regulators do their job.

The bipartisan bill introduced by Lummis and Gillibrand would require the CFTC and the SEC to work with the crypto industry to look into setting up a self-regulatory organization to “facilitate innovative, efficient and orderly markets for digital assets.”

Keep Reading Show less
Benjamin Pimentel

Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel) covers crypto and fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at or via Google Voice at (925) 307-9342.


Alperovitch: Cybersecurity defenders can’t be on high alert every day

With the continued threat of Russian cyber escalation, cybersecurity and geopolitics expert Dmitri Alperovitch says it’s not ideal for the U.S. to oscillate between moments of high alert and lesser states of cyber readiness.

Dmitri Alperovitch (the co-founder and former CTO of CrowdStrike) speaks at RSA Conference 2022.

Photo: RSA Conference

When it comes to cybersecurity vigilance, Dmitri Alperovitch wants to see more focus on resiliency of IT systems — and less on doing "surges" around particular dates or events.

For instance, whatever Russia is doing at the moment.

Keep Reading Show less
Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach ( @KyleAlspach) is a senior reporter at Protocol, focused on cybersecurity. He has covered the tech industry since 2010 for outlets including VentureBeat, CRN and the Boston Globe. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and can be reached at

Latest Stories