In Brief: Résumé Gaps; Upbeat Office Environments

December 2019
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Résumé Gaps Are No Longer a Stigma for Job Hunters

Long periods of unemployment were once scarlet letters for job seekers, but in today’s tight labor market, employers are considering candidates with résumé gaps as large as two years, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

In a recent study by résumé-writing service ResumeGo, 9.8 percent of applicants with two-year holes in their résumés were contacted by employers for follow-up interviews — just slightly fewer than the 11.3 percent of applicants with no career interruptions. In addition, skills that employers value are changing quickly, making people who take career breaks for education or retraining increasingly attractive, says Sue Bhatia, founder of St. Louis staffing firm Rose International. 

Whatever the purpose for your résumé gap is, though, experts say it’s important not to apologize or sound defensive about it. During job interviews, confidently discuss why you took time away from your career, demonstrate that you’ve kept up with industry trends and technology, and assert that you are ready to perform again under pressure.

Study: Americans Trust Local News More Than National News

According to a study from the Knight Foundation and Gallup, local news is viewed as more trustworthy than national news. 

The data revealed that six in 10 Americans believe local news organizations are accomplishing “most of the key tasks of informing communities,” with 85 percent of respondents saying they have at least a partial level of trust in local outlets. At the same time, the study found that only 62 percent of participants report any — ranging from “quite a lot” to “some” — trust in national sources, leaving 38 percent with little-to-no confidence in them at all.

However, Knight says that these differing degrees of faith don’t necessarily predict a bright future for regional news. Confidence in journalism overall is dropping; it’s just dropping faster for platforms with a countrywide scope. 

“The same forces that have eroded trust in the national media are now beginning to filter down to the local level,” they write. “While more Americans trust their local news outlets more than national, that trust is more fragile than previously understood.”

Global Confidence Among Executives Is Down in 2019, Survey Finds

A new survey of top business leaders around the world reveals that overall CEO and CMO confidence is down more than 20 percent this year, with confidence among U.S. leaders dropping by 51 percent. 

According to the Worldcom Public Relations Group, who curated the study using responses from more than 58,000 executives, this tumble can be attributed to widespread global uncertainty, driven by situations such as Brexit and the talk of a trade war between the United States and China.

Executives are also concerned about their ability to effectively reach consumers during such a tenuous time; the survey found that while in 2018 CEOs were most focused on targeting customers with their messages, in 2019 they’ve turned their attention to influencers.

“Influencers were an audience in decline in 2018 but leaped to the front of the pack in this year’s report,” said Roger Hurni, chairman of Worldcom. “The growth of this audience could suggest that leaders feel they need the support of influencers to help them navigate their way through turbulent times.”

The Importance of a Light and Upbeat Office Environment  

It’s easy for employees to get bogged down by everyday strains and pressures. According to a 2018 study by work platform Wrike, 94 percent of workers experience work-related stress, while almost a third feel unsustainably high levels of stress in the office. 

In a blogpost for Fast Company, Scottsdale, Ariz. business owner Jonathan Keyser argues that a simple antidote to workplace stress is to keep things light and upbeat around the office — when it’s appropriate, of course. “The corporate world is serious enough as it is, so why add a layer of discomfort by cultivating a stressful culture?” he writes.

Keyser says he schedules relaxed one-on-one counseling sessions with employees and has them take “pulse surveys” to measure their engagement. These offer more detailed insights into the emotional quality of his workers, helping him, as a leader, know what areas of their jobs and lives need a little levity. 

“Some of the best ideas come from carefree minds,” says Keyser. “If people understand there’s no need to be stressed, they’re more likely to lean into the positive aspects of work and arrive at truly innovative solutions.” 

photo credit: aleutia

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