A recent graduate I know has not been working for 1.5 years after graduating with a graduate degree in Engineering due to taking care of ill family member/parent.
In the time of unemployment, they did projects using latest tools/programs to stay relevant and "train" themselves, which is what they would be doing at the job. They are in a highly in demand field in engineering with many opportunities right now and a graduate degree from a top 10 school.
Now they are ready to look for employment in industry.
How should they bring up this employment gap? Through a reference letter? On their resume? Won't HR just throw it out right away?
Any advice, tips or recommendations on how to get through HR? What should they do in the interview to address it?