Professionals may need to take breaks from their careers for a variety of reasons. For some, it may be to care for their direct needs, while others may be supporting a loved one. At times, an unplanned exit from the workforce – such as a layoff – may result in more time away than initially expected.
In any case, once an extended period passes, the idea of transitioning back to work could be daunting. Additionally, you may have a harder time convincing a hiring manager to give you a chance due to the large gap on your resume.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to make the process easier. Here are some tips on how to re-enter the workforce after a career break.
Identify Your Goals
Before you start applying for jobs, you need to spend some time identifying your new career goals. Knowing what you need and want from a position is essential, as it will help you focus your search on right-fit opportunities with greater ease.
Determine precisely what your ideal job looks like, including everything from salary to whether you’re working remotely. Additionally, identify the key skills you’d like to use, as well as what you hope to get out of the role beyond a paycheck.
Refresh Your Skills
If you’ve been out of the workforce for an extended period, refreshing your skills is a smart move, and it might be an outright necessity. Depending on your field, a significant amount may have changed. As a result, you need to ensure that your skillset aligns with employers’ needs today.
How you approach this may depend on the skill in question. If the skill is related to something unchanged in your field, a quick online refresher course could be sufficient. If it would effectively be a new skill for you, then you may prefer a more formal educational approach, such as a college course or bootcamp.
Going the more formal route can benefit you in other ways, too. Traditional education can close your current resume gap, showing hiring managers that you’re rededicated to your career. As a result, it may make you look like a stronger candidate.
Learn New Resume and Cover Letter Trends
Another area that may need a refresher before you start searching for jobs involves your resume and cover letter. Trends and hiring manager expectations shift over time. As a result, your previous approach to a resume may seem antiquated by today’s standards.
Spend a little time reviewing the resume and cover letter tips and templates that have been created in the last year. Then, you can update your application materials to ensure they feel modern and appropriate based on today’s standards.
Know How to Explain Your Career Break
While you don’t need to provide a ton of information to the hiring manager, being able to sum up the reason for your career break is a must. Ideally, you want to make sure that your explanation is concise but clear enough that the hiring manager can immediately understand what transpired.
For example, stating that you took time to care for an ill family member is sufficient. It outlines why you were away while keeping the explanation brief, allowing you to shift the conversation back to your career faster.
Partner with Our Staffing Firm
One of the simplest ways to find right-fit opportunities quickly is to have a skilled recruiter by your side. Along with helping with your job search, they can provide guidance to ensure your resume and interview skills are on point.
If you’re ready to re-enter the workforce, the team at Selectek wants to hear from you. Contact us today.