Rejoining the workforce after a career break isn’t always easy. Your resume will show that you have a gap in employment, so you are going to face some skepticism from hiring managers. Plus, if you’ve been away for a significant amount of time, your skillset may be viewed as being out-of-date, creating another hurdle that you’ll have to overcome.
While this can all sound daunting, it is possible to come off a career break and get back in the game. Here’s how to get started.
Above all, you need to be realistic about your job search. For example, if you worked in IT and have been away from the workforce for 10 years, you aren’t going to be able to step back into the position you left in many cases. Instead, you’ll either need to adjust your target or take some additional steps before initiating your search.
Honestly assess the current state of your skillset. Compare it to various job openings to see where you stand. That way, you have an idea of what path might work now and which would require additional effort.
Consider Your Approach
You may have a choice when your goal is to reenter the workforce. In some cases, aiming at a position below the one you left might work. Depending on the capabilities required, your previous knowledge may be enough, allowing you to start in one job and work your way up toward the one you left.
When you want to secure something closer to the last position you held, you may need to bolster your skills to show that what you bring to the table is relevant today. This could include formal training, volunteering in related capacity, or any other step that gives you something that can boost your resume. As a bonus, if you go this route, you’ll have something current to add to your resume as well, which may make the gap less obvious at first glance.
If you worked to keep your skillset current during the break, then you’ll need to be prepared to show it. Side projects that you can share could be sufficient. You may even be able to take part in skills tests or industry exams to demonstrate your knowledge. A strong cover letter can also help you build your case.
Essentially, you need to identify which reentry approach you want to use. Then, you need to prepare your resume, cover letter, and job search activities accordingly.
Tap Your Network
When you're coming off a career break, your network can be an asset. You may want to begin by creating an account on LinkedIn or updating your profile. This gives you a strong starting platform to work with and creates opportunities to engage with other professionals.
After that, reach out to former colleagues, connect with recruiters, and otherwise put yourself out there. Let them know that you are working to rejoin the workforce and ask for their advice. They may be able to give you industry-specific tips that can make your transition smoother or might even know about opportunities that could work for you.
Looking for a job after an extended break?
If you are coming off a career break, the skilled professionals at TRC Staffing Services can help. Contact us to speak with one of our highly knowledgeable recruiters today and see how our services can make rejoining the workforce as easy as possible.