Whatever your career break was planned or unplanned or, time may come when you decide to find your way back to the career ladder.
A job search can be daunting enough, but it can be even more challenging when you’re returning to work after a career break. You may feel anxious about getting a new job, or you may feel like your skills have become a little rusty because of how much has changed since you’ve been away from the workplace. Some recruiters and hiring managers will be more considerate about your career break, but others may feel uncertain about hiring you.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about getting hired after a career break, here are six effective tips to transition back to the workforce following a career break:
Assess your situation
Additionally, if you go with a job that doesn’t suit your skills, you could find yourself frequently job-hopping before finding the right one. It’s therefore essential to take some time to consider what you want, what you’d like to get out of a job, and why you want to work again. You might also find that what suited you before your career break may not be the best fit for you now.
Update your CV
Include all the new skills you may have acquired during your break, and explain how these can relate to the job you’re trying to land. Did you take classes, volunteer, or started a side hustle? Or perhaps did traveling the world give you a much-needed confidence boost? Even if you weren’t working, you might have accomplished something worthy to mention during interviews or add to your resume.
Your CV should reflect your confidence, too, so update your CV to make sure it conveys the confidence you want to get across. Use current industry jargon and emphasize any previous skillsets you got from your last job before your break that are still in demand.
Take a look at the job qualifications in job listing sites to get an idea of the skillsets that employers are looking for today and how those qualifications align with your past jobs. Then, rewrite your CV accordingly.
It’s also essential to rethink the format of your CV. While you don’t want to hide your career gap, you do not want to highlight it. To do so, choose a non-chronological format for your CV that will present your experience in ways that highlight your credentials without emphasizing the timeline.
Even if they cannot give you the job that you need, they can point you in the right direction and update you on the latest industry outlook. Ask them for advice and tips on getting back into the workforce. This is also an excellent opportunity to prepare potential references who could support your new job applications.
Prepare for your interview
You could tailor your answers to show how your career break will benefit the role you are trying to land. Anticipate some of the concerns an interviewer may have, such as whether you’re ready to jump back into the career ladder. In this case, briefly explain why you decided to return to the workforce, with an emphasis on your passion, drive, and focus.
Update Your wardrobe
Make sure you dress professionally and up-to-date when you show up for your interview. It also shows you’re seriously interested in the job interview. Invest in a wardrobe that fits well and makes you look smart and credible. You’ll also feel more confident, which will come across during your interview.
Create a list of your skills and strengths and refer to this during your job search to help boost your energy and self-esteem. If you’re unsure what to write on the list, ask your closest friends and family about what they think your strengths are. You may be surprised at the answers they give you.
If you think your skills are not up-to-date, take a refresher course, and do your research. Browse the company’s website and social media accounts. It would help if you also looked at their competitors, stay updated on the latest industry news, and research industry trends. If you have all the information you need, you will feel much more confident, especially during interviews.
Everyone has their own career path
Taking a career break is not an unusual thing, despite the stigma that is sometimes attached to it. Everyone’s career ladders differ, and each climb at their own pace, depending on their goals.
So, if you’re feeling apprehensive about jumping back into the workforce after a career break, keep these tips in mind so you stay on the right path with the right attitude and mindset.
Consider getting professional career planning, coaching, and representation services from Watkins and Associates to ensure that you successfully land the job that you want after a career break. We are an executive search firm based in Houston, Texas, with a proven track record of placing high-quality professionals in multiple disciplines. We can help you with everything you need to prepare for the transition back to the corporate ladder. Call us today at 713.334.4342 or send us an email at [email protected] for assistance.