Taking a break from your career makes reentering the workforce later challenging task, regardless of how well-intentioned your reasoning might have been.
The situation is difficult due to a predisposition against candidates with a large gap in their work history. Fortunately, people effectively reenter the workforce all the time. It simply calls for a bit of planning and extra effort. If you’re currently looking to reenter the workforce after an extended absence, or know someone who is, consider the following tips.
Beef up your credentials
If you’re able to, start beefing up your credentials before you start trying to find a job. Do volunteer work. Take a class or two. Consider internships. Do whatever you can to reboot your career and show potential employers you’re being proactive about your career situation.
Switch to a ‘functional’ resume format
A traditional resume format focuses on work history and professional achievements. If you’ve been out of work for a while, that format works against you.
Instead, you should use a function resume. This format put skills and education front and center, rather than employment history. A functional resume is also great for highlighting work or classes you took while you weren’t employed.
If you have a large personal or professional network, this is the time to lean on it. Have someone you trust look over your resume and cover letter. Ask someone to help you practice interview skills. If you need a mental boost, take a trusted friend shopping to help you pick out a sharp-looking interview outfit.
After investing a significant amount of time updating your resume, you need to make it easy to find by uploading it to job sites like LinkedIn and Monster.com. These sites are now designed to create high-quality matches between job seekers and employers, so there’s no need to worry about getting contacted by random recruiters.
Be willing to compromise
If you’re reentering the workforce after extended time away, you might have to make some compromises in your job search. Part-time, freelance or contract work often provide a great way to get back into a career, gain valuable experience and make contacts, all of which can help land a full-time job.
Be able to address your situation
You will likely be asked about the gap in your work history in an interview. When this happens, briefly go over your time away from the workforce. Do not get caught up in the specifics or become emotional. Point out your career-relevant actions during your time away and talk about being eager to start a new challenge.
Consider cold calling
To land an interview, you might have to take matters into your own hands. Think about making polite calls to businesses you are curious about and ask about jobs you saw posted online. Even if the conversation goes nowhere, making a solid personal connection can pay dividends with that employer down the road.
At Action Group Staffing, we help people in all kinds of career situations. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your career.