Returning to work after a hiatus can be challenging, especially when it comes to updating your resume. You may be wondering how to address gaps in employment, emphasize relevant skills and achievements, and make a positive first impression with potential employers. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to update your resume after a career break.
- Address gaps in employment by being honest and upfront about your break
- Focus on transferable skills and highlight achievements from any volunteer work or freelance projects
- Use a clean, modern format for your resume and tailor it to the job you’re applying for
- Emphasize your passion and enthusiasm for returning to work and discuss how it can benefit the company
- Network as much as possible and consider temporary or contract work to gain experience and build your resume
Address Gaps in Employment
One of the biggest concerns job seekers have when returning to work after a career break is how to address gaps in their employment history. The key here is to be honest and upfront about why you took the break. Whether it was to care for a family member, travel, or pursue education or personal interests, explain it briefly and confidently in a cover letter or during an interview. Keep in mind that many people take career breaks, and it does not necessarily reflect negatively on your ability to perform in a role.
Highlight Relevant Skills and Achievements
While you may not have recent relevant work experience, there are likely transferable skills you can emphasize on your resume. For example, if you spent time volunteering or working in a freelance capacity during your break, highlight any projects you completed and the skills you developed. Consider taking online courses or attending workshops to bolster your skills and show that you’re committed to professional development.
Use a Modern Resume Format
A clean, modern resume format can help make a positive first impression with potential employers. Use clear headings, bullet points, and simple fonts to make your resume easy to read. Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for by using keywords from the job description and highlighting experiences and skills that demonstrate your fit for the role.
Emphasize Passion and Enthusiasm
Returning to work after a break can be daunting, but don’t let that show on your resume or in your communications with potential employers. Emphasize your passion and enthusiasm for returning to work and explain how it will benefit the company. Discuss how you’ve stayed up-to-date with industry trends during your break and how you’re eager to apply your skills and knowledge in a new role.
Network and Consider Temporary Work
Networking can be especially valuable when returning to work after a break. Attend industry events, connect with former colleagues, and seek out mentorship opportunities to build your network. Consider taking temporary or contract work to gain experience and build your resume. These roles can often lead to new opportunities and help fill gaps in your resume.
Updating your resume after a career break can be challenging, but it’s an important step in your job search journey. Be honest and forthcoming about your break, emphasize your transferable skills and achievements, and use a clean, modern format for your resume. Emphasize your passion and enthusiasm for returning to work, network as much as possible, and consider temporary or contract work to gain experience and build your resume. With these tips, you can create a strong and compelling resume that will help you land your next job.
Q. What should I do if I took a break to care for a family member?
A. If you took a break to care for a family member, be honest and confident in your explanation. Many employers understand the importance of family obligations and can appreciate your decision to prioritize your loved one’s needs. Emphasize any caregiving skills or knowledge you gained during your break.
Q. How do I address a career break of several years on my resume?
A. Be honest and upfront about your break, but don’t dwell on it. Briefly explain why you took the break and focus on your skills and achievements. Consider using a functional resume format that emphasizes skills over chronological work history, rather than a traditional chronological format.
Q. How can I network effectively during a career break?
A. Attend industry events, join professional associations, and connect with former colleagues and mentors to build your network. Seek out mentorship opportunities and engage with others on social media. Consider volunteering or freelancing to meet new people and gain experience.