After a Career Break: Tips to Getting Back to Work

Life happens. Many times, working professionals take a break from their careers to care for a young child, an aging parent, a sick family member, or for other reasons.

Anita gets back on her career track. WSG's Careers Connect

Getting back into the workforce can be a challenging obstacle to overcome, but it’s a necessary step to getting back to a rewarding career.

Here are some ways you can make these first few steps easier (and improve your chances of succeeding):

 

Include the “career break” into your resume

While many jobseekers try to hide a career break by being vague about their career history, seasoned HR professionals can easily spot these tell-tale signs of a coverup.

But why hide a fact that could positively differentiate you from other candidates?

Use your career break to your advantage by including it in your resume.

Then, just like any of your other professional positions, detail what you did during this period – what you learnt, and how your experiences during this period have made you a better fit for the role you’re applying for.

 

Reconnect with people in your professional circle

Even if you’ve been on a break for years, your former colleagues, bosses, clients, customers, and partners still remember you – and if they liked you back then, they’ll still like you today.

Drop a casual message to say hi, let them know that you’re getting back into the workforce, and that any recommendation would be appreciated.

If you have their phone number, a short and sincere message will suffice. Otherwise, you can send them a message on LinkedIn.

 

Expand your network

Industry insiders know that many of the best job opportunities aren’t found on job portals. Instead, candidates are referred by people in-the-know – either other industry professionals or career experts, like the ones at Career Connect by Workforce Singapore (WSG).

Speak to a Career Coach on how you can improve your chances of getting hired. Click to sign up now.

Prepare for interviews

Get ready to talk about your career break during interviews.

Remember, a career break isn’t a negative mark on your resume ­– it’s the most interesting time of your life, and you’ve made a choice that few people have the courage to.

Get ready to talk about it honestly and sincerely.

To better prepare yourself, research the company and your prospective role (as well as your interviewers, if possible) to see how you can angle your career break as an advantage for your future employer. Then go out there and differentiate yourself from other prospects, impress your interviewers and land your dream job!

 

Get some “practice sessions”

If you still have inhibitions about your ability to return successfully to the workforce, the best way to put your mind at ease is with some “practice sessions”.

Spend an entire day with yourself – searching for a job, preparing your resume, upgrading your skills, and more.

“Is everything at home settled? Is your child or elderly parent taken care of?”

After a few of these “practice sessions”, these questions will be answered and you’ll quickly gain confidence in your ability to get back into the action and reignite your career!

Read more about Careers Connect’s Career Energiser programme that can help you hone your resume-writing skills and interview techniques.

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