How to get back to work after a career break

January 24, 2018

Neha was a brilliant creative writer. She had written some of the best ad copies for reputed clients in the company she worked with a year ago. However, due to a personal reason, she has been away from work for several months. She believes she cannot get back to work anymore, as she does not have the required skills to be in the game.


Is she really lacking in skills? Or is it her confidence in herself that has faltered?


“Starting over is the opportunity to come back better than before.”


Career breaks are not a misfortune, they could occur with anyone for a number of reasons, such as a break to pursue further education or to raise a child. And it is completely natural to want to get back to work again after the break. It may seem to be a daunting task when you are unsure of where to begin from or are afraid of the competition. However, with the right approach, you can definitely emerge as a winner in this situation.


 Take a look at the below pointers to be kept in mind when getting back to work after a career break -


1. Evaluate your situation


It’s quite obvious that the first question you will be asked when you go in for an interview would be on why you took the break. It is not too tricky a question, but if you fail to answer properly with conviction, the recruiter may think that you’re not too serious about staying in a job and will probably take another break soon. The result - the focus will shift to another deserving candidate.


Before starting to fill in applications, think about your situation calmly. What actually was the reason why you took the break? Why do you think it was important? Why is it the right time to get back to work now? Are you really ready? Think about the probable questions that can be asked and have the answers ready.


2. Prepare well


An important decision that you need to take while planning a return is the kind of work that you would want to do. Applying for anything that comes your way will not be beneficial. Factors like work hours, location and sector need to be considered, and most importantly, your area of interest.


The best way to prepare in this regard is by doing thorough research. One of the main hurdles for people getting back to work after a career break is that they feel that technology has advanced and they are lagging behind. And this is a valid fear to have. It is therefore important that you study all about the latest trends in order to keep up.


Sign up for newsletters related to your industry or read up articles and blogs. This way, you will be able to gather some new information every day that will help you to stay updated.


Go through your social media profiles and see if it has anything that can negatively affect your job chances. If yes, make sure you delete all such posts. Involving yourself in volunteer work is also a good way to prepare for the work culture.


3. Work on your resume


While there is nothing wrong with taking a break from work, a break on your resume, however, does not look impressive. You were not employed in the time gap, so include a section of experience that will be relevant to your job and make you a desirable candidate. If you had handled any events in the meantime, list them down bringing focus to the skills that you possess.


All your skills and experiences that you gained before the break are equally important and should not be neglected. Ensure that they are well highlighted. You may have achieved them a year back, but they are still the result of your hard work.


There are various resume templates available, especially for candidates with a career-break, where skills and experiences are given more focus than job titles and tenures. You can make use of such resume formats. However, do some research before finalizing the format that would be best suited to your cause.


4. Be impressive right from the beginning


Impress your recruiters from the very beginning so that the break in your career will not matter at all during the final selection. If you are providing a cover letter along with the resume, mention what interests you about the job role and how happy you are to get back to something you’ve always loved doing. If you are joining something new, express your excitement to take on the new challenge.


On, you can attend a pre-screening interview and record an audio profile to impress your recruiters. Mention right at the beginning about your career break and state honestly why you took it and why you intend to come back now. Half of your job will be done if you can make a good first impression.


5. Facing the interview


The interview will be the last big thing that will decide whether you grabbed or missed the opportunity. The main point that you need to convince your recruiter about is that you are here to stay, and will not pack up your bags and leave one fine day!


So how do you do that?


Firstly, give an honest reason for the break. It could have been due to an illness, or to look after a suffering relative or any other personal problem. Be optimistic about the situation and if you have learned something new in the process, mention it in the interview.


Talk about the break in a concise manner, while focusing more on your past experiences. However, don’t talk about it in a way that would seem that you were a working professional a hundred years ago! Don’t highlight the time, rather only the work you have done in the past. Remember to do all of this with a smile.


Researching about the company before attending the interview is important for all candidates, but it is particularly important for one who was on a career break. You have to convince the recruiter that you are at par with other candidates, and you know everything that a candidate should be knowing about an organization that they wish to work for.


You never need to be apologetic about a career break, but only need to handle the situation confidently. Download the interviewfox mobile app today, get noticed by reputed employers and get back on your career path with a bang!