Tips for Going Back to Work After Taking a Career Gap
“I’m quitting my job and becoming a stay-at-home parent. How will this affect my resume when I’m ready to jump back into the workforce?”
While a career gap can be a bit of a challenge, focusing your time on raising a family is an incredible adventure and we applaud you for your decision to do so. Having said that, here are a few ideas to consider as you transition out of the workforce.
Continue developing your skills by volunteering. Your local school, a nonprofit can be a great way to showcase your skills, give back to the community, and stay relevant within your industry. A graphic designer can assist a nonprofit’s marketing team by creating marketing material, an accountant can help with an internal audit, and an HR professional can assist with a school’s interview process. In this same manner, finding freelance positions that you can conquer from home will allow you to demonstrate your abilities and earn some extra cash. These are the types of short-term projects and community engagement roles that can be added to your resume when you decide to go back into the workforce.
When you are ready to secure a full-time position again, consider LinkedIn as an exceptional way to build your personal brand through networking, staying current on industry standards and news, and showcasing your achievements. A few Best Practices include:
A Professional Profile Photo:
Users with professional headshots receive 14 times more views.
What you wear should line up with the industry in which you’re applying.
The photo should be from the shoulders up, professional, and bright.
A Short but Impactful Headline:
Use keywords others might search for such as your first and last name
Describe who you are with your current title or the title of the position you are seeking.
A Well-Written Summary:
Highlight your most important skills and professional abilities.
Don’t be afraid to express your personality in a professional manner.
Involvement in select LinkedIn Groups:
This serves as a great networking tool, opening greater job opportunities.
Join groups that are:
Specific to your industry
Specific to your career
During conversations and the interview process, briefly explain your career gap. Come up with a short yet concise sentence or two on why you have a gap and then quickly return the conversation to the work you did prior to your time away. Even with a gap, your previous work experience remains relevant and your volunteer experience will only enhance your accomplishments.