5 strategies to help you get back into the workforce after a career break
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Returning to work after an employment gap can seem daunting.
While the Covid pandemic can make you feel even more overwhelmed, there is a silver lining. According to LinkedIn, remote jobs are becoming more common and more than 4.5 times more common since January 2020.
“People now have access to opportunities that were not available to them in the past due to geographic restrictions,” said Ada Yu, product manager, careers at LinkedIn.
While there are a variety of reasons to retire from work, caring for children is one big reason – and it usually falls to women. Almost half of working mothers take a longer break after giving birth that goes beyond the maternity allowance. That was the result of a survey conducted by LinkedIn and Censuswide in March last year. The average break is about two years.
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About 60% of mothers who returned to work after a career break said it was difficult to get back into work, and more than a third said they had difficulty getting hired, according to the survey.
Here are five strategies to help you get back on the job.
1. Be confident
The most important thing to do if you want to return is to own the void on your resume with confidence, said Stacey Delo, co-author of Your Turn: Careers, Children, and Comebacks – A Guide for Working Mothers and CEO of Après, a website that offers career resources for women returning to work.
“If you’re sure why you took the break, what you learned, and what you want to do next, so will others,” she said.
2. Don’t go alone
Reach out to previous co-workers, classmates, and friends to let them know that you are open to new opportunities. Use LinkedIn’s Open to Work feature to notify recruiters.
“When it comes to your career, only one person who opens the door can make all the difference,” said Yu.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, it’s time to create one, said Holland Haiis, a workplace strategist who works with women who are both returning to the workforce and trying to climb the ranks.
If you’re sure why you took the break, what you learned, and what you want to do next now, others will be too.
When making new connections, instead of just clicking the Connect button, personalize the reason for the connection.
“Make it relationship-oriented, not transaction-oriented, even though you need help,” Haiis said.
3. Sell your skills
Don’t miss out – you used key skills during your break, whether it be managing the household budget, organizing the family, or helping your child with virtual school or homework.
“Women with career gaps have incredible transferable skills. Employers tell us that hiring people is a priority right now,” said Delo.
“Employers know they can teach certain skills to their jobs, but transferable skills like good communication, team building and problem-solving skills are more difficult to impart.”
You can also acquire more knowledge by taking online courses online such as: B. The free ones from LinkedIn, which can help you improve your skills, or take further education courses at a local college.
4. Update your resume
While there is nothing you can add to your employment history, you can add the above skills to a skills section on your resume or résumé. You can also talk about it in your cover letter, pre-screening call, or interview if you close the void in your employment history, noted Haiis.
Also, add any certifications or courses you’ve attended, as well as any volunteer work you’ve done.
Every time you apply for a job, customize your resume to suit the role at hand and use the keywords from the publication.