Not Sure Where to Start When Relaunching Your Career? We Can Help.
People temporarily exit the workforce for many reasons. Some leave for a number of years to stay at home and raise kids, others have to care for older loved ones, some may have been dealing with their own sickness or injury.
Whatever your reason for taking a long gap in employment, workforce reentry can seem daunting. Some employers see long gaps on applicants’ resumes and it can make them nervous to take a chance on someone who hasn’t had recent experience. But with the right tools for explaining your employment gap, employers can be understanding and convinced. Avenica has tips for successfully relaunching your career.
How Do I Begin to Re-Enter the Workforce After a Long Absence?
Tip 1: Understand Your Situation
The first step to workforce reentry is to have a clear picture of where you are, and where you want to be as you reenter the workforce. What type of role are you looking for? Are your skills still up-to-date or do they need to be refreshed? What do you want out of your first role back in the workforce?
Asking yourself these questions will help you get in the right job-searching mindset, and give you a thorough understanding of what exactly you’re looking for.
Tip 2: Update Your Resume
The next step in relaunching your career is updating your resume. Sure, you haven’t worked for a long period of time, but it’s still important to list out your previous work experiences accurately and thoroughly. Make sure the dates are all correct, and you’ve listed out the skills, projects, experiences and any other important details that you gleaned from your previous roles.
Instead of trying to hide the gap in our employment, address it with an accurate date range and a short descriptive title like “Caregiver,” “Stay at home parent,” “Student,” etc. Where you would normally include details for that position, you can simply say, “Will provide applicable details at time of interview” if you are comfortable.
Another way to address your gap in employment is in your “Objective” at the top of your resume. Include something like, “After X years away [caring for my two school-aged children/aging parents/continuing my education] I am excited to get back into the workforce and pursue my passion for [insert industry].”
Tip 3: Utilize Your Network
No matter the industry you want to relaunch your career in, it pays to know people. Brainstorm who you know, from school, mutual friends, or previous coworkers, that could potentially put in a good word for you. Browse through your connections and past networks on LinkedIn. If nothing else, having a connection point you in the direction of the right people can give you a huge advantage.
If you’re close with this connection, invite them to a coffee meeting or even a quick FaceTime. Something casual enough, where you can have a natural conversation and they can offer any tips and information on potential job leads for your workforce reentry.
Tip 4: Apply
Now that you know the types of jobs you’re looking for, it’s time to apply! Depending on when you last hunted for jobs, things may seem different during the application process than they had last time. Some job sites have one-click application submissions, while others require a lot more information than just your resume.
Whatever application process you’re faced with, make sure to emphasize your experiences and skills, and how they can cater to the position you’re applying for.
Tip 5: Remember You’re Not Alone
Whatever the reason for your gap in unemployment, it’s easy to be self-conscious about it. There is a stigma associated with employment gaps that reflects negatively on your work ethic and other professional qualities. Break down this stigma with confidence as you head into a job interview.
Keep your head held high and believe in yourself that you can give a good explanation for your employment gap. Though the stigma exists, hiring managers are moving away from it. If you walk into an interview with a boosted sense of confidence for relaunching your career, the hiring manager will notice. When you can have a mature, respectful conversation about tough topics during an interview, this can reflect well on you as a candidate.
How Do You Explain a Long Gap in Employment?
During your application process for specific positions, you may have seen options to include cover letters. Though this requires more work and time when you’re applying, it’s a good place to mention the gap in your employment. If you’re a parent who took time to raise your kids, say it.
If your situation is more complicated, wait until your interview. Explaining your employment gap face-to-face allows for a more natural conversation which can be helpful to both you as the applicant and the interviewer.
Most importantly, be honest! Employers understand that life happens. The things they care about most are whether you have the skills for the job, and if you’re willing to jump back in and hit the ground running.
Choose Avenica to Help With Your Entry-Level Workforce Reentry
Career matchmakers at Avenica can assist you throughout the application, interview and hiring processes after your long gap in employment. We work with a large variety of employers in different industries and can help you decide which is right for you. Contact us today or join our network to begin relaunching your career at the entry level!