Getting back into the workforce after a break

You’ve been out of the workforce for whatever reason – having a family, you were ill, lost your job, or just “because”. Now you want to get back in. But the doors to your new job may not open easily to someone who took time out. You need to give your potential employer the confidence that interviewing someone whose work skills may be a little rusty isn’t a waste of time. Here are a few tips on how you can do this.

1. Be honest

It’s bound to come up, so you may as well address the elephant in the room. In your cover letter, briefly outline the reason you left the workforce in the first place. This will give your potential employer a clearer picture of you and might help you prepare for any awkward questions coming up in the interview. 


2. Accentuate the positive

Make sure that you emphasise the good points about your absence. For example, if you left to have a family, make sure that your potential employer knows how you developed well-organised habits, or how your training techniques improved as a result of having to look after your children. If you lost your job, stress how you used your “time off” to research new career paths or develop new skills. Did you do any volunteer work while you were off? Make sure that this is highlighted in your CV if so. 

3. Keep your referees current

One of the toughest things about being out of work for some time is that your work referees may become less relevant, the longer it is between the time they knew you as a worker and the time they are asked to recommend you. So stay in touch with them and keep them informed about what you are doing. And keep their details current! Nothing could be more embarrassing than having your potential employer call your referee only to find they’ve changed their phone number. 


4. Update your resume regularly

Don’t let the information in your resume become stale or out of date. Think of it as a living document that needs frequent updating and polishing. A well-written, professional resume is the first thing most recruiters will look for, so give yours the best chance to be put in the “yes” pile. 

You want to beat the odds when re-entering the workforce after being away. Our aim at Loft Resumes is to provide you with a resume writing service that will alert your future employer to the benefits of hiring you, even if you have been out of work for a while. Give us a call and let our professional writing experts design a resume that will sell your skills to just the right bidder.
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