Getting back into the workforce after staying at home with your children for several years can be challenging and nerve racking, here’s a few tips to help.
The key to getting a job after a career break, is to portray your qualifications just as competitively as job-seekers who haven’t been out of the workforce. Provided you do the research to ensure that you represent yourself as a competent and confident professional who is current with industry developments in your field, you can find a job that’s suited to your talents and qualifications.
Tip 1 – Research resume formats
Research resume formats online (or seek advice from a a Careers specialist) and determine which one is best suited for your field and your experience level. If you had an extensive work history before you left the workforce, use a functional format instead of a chronological one. A functional format will emphasise your professional competencies rather than the order of jobs you held. If you use a chronological format, your period of unemployment might be off-putting to recruiters who won’t recognise that you elected to leave the workforce to raise your children.
Tip 2 – Upgrade your skills
Ensure you’re up to date. Enrol in a course at a local TAFE or complete an online course.
When you update your resume, include references to your skills. List them prominently if they are required qualifications for the type of job you’re seeking. For example, if you’re in the IT field and have completed upgraded certifications, list your newly acquired skills and certifications early in your resume.
Tip 3 – Include volunteer work
Be sure to list your volunteer work, for example helping out at the kinder or school with administration or finance or even helping out with a friends or families business, and include it on your resume to demonstrate that you haven’t let your skills lapse. Again, recruiters and hiring managers want to know that your skills are current. If you have contributed, describe what you have done on your resume just as you would for paid work. LinkedIn reported that 41 percent of surveyed professionals considered unpaid work just as helpful as paid work in assessing a candidate’s qualifications.
Tip 4 – Rehearse your interview
Rehearse your answers to interview questions about why you’re qualified to re-enter the workforce with your skill set.
Recruiters and hiring managers will undoubtedly ask why you’re returning to the workforce at this time and what skills you have to offer. They might even drill you on the level of your functional expertise to ensure that you have maintained industry knowledge comparable to candidates who haven’t been out of the workforce for a lengthy period.
Harvest Careers can help you prepare to get back into the workforce.