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Tips to Get Hired After a Career Break

Author : Steven De Nazareth

Updated : November 22nd, 2018

Tips to Get Hired After a Career Break

Have you taken a career break to start a family of your own or due to temporary retirement? Otherwise, have you taken a break to enjoy yourself and travel the world? Based on this, women outweigh men that took a break due to family and personal reasons.

But whatever was the motive behind you taking a career break, there is always a time when you would decide to jump back on the career ladder. This can be tough and unnerving to get back to work after a break. You might feel anxious about starting a new job or worry about your skills being a little rusty because a lot has changed since you have been away.

7 Ways to Secure a Job After An Employment Gap

In case you feel that you are in a similar situation then these seven tips will increase your chances of getting hired after a career break:

1. Review the Situation

Most people make the mistake of taking up the first job that they find. First and foremost, you should not be unsure about the job as the interviewer would sense uncertainty and would be unlikely to take you further in the hiring process.

The second thing is that if you secure a job that is not suitable for you then you will find yourself moving frequently till the time you find the right one. It is important to take some time to assess your situation and then decide what to do next. You should open your mind and think of what was best for you before the career break and look for a good fit.

2. Update your CV

Update your CV

Most candidates believe that a gap in their CV would ruin their career. But, if you can change this to something positive that can differentiate you from other candidates, it won’t be that bad. If you have not been working for a while then you should not hide it. A break could provide you with a lot of benefits that make you more hireable and give you a chance to step back and re-evaluate your future career. You should add all the new skills that you have developed over your break and explain how it relates to the job that you are applying for.

Working with resume gaps can be as simple as revamping your resume formats and refocusing your entire CV based on skills and interests. Some of the functional aspects of your resume include ensuring that your achievements and skills are emphasized on rather than work history. You can also remove the exact dates from your CV. There is no need to put the exact dates if you are heading back to work in less than a year. You can add volunteer work and talk about skills that you have developed in this time. Just ensure that you do not lie because there will always be the risk of being caught sooner than later.

3. Network

You should connect with your existing connections when you are looking for your first job after a career break. Reach out to all of your previous colleagues, your friends, family, and clients and let them know that you are looking out for a job.

You never know. They might have the perfect job for you. They could also act as a reference to support you with your job applications.

4. Prepare for the Interview After A Career Break

Prepare for the Interview

Take time to prepare to answer questions about your career break. Interviewers are quite likely to ask you questions about the career gap and what you did with your time. You need to be honest and make it clear that you decided that the break was the right thing to do at the time. Also, you should tailor your answers to demonstrate how your break will benefit the role that you are applying for. You should think critically about some of the concerns that the interviewer might have. The company may wonder if you have what it takes to rejoin and you will need to demonstrate this by portraying your drive, focus, and passion.

5. Lookout for Career Returner Programs

Apart from using job boards for jobs, research on the various career returner programs that are available to the public. There are certain companies like JP Morgan and Deloitte that encourage these programs. These programs are targeted at those men and women that have taken a career break. Regardless of whether you took a family break or a break for other reasons, this scheme would provide support and experience that will help you re-adjust to work.

6. Training

If you have joined a training course or completed a degree program then you should mention this in your CV. You need all the career advice you can get before you get back from a career break. This will go a long way in ensuring that you are certified with your job and stay updated with new techniques and roles that come your way. You should be able to suggest how this degree/diploma will help further your career and make it a bonus. This would help you explain to the recruiter that you utilized even your time off to better your career and this would add as skills that would make you better positioned for the role.

7. Be Confident

Whether you have been away from 1 to 4 years, getting back into the hiring pool can be nerve-racking. The most important thing that you need to do is to ensure that you remain confident and have faith in your abilities.

If you do not have confidence then you can seriously undervalue yourself and what you can offer the employer. If you are worried, then you should write down your skills and strengths on a slip of paper. You can refer to this in order to boost your energy. If you still happen to be unsure, then ask your family and friends about your strengths and weaknesses. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself what your strengths are, and you can also practice appearing confident.

Switching Gears

If you feel that your skills are no longer up-to-date then you should join a refresher course. Do your research and check on social media channels. Take a look at what the competitors are doing and see if you can do a trends analysis and check on industry news.

Though life is like a bitter-sweet symphony that is determined by success and failure, you should not let one misfortune hamper your confidence. Just like it’s important to stay calm, you should keep a focus. If your mind is focused, then you will overcome a difficult situation. Remember that a strong mind can move a mountain. All you have to do is focus. Simply start applying for jobs, look for ways to learn new skills and improve your profile.

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  1. Lost my job in 10/2018 due to plant closure, collected vacation and severance pay. Opened a claim in 1/2019. Got an on the job training job through career link in 5/2019 worked one week and became very sick and was off for two weeks VA could not find anything wrong but gave me medication for the symptoms and an excuse to return to work, prior to returning got a call from my recruiter at career link telling me the position was filled so i did not return. Reopened my claim, a few weeks later got a letter informing me the employer had appealed and said i did not return, had a hearing and the employer did not show but i lost and got a 2500.00 over payment. Got a temp job through an agency but have only worked 4 days in two weeks. Reopened my claim and was told i need to earn 2604.00 from current employer before it can be opened, did i do something wrong? Still applying for work but am days away from losing everything, need income to pay bills. PLEASE HELP

    1. Rodney,

      Your eligibility to claim UI benefits depends on multiple factors including monetary eligibility. If you’ve been officially told about the shortage of earnings, there’s nothing much one can do. If you’re still confident of winning the appeal, please make a strong case.

  2. The hours at work have been cut due to lack of business for every department.
    So all full-time positions are now part-time.
    How do I file for partial unemployment?
    The only options I see (in Texas) are for full unemployment.

    1. Eric,

      You should be able to claim partial UI benefits. Please consider applying online until full hours are restored.

    1. William,

      If everything goes well, it should not take more than 7-10 business days (waiting week). Please call the Claims Center for more.

  3. I was employed by a VA company for 5 years, my contract ended yesterday (07/31/19), however, I worked remotely for those 5 years and live in FL, which state do I apply to for my unemployment benefits?

    1. Oscar,

      Please check with your employer if they remitted UI taxes into the system. Contract workers are generally not eligible.

        1. Oscar,

          In that case, please go ahead and apply if your employer remitted UI taxes into the system.

    2. You apply in Virginia…however, I worked seasonally and they used a ‘quarter’ that was empty, so even though my employer paid in, I only got a 1/3 of what I should have received. Figured that out later :/ They will also question WHY you aren’t able and available to work IN Virginia. They froze my account for about a month.

  4. I worked 37 years with the same company in Texas. On July 2nd of 2018, I was let go due to workforce reduction. I signed up for benefits several months later and now have drawn my 26 weeks of benefit. Is there any program currently open in Texas or federally that will extend additional money while job seeking?

    1. Lonnie,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  5. I have been an employee of my company for 34 yrs. My position is being eliminated but I have been offered another position for less money. It is a much more physical job that I am not sure I can perform well. I am 75. If I try to fulfill the position and cannot do it, will I still be able to get benefits if I quit? They want me to try it for a couple of weeks to see if I am strong enough and if I can afford the cut in pay.

    1. Lynda,

      I suggest you call the Unemployment Office to find out about eligibility before making a decision on continuation.

      1. I recently lost my job..i was late for work and they took me off the schedule..never told me i was fired..didnt ask for uniforms back. Another cook was andd has been late for work and he didnt get taken off the schedule.can i still get unemployment?

        1. Kandie,

          Please note UI benefits are only offered to claimants who lose employment due to no fault of their own. You can call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  6. Are there any training benefits or programs that will pay for an advanced degree, such as a PhD which is needed to become more employable?

    1. There are multiple training programs administered by the Labor Department in each state. For more info, please call visit the official website of the Unemployment Office.

  7. I’m about to exhaust my Unemployment benefits. I was laid off from my first job and
    found employment then I lost my job and became unemployed again. I applied for benefits and have have almost exhausted my benefits but have not found employment. Can I file for an extension?

    1. Deanna,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  8. After reading your article it’s still not clear to me about requirements surrounding moving to another state and completing/continuing to collect. I have 8 weeks eligibility left, I am moving from MA to FL. The end of your article says: “Since it’s all virtual (online), you may still consider the option of continuing your claims from the base state even if you move to a different one until completion. As a responsible claimant, it’s your duty to inform the base state about your movement to ensure there are no hassles in the near future.”

    So it sounds like even once I am in new state I am eligible to continue to collect from my base state. I can just continue to do my required weekly job search and reporting to and filing in my base state (I do it via phone call-in). No need to complicate things by doing some crazy state transfer of benefits. Benefits also done via direct bank deposit and no need to change anything. Do I even need to tell my base state I am now living in a new state? Why? Thank you.

    1. Paul,

      For the ease of understanding, each state has its specific rules and laws with regard to administering Unemployment Benefits. It might be an obligation for a claimant to inform about the movement. For clarification, please call the Unemployment Office and speak to a representative.

  9. I was recently fired from my work 25-June-2019/due to me not meeting their “standards/ expectations” i submitted my UE claim on 28-June and have not received any pay as of today, 19-July. The status is currently “adjudication in progress,” my question is, should i be worried this will be denied? I read the FAQ on the UE webpage and it said only a couple applications require the adjudication process. How long does this process usually take to get the final answer of whether I’m denied or approved? The website stated it susuallt takes ~25 days for the adjudication process, does this mean once that’s done then i still have to wait another 2-6 weeks for final processing after? THANK YOU SOO MUCH to whomever is able to provide me with some answers/ input.

    Sincerely,
    Talia
    ** this is my first time ever being fired or having to file for unemployment so i really have nooooo idea what is standard or normal or whatever. I feel like an idiot with my simple questions but it would bring me so much relief having them answered, truly

    1. Talia,

      I can understand your reason for the anxiety. Adjudication is a fact-finding process where both the claimant and the employer will get an opportunity to present their case. During this process, make sure to produce supporting documents that amplify your stance. For all you know, the adjudication can be a lengthy process.

      Best Wishes!

  10. I was permanently severanced from my job due to a Co. Reorg & received my last severance pay last week. I called UE & was told that I should now do my application online since I will no longer be getting funds & still without a job & that this coming Sunday regardless of knowing if I will or will not get benefits yet that I should still file a weekly claim in case of UE back pay.
    So my question is, do I still have to report 4 jobs applied to within this week, even if I do not know if I will be approved/denied for benefits until possibly next week anyway?

    1. Lynda,

      You should continue to report the job applications as long as you’ve been asked to do so. There will be a “Waiting Period” and the first payment will take about 7-10 days after which they’ll flow much quicker. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  11. I tried to transfer from one state to another. When I left Montana I was told there would be no problem transferring. When I arrived in North Carolina I had trouble reaching the area manager by phone. When he finally called me back he said to meet him for lunch to discuss when and where I would be working. He did not show up for lunch. Then he never returned any of my calls. I went PA to visit a friend a few weeks later and tried there. I met with the hiring manager and was told there should not be a problem doing the transfer since I was still in the system. I called the store a few times and they said it was still pending. Then I was terminated without even a phone call. Am I eligible for unemployment and if so do I file in Montana or North Carolina. I still have a Montana drivers license but I am living in NC.

    1. Stacey,

      As long as you were unemployed involuntarily, you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please consider applying.

  12. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  13. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

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