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Tips to Get Hired After a Career Break

Updated : August 4th, 2020

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. If you are currently unemployed you this simple calculator to know how much benefits you are eligible 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. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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