Re-entering the workforce after taking time off for your children can be both exciting and daunting. As your little ones grow up and you find yourself ready to return to your professional path, you might wonder how to present this gap on your resume.
While it’s essential to acknowledge the break, it’s equally important to demonstrate the valuable skills and experiences you gained during your time away.
Below, we outline some tips to refresh your resume and craft a winning CV after a career break for kids.
Update Your Digital And Traditional Profiles Together
Before diving into the depths of your resume, take a moment to update your online presence, particularly your LinkedIn profile. This step ensures consistency in how you present yourself in both digital and traditional formats.
Start with a fresh professional photo that represents the current you. Follow this up by uploading a LinkedIn background that is relevant to your industry or one that showcases your personality.
This helps in creating a strong visual first impression. As you move on to detailing your experiences, make sure there’s alignment between what’s on your LinkedIn and what’s on your CV.
Address The Career Gap Head-On
It’s tempting to gloss over the gap in your work history, but addressing it head-on exudes confidence and honesty. Use a positive tone to describe this period.
For instance: “From 20XX to 20XX, I chose to take a career break to focus on raising my children.
During this time, I honed my multitasking skills, gained proficiency in time management, and acquired a heightened sense of responsibility – skills that I am eager to transfer into my next professional role.”
Highlight Relevant Activities During The Break
Did you volunteer at your child’s school, lead a parents’ group, or maybe start a part-time or freelance gig?
Any activity that shows you kept your skills fresh or acquired new ones is worth mentioning. If you took any online courses or attended workshops, list them under the ‘Education’ or ‘Professional Development’ sections.
Showcase Soft Skills With Examples
Parenting enhances a plethora of soft skills – patience, negotiation, communication, and more. Instead of just listing them, use real-life examples to illustrate how you’ve applied these skills.
For example, if you managed family finances or planned complex vacations, you could highlight your budgeting and organizational skills.
Reevaluate And Tailor Your Resume’s Format
Depending on the length of your career break, a chronological resume format might not best serve you. Consider a functional or hybrid format that emphasizes your skills and achievements over the traditional timeline of job experiences.
These formats can draw attention to your capabilities and lessen the focus on the gap.
Network, Network, Network
Once your resume is ready, tap into your network. Reconnect with old colleagues, join relevant professional groups on social media, or attend industry events. Personal recommendations can often bridge the perceived gap in your CV, offering prospective employers more confidence in your capabilities.
Seek Feedback Before Sending It Out
Before hitting the ‘send’ button, get feedback. Share your refreshed CV with trusted friends, family, or former colleagues.
Fresh eyes can catch mistakes, provide insights, and offer suggestions that might improve your resume’s impact.
Stay Current With Your Industry
Even if you’re still in the process of job hunting, ensure you’re up-to-date with the latest happenings in your industry. Subscribe to relevant publications, blogs, or news feeds.
This not only aids in tailoring your resume but also prepares you for interviews, showing potential employers that you are in tune with the current trends despite the break.
Prepare For The Interview
Your resume is just the first step. Once you secure an interview, be prepared to discuss your career break confidently. Rehearse answers to potential questions about your time off, emphasizing the value you bring to the table now.
Remember, everyone has a unique career journey – own yours with pride.
Consider Professional Resume Services
If you’re feeling unsure or overwhelmed by the process, consider seeking assistance from a professional resume service or career coach. These experts can offer tailored advice, provide insights into current hiring practices, and help refine your CV to meet industry standards.
Investing in a professional’s guidance might give you that extra edge, ensuring your resume not only accounts for the break but also shines a spotlight on your unique strengths and qualifications.
Taking a career break for kids is a personal and often necessary decision. While re-entering the workforce might seem challenging, remember that the skills and experiences you’ve gained during your break are invaluable.
By approaching your CV refresh with confidence, authenticity, and the tips listed above, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a winning resume and landing that dream job.
Embrace your journey, and let your CV tell the story of a dedicated professional who’s ready to make a triumphant return to the workforce.