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Five Tips for Going Back to Work after a Long Absence

Five Tips for Going Back to Work after a Long AbsenceWhether it’s due to illness, parenthood, or simply a long period of unemployment, jumping back into the workforce can be daunting to say the least. You can ease this transition by jumping full-force into the job search, and keeping the following tips in mind.1. Update your CV.

It’s wishful thinking to cross your fingers and hope that an employer won’t notice gaps in your CV. Although they’ll notice, many recruiters can understand a lapse in time provided that you offer an explanation for your absence from the workforce. You can address this in your cover letter or interview, but another way to fill in the gaps is by showcasing your soft skills. Organization, adaptability, and initiative are all examples of soft skills you may have honed while away from the office, perhaps while travelling or volunteering. If you have been given responsibilities during your absence, mention these. Use a template or professional CV writing service if you’re unsure of how to work them into your CV naturally and effectively.

2. Update your skills.

Another way to increase your chances of getting your foot in the door is by updating your skills. There are a number of online, part-time, and temporary courses you can take to boost your credentials and make yourself a valuable asset. This can also help boost your morale, particularly if you’ve been unemployed for some time. Extra training shows an employer that you are willing to take the initiative to succeed in the industry, and can be a major plus on your CV despite a gap in traditional employment.

3. Get in touch with old contacts.

When you’re ready to take the plunge and start the job search, it’s also time to start networking. Do you have any former employers you could get in touch with? A former boss may be willing to sit and have a chat with you about your industry. You don’t have to specifically ask for a job, but reconnecting with former industry contacts can be a good stepping stone to learning about advances in your field. Similarly, get in touch with former peers, teachers, or mentors to put the feelers out and find out if anyone is looking for someone with your qualifications.

4. Start getting into the work routine.

One of the most challenging aspects of re-entering the workforce for those who have been away for some time is getting back into the daily 9-5 routine. As you begin your job search, set a schedule for yourself. Set daily goals, create an organized work space, and schedule breaks for lunch and errands. You’ll find the transition is far easier if you use a bit of self-discipline. Consider taking on temporary or voluntary work to pad your CV and practice getting back into a regular routine.

5. Research employers before an interview.

Stay on top of the latest trends in your industry by reading trade publications, blogs, and magazines. If you’re called for an interview, research your potential employer so that you are able to explain why you may be a good fit for their organization. Showing that you’ve gone the extra mile with preparation can help an employer overlook gaps in your work history.

Above all, be honest and upfront about your experience and stay positive during the search. Getting back into the workforce can be intimidating, but taking it one step at a time can help you advance your career despite a lengthy absence.

Image: Ammentorp/

About the Author: Rachel MacDonald is a talented writer who knows the ins and outs of professional copywriting. Her interests cover such areas as career, education and travel.

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