Re-entering the job market after a career break can seem daunting. Whether you’ve taken time off to care for family, travel, study, or for personal reasons, it’s important to know how to effectively present this break on your resume and how to update your skills to stay current with the demands of the market.

How to Explain a Career Break on Your Resume

Be Transparent:

-Don’t try to hide the break. Honesty is key to building trust with employers.

 -Instead of avoiding the topic, briefly mention the reason for your break in your resume or cover letter.

Focus on the Positive:

-Describe any skills or knowledge you acquired during your break. For example, if you cared for family, you can highlight time management, organization, and multitasking skills.

-If you took courses, learned a new language, or did volunteer work, make sure to mention it.

Functional or Combined Format:

-Consider using a functional or combined resume format instead of a chronological one. These formats allow you to highlight your skills and achievements without overemphasizing the timeline.

-In a functional resume, organize the information by skill areas instead of chronological order.

Brief and Clear Explanation:

-In the work experience section, include a brief explanation of your break. For example: “Career break for family care (2019-2021)”.

-Keep the explanation concise and quickly move on to highlight your relevant skills and experiences.

Resources to Update Skills and Knowledge

Online Courses and Certifications:

-Platforms like Coursera, edX, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of courses and certifications. You can learn new technical and soft skills at your own pace.

-Look for courses that are relevant to your industry and the roles you aspire to.

Bootcamps and Workshops:

-Intensive bootcamps and workshops can be a great way to acquire specific skills in a short period. They are especially useful for fields like programming, graphic design, and digital marketing.

-Research the most recognized bootcamps and check their job placement rates.

Professional Networking and Events:

-Attend networking events, job fairs, and webinars to meet professionals in your field and stay updated on market trends.

-Join LinkedIn groups and communities related to your industry to exchange knowledge and job opportunities.

Volunteering and Freelance Projects:

-Consider doing volunteer work or freelance projects to keep your skills active and gain recent experience.

-These activities can be a great way to demonstrate your commitment and update your resume with recent experiences.

Mentoring and Professional Coaching:

-Find a mentor in your field who can guide you and offer advice on re-entering the job market.

-Professional coaches can help you prepare your resume, improve your interview skills, and provide personalized job search strategies.

Updating Tools and Software:

-Stay updated with the latest tools and software used in your industry. Learn to use relevant programs and platforms that may be necessary for the roles you aspire to.

-Updated tech skills are highly valued by employers and can give you a competitive edge.

Searching for a job after a career break requires strategy and preparation, but with the right attitude and resources, you can successfully re-enter the job market. By being honest about your break, highlighting your relevant skills and experiences, and taking advantage of the many opportunities to update your knowledge, you can show employers that you are ready and motivated to make a significant contribution in your next role.