return to work

Re-Boot your career: Tips to return to work after a career break

Have you been out of the workforce for a while? Are you looking to return?

Career breaks are increasingly common and occur for various reasons. But when the time comes, returning to work can be daunting.

Indeed and Upskilled provide tips on how to return to the workforce after a long break.

How to return to the workforce after a long break

Start with Focus

When you decide to re-enter the workforce, review your experience and qualifications. Remember your skills and interests could have changed since your last job. It is also essential to think about what you want most from your career at this point.


Refresh your resume

You must update your resume if you’ve been out of work for a while.  In it, you should briefly acknowledge that you have been out of the workforce.

Consider whether you did anything during your career break that could be relevant to your future roles.

You should include extra-curricular activities such as volunteering and church groups on your resume. These illustrate that you have engaged with the community while away from work.


Refresh your skills

You may need to refresh your skills if you have been out of the workforce for a while. Updating your skills will show your employers you are up to date with the latest industry changes and trends. If you feel your skills are outdated, you could consider taking a refresher course. You could also volunteer in a relevant field to sharpen your skills.


Build your network

You can do this by going to events or joining professional associations. You may become exposed to those with job insights or even those who are looking to hire


Use existing network

Draw upon old colleagues and work connections. Let them know you are getting back into the workforce.


Get help from a career coach

A career coach can help you determine where your focus should lie and teach you how to network. Public Service Resumes is pleased to offer career development coaching.


Develop an elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a brief speech you can give to anyone about your work experience and desire to return to the workforce. You should include your key skills and attributes. Practice this pitch until you feel comfortable delivering it.


Consider Part-time or Freelance Work

If returning to work seems daunting, a part-time position may help you ease yourself back into the workforce.

Freelance work can help you reduce any gaps in your resume and can add to your work portfolio.


Prepare for Interview

Practice answering questions about why you have been absent from the workforce.  Try to explain how you have developed as a person during your absence from the workforce. Don’t try to avoid the issue or apologise for it. Reassure the employer you are ready to work again.


Focus on your soft skills

Soft skills include adaptability and flexibility, communication and time management. These are the skills you should focus on as they are highly sought after by employers.


Consider A Returnship

Returnships are return-to-work programs specifically designed for individuals who have been out of the workforce for a significant amount of time. A returnship can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.  Using a returnship, you can return to your previous career or forge a new career path that makes use of your transferrable skills.

A returnship aims to sharpen old skills, learn new ones and build a network.  Many prominent companies offer returnships that are aimed at professionals including Accenture Macquarie Group and EY


back to job

If you are looking to return to the workforce, Public Service Resumes can assist you with our resume and cover letter writing service.