Handling a Work Hiatus on Your Resume
"Whether it's been six months or 10 years, searching for a job after a workforce absence can be daunting. Here are some tips on how to spruce up your resume to deal with the hiatus. 1. Assess Your Skills and Experience: Research your job target to learn what hiring managers now find desirable in ideal candidates. 2. Refresh Your Skills: Your research might have shown that some of your skills need to be updated. Because you are competing with job seekers who have been on steady career tracks, do what is necessary to compete successfully. 3. Maintain Ties to the Working World: Besides being a great opportunity to network, immersing yourself in professional activities will give you relevant, recent experience to add to your resume. 4. Pick the Right Format: Many people returning to work assume they need a functional resume to hide the gap. But be careful about selecting this format, because hiring managers might suspect you're trying to hide something. You might do better with a combination resume, which is a reverse-chronological resume that leads with a Qualifications Summary. 5. Accentuate the Positive: Organize your resume so your key selling points are immediately evident. 6. Don't Call Attention to Dates: Try not to emphasize dates when formatting your resume. Avoid surrounding dates with white space, which will draw the eye. Instead, place them in parentheses next to your job titles. 7. Put Your Cover Letter to Work: Use your cover letter to explain why you temporarily stepped away from your career, emphasizing that you're now available and excited about pursuing employment. Let your enthusiasm for reentering the workforce shine through your letter."