Re-joining workforce after a break can be a daunting task for anyone. Fortunately, we are living in the time, where career gaps are no longer frowned upon but are accepted as a career decision. Whether the break was due to industry change, relocation, parenthood or entrepreneurship stint nowadays HR is open towards it as long as one can present an honest reason for it.
Our progressive career often introduces various challenges which push our careers in the backseat which is acceptable and there is nothing to feel embarrassed. Taking into consideration maternity breaks, In India, as well as across the world, millions of women take extended breaks from work mostly for motherhood responsibility. According to a study by the World Bank, more than 20 million Indian women take sabbatical & eventually leave workforce jobs between 2004-18.
To assist all our candidates to confidently make way back to the mainstream, we share a few tips from a recruiter point of view to help you justify your career gap.
1. Prepare yourself
The break can be liberating but also intimidating depending on the reasons and the duration of the break. Many professionals feel the comeback challenging because of the self-doubt. The first and foremost way to break this huddle is to prepare well. You can practice the potential questions and their answers with your friend to boost your confidence. Your reverts to questions on career gap reasons and duration should be very clear and well laid down. All your responses should be in professional tone & concise without delving in the details unless asked otherwise. Share only the information that would help the hiring manager take the decision not beyond.
2. Remain in the network
It is always advisable to never burn the bridges in your last company, even if you taking a break for a short duration or you planning to change the industry. The new employer will always do a reference check, so it always helps you were in the good books of your last employee. You can remain connected to your network through social media. With our unique initiative Success After Joining, we keep in touch professional even after joining, we suggest the same for you to remain in touch with your recruiters, hiring managers and seniors you have worked with in your past, so they can assist you whenever you plan to re-join work.
3. Social media & Online presence
Remain careful, of what you mention on your LinkedIn account or any other job sites. The discrepancy in the dates can lead to challenges of employment verification.
4. How did you utilize the gap
Often with situations like maternity break, relocation you were not able to continue full-time job but you can still explain, how you have used this break to enhance your skills. You may think to take an online course or freelance projects to remain updated on the industry trend.
We, here also believe in the concept of ‘Career selectability’ which allows the candidates to choose job-based on their interest and learning rather than the academics. Likewise, you can utilize your sabbatical to study your interest area and make a career transition.
5. Bring the emphasis back to why you’re the best candidate for the job
As said, it is important to give a short and clear response to the reason, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave it at ‘personal, family or health reasons, then move the conversation back to why you’re the best candidate for the job.
Without been desperate, you can mention, how this break has allowed you some down-time to learn and rework on your career goals, then you can link back to the role, and why this opportunity and company stand out for you.
Regardless of your reasoning for leaving the workforce, the best way to impress a potential employer is, to be honest about your time off, and emphasize how you can still be an asset to their company.
6. Show a positive attitude
If during an interview, you sound nervous or your body language is defeated or slumped, this may raise a red flag that the reason for your time out will affect your ability to do your job. Instead, be confident, self-assured and open expression and then gently guide the focus back to the reason you’re there – to prove your suitability for the job. Show eagerness to join but not desperation that the employer starts doubting your potential. Negotiate mindfully and at par with the market rate. Remain positive and confident.
We wish you all the luck and success to find the job you love. Feel free to check career job opportunities here. You can also drop your resume with us here so we can get in touch with you for future opportunities.