How do you get back to a proper job after a career break? It’s a devastating question for many. Professionals who already have a career break spend a lot of their time contemplating finding a job after a break.
But how do you get back at it again? A lot of things might have changed during your career break. Has the job market gone crazy competitive after you left? Are your skills even relevant anymore? How do you explain that gap in your resume? How do you contend with all the freshers just out of college, full of vigour to start work?
Well, fret not. While all these questions have been plaguing you, we have compiled a short comprehensive guide on finding a job after a career break in tech.
What is a career break – How to define a career break?
An employment gap of 6 months or more can be considered a career break. It can be a planned or unplanned break, varying from a few weeks to several years. Some people take career breaks to travel, spend time with family, pursue further education, or take on a new challenge.
According to a survey by LinkedIn, 62% of employees have already taken a break from their professional lives. The survey included 23,000 workers and over 4,000 hiring managers. Additionally, 35% of employees indicated that they would likely take a career break immediately.
LinkedIn reports that professionals who take career breaks often use the time to refine or develop new skills. According to the data, 56% of employees say they gained new skills or improved existing ones during a career break, and 54% of women who took career breaks say they are now more accomplished in their job than before.
Additionally, employer attitudes towards career breaks are changing: 46% of employers believe that candidates with career breaks represent an untapped talent pool, and 51% of employers would likely consider calling a candidate back for an interview if they knew the context for the break.
#1 Assessing your skills and experience
Identifying your strengths and areas for improvement while applying for a job after a career break in tech can be a helpful way to tailor your job search and increase your chances of success.
To identify your strengths, consider the skills and experiences you gained before your career break and how they may be relevant to the job. Then, assess what makes you unique and differentiates you from other candidates. Some potential strengths include technical skills, problem-solving abilities, project management experience, and strong communication skills.
You can also identify your areas for improvement by evaluating the skills required for the job you are applying for and comparing them to your current abilities. Then, consider what you could do to fill in any gaps in your knowledge or experience. Some potential areas for improvement could include taking online courses, earning certifications to update your technical skills, or practising your communication and presentation skills.
In addition to identifying your strengths and areas for improvement, it can also be helpful to consider any relevant experiences you gained during your career break. For example, if you took time off to care for a family member or travel, you might have gained valuable skills in time management, adaptability, and problem-solving skills.
Overall, it is essential to be honest, and realistic about your strengths and areas for improvement when applying for a job after a career break in tech. By demonstrating a willingness to learn and grow, you can show potential employers that you are a strong candidate for the position. Therefore, you need to upskill yourself to get back to a job.
#2 Updating your Resume and LinkedIn
Updating your resume and LinkedIn profile while applying for a job after a career break can help showcase your skills and experiences to potential employers and highlight the value you can bring to their organization.
While highlighting your skills and experiences is necessary, it is also essential to tailor your resume according to the job role. It can help you stand out as a strong candidate and show that you have the skills and experiences needed for the position.
LinkedIn is a valuable tool when applying for a job after a career break in tech. Updating your LinkedIn profile can help you connect with potential employers and showcase your professional brand. You can also use LinkedIn to showcase any relevant work you have done, such as blog posts, articles you have written, or projects you have completed.
Taking these steps can help you stand out as a strong candidate and increase your chances of success when applying for a job after a career break in tech.
#3 Networking and getting references
Networking can involve:
- Reaching out to professionals in your field or industry.
- Attending industry events or conferences.
- Joining professional organizations or groups.
By building relationships with others in your field, you can learn about job opportunities, get advice and guidance, and potentially secure a referral for a job.
In addition to networking, it can also be helpful to get references from previous employers or colleagues who can speak to your skills and experiences. References can help potential employers better understand your qualifications and give them confidence in your ability to perform well in the role.
Choosing individuals who can positively speak to your skills and experiences is essential when seeking references. Consider reaching out to former supervisors or colleagues who you worked closely with and who can speak to your strengths and accomplishments.
Networking and getting references can be valuable strategies when applying for a job after a career break in tech. In addition, building relationships and showcasing your qualifications can increase your chances of success in the job search process.
#4 Identify the right Companies.
Identifying companies and industries like Nintriva that are open to hiring someone with a career break l can be a helpful strategy when finding a job after a career break in tech. There are a few different factors you can consider when searching for companies and industries that may be open to hiring someone with a career break:
- Look for companies with flexible work policies: Some companies may be more welcoming to someone with a career break if they have flexible work policies, such as part-time or remote work options.
- Consider industries with a high demand for skilled professionals: Industries with a high demand for skilled professionals will be ready to hire someone with a career break, as they might be willing to consider a broader range of candidates to meet their staffing needs.
- Research companies with a history of supporting diversity and inclusion: Some companies may provide someone with a career break if they are strongly committed to diversity and inclusion.
- Look for companies that offer training and development opportunities – Companies that offer training and development opportunities may be more open to hiring someone with a career break. They will be willing to invest in helping you get up to speed and develop your skills.
#5 Tailoring your Resume and Cover Letter
By tailoring your application materials to the specific job and company, you can show potential employers that you are a strong fit for the position and the organization.
To customize your resume and cover letter, consider the skills and experiences required for the job and highlight any relevant skills and experiences you have gained before or during your career break. You can also use the job description and company website to understand the company’s culture and values better and tailor your application materials accordingly.
Using keywords and language relevant to the company you are applying to is also essential. It can help you stand out as a strong candidate and show that you have the skills and experience needed for the position.
#6 Practising for Job Interviews
Preparing for common interview questions and scenarios can increase your confidence and improve your chances of success.
Here are a few tips for practising for job interviews:
- Research common interview questions: Look for lists of common interview questions online or ask friends or colleagues recently going through the job interview process for advice. You can then practice answering these questions out loud, either on your own or with someone else.
- Practise your body language: Pay attention to your body language during your practice sessions, as this can be just as important as your verbal responses. Make sure to maintain eye contact, sit straight, and use gestures to emphasize your points.
- Practise with a friend or colleague: Consider practising with a friend or colleague who can give you feedback on your responses and body language. It can be beneficial if you have been out of the job market for a while and want a fresh perspective on your interview skills.
- Record yourself: Another option is to record yourself during a practice session and then watch the recording back to see how you come across it. It can help you identify areas for improvement and make adjustments before your job interview.
#7 Negotiating Salary and other Benefits
Effective negotiation ensures that you are fairly compensated for your skills and experience and have the support you need to succeed in your new role.
Here are a few tips for negotiating your salary and benefits:
- Research market rates: Understanding what is fair and competitive in your field or industry is essential. You can research market rates for your role by looking at salary data from websites like Glassdoor or talking to colleagues or professionals in your field.
- Prepare a list of your skills and accomplishments: It can be helpful to clearly understand your value as an employee when negotiating your salary and benefits. Please list your skills, experiences, accomplishments and previous endeavours relevant to the job you are applying for and be prepared to discuss them during the negotiation process.
- Consider your non-monetary needs: In addition to your salary, you may also want to negotiate other benefits, such as vacation time, flexible work arrangements, or professional development opportunities.
- Practice your negotiation skills: Practising your negotiation skills can help you feel more confident and prepared when negotiating your salary and benefits. Consider practising with a friend or colleague to understand how you might handle different negotiation scenarios.
With adequate research and preparation, you can increase your chances of success when negotiating your salary and benefits while finding a job after a career break in tech.
Finding a job after a career break in tech can be challenging but rewarding. By taking the time to identify your strengths and areas for improvement, updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, networking and getting references, researching job opportunities, and tailoring your application materials to the specific job and company, you’re bound to find a suitable role.
For those considering returning to the tech industry after a career break, it is essential to remember that you have valuable skills and experiences to offer and that you are not alone in your job search. With hard work and determination, you can successfully re-enter the tech industry and make a meaningful contribution to your chosen field.