You sacrificed months or even years of established talent from the workplace to stay home and care for your young children, tend to a sick relative, was ill yourself or pursued a degree for more progressive career opportunities.
To both men and women, the hard decision to voluntarily leave a successful career behind is at one time fully sustained by faithful chants that 'it’s worth it' and 'it won’t be too hard to return'. Consequently, when the necessary tour of absence from work has ended, those songs fade to a dead silence when applicants trying to return to work, discover how difficult it can be to obtain lucrative employment.
The reality, is that time has passed since you last applied work related expertise and your resume, although impressive may be old news to recruiters seeking to fill positions with today’s requirements. The good news is that you have accomplished your personal leave agenda and are more eager than most to perform for a potential employer. Make an aggressive come-back by highlighting your most valuable contributions and communicate that you still have what it takes.
Tell your story – Employers want to know why you have not worked for an extended period. In your cover letter along with your past key achievements and what you can offer, narrate your heroic efforts about the types of responsibility you have had outside of the corporate setting. Life does not stop after office hours and you made a choice for good reason that may or may not have benefited you personally. This kind of decision making exhibits leadership and unselfish characteristics – traits that make a great team member.
Demonstrate new skills – Show employers that you are abreast in your field and have developed new skills in your industry. Reading trade publications and taking classes during a prolonged period of unemployment will help you stay current in technical skills and professional practice. Quote and interpret a policy or new technology on your cover letter or attached essay that shows you have learned how it applies to the position you seek. Volunteering in your industry is also an effective approach to ease the transition back into full-time employment with updated experience. The bottom line is to display that you were out of the office but not out of sync with your skill level and ability to perform.
Give face –Think you can call old co-workers and team mates? Probably so, but they have your former position, either have moved on themselves or find it daunting to help fill a job that competes with their own. With the job market today, a person looking for work is one that will realize how few friends they really have. Even with tons of social media and evolving methods of communication, face-to-face will always reign supreme in making solid, genuine connections. Show up to organization events, meet new people and introduce yourself. When someone hands you a card and tells you to call them after knowing you are seeking employment, you should be opening up your briefcase and pulling out a crisp resume package on the spot. Give them some time to contact you, and use their card information to follow up.
Being yourself, telling your unique story and verifying that you are still an asset to a potential employer is a winning strategy. Making a come-back is for the brave worker who gladly accepts a challenge and is confident enough to compete for positions with the current workforce. This is the kind of resiliency that hiring managers desire in their top executives.