7 Tips to Find Jobs for Women/Moms after Career Break

Thousands of women take a career break every year to start a family. New mothers often find it challenging getting accepted back into the workforce after their maternity break. This is true even for other women trying to get back to work after a career break.

Although more companies have begun offering maternity leaves, many women still need to halt their careers to care for their newborns. Other women might need a career break to care for their ageing parents. 

These career breaks often work against you when prospective employers consider your candidature for jobs. However, with the right mindset and a sound strategy, it is not difficult for you to overcome biases from employers and get back into the workforce. 

Here are seven tips to help you find jobs after a career break.

Optimise your resume:

A resume is the starting point of your job search. A well-crafted resume helps you stand out among other job aspirants. This assumes an even greater significance for women returning to the workforce after a career break.
Optimise your resume to highlight strengths and the salient aspects of your work experience. The resume should highlight core skills and include all relevant keywords. It also pays to mention your soft skills since it conveys your rounded personality to the employer. Also, be upfront about your maternity break.
It’s also good to pay attention to the resume’s design. For example, you could prioritise key points by placing them at the top. It also helps to choose a functional format in preference to the chronological format.  

Own your career break:

Do not be defensive about the career break. If you are confident about what you bring to the company, the career break should not pull you down. Own your career break and present it in a positive light.
Explain why you took the break and indicate the break’s length. Be positive when talking about the break and explain how it strengthened you mentally, and helped you develop the ability to multitask and empathise.

Prepare for your interview:

Feeling a little rusty after a break is natural. It is also normal to feel a little nervous and anxious. However, if you prepare well for the interview, you can overcome these feelings and not let them overwhelm you.
Your preparation should include researching your role and the company. It also pays to be prepared to discuss and answer questions about the reason(s) for the break, how you utilised the time, and your plan to balance your new work-life balance. 

Highlight your skills:

Highlight your core skills and other professional strengths such that the break does not become your defining characteristic for the prospective employer. The break should not take focus away from the real you and the value you bring to the job. List the professional and soft skills you have worked on and acquired during the break. Underscore these skills and explain how they have added to your previous experience and made you better – personally and professionally.  

Upskill and stay relevant:

It is important to update your skills regularly to stay competitive. The nature of jobs changes rapidly to keep pace with the changes in technology. Use the break to upskill yourself. The easy availability of online courses can enable you to upskill while attending to familial responsibilities at home.
Be strategic in your choice of courses by picking subjects relevant to the area of your specialisation. Certificate courses by recognised and reputed institutes strengthen your resume and increase your chances of selection. 

Extend your network:

When you are on a break and busy with caregiving responsibilities, you will likely lose touch with the goings-on in your industry or area of specialisation. You can overcome this disadvantage by working on maintaining and building your social network.
Staying connected with peers and seniors from your industry and industry recruiters signals your eventual return to work. Use social media to stay connected with like-minded professionals and other women on a break like you, and gain from their experience of handling similar challenges.

Be realistic in your job search:

Before your break, it is possible you were in a dream role that paid you well. After the break, you rarely will be able to start where you left off. It would help if you were realistic. The break, especially a long one, would have caused some gap in your skills and knowledge. Also, employers would have some apprehension regarding your ability to give 100 per cent to the role.
Be realistic, accept a drop in position and compensation if necessary. Focus on securing a job first, and then make up for the lost time by proving your worth to accelerate your career.

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