Are You Ready to Re-Enter the Workforce?

You’ve been out of the workforce for a bit — or maybe quite some time — but now you’re ready to return. Whether you took some time away to care for a family member, travel the world or go back to school, jumping back in can feel simultaneously exciting and terrifying.

When handled correctly, having a resume gap shouldn’t impede your ability to find a fantastic new job. Simply realize this is a hurdle you’ll need to overcome and work with it. Use these tips to ease your transition back into the workforce.

Start Networking

Let your contacts know you’ve decided to come back to work. It’s very possible someone might know about a job lead that could meet your needs. Having someone from your network put in a good word with the hiring manager will seriously boost your chances of success, as employers prefer candidates who come with a recommendation from a contact they trust.

It’s also wise to work on making new connections, as this will further increase your chances of getting hired. Join a professional association, attending networking events, and work the job fair circuit to really get your name out there.

Update Your Skills

If you’ve been out of the workforce for a considerable period of time, your skills are probably a bit rusty. Update them by taking a class, immersing yourself in a relevant volunteer role or working on a side project you can present to potential employers.

Depending on the nature of your job, you might also need to renew any professional credentials required to get hired. Bring your skills and credentials up to date before embarking on your job search.

Choose the Right Resume Format

You already know you’ll need to update your resume, but you might not realize this includes changing the format. Chances are, your resume is currently in a standard reverse-chronological presentation, but this isn’t the best choice for candidates with an employment gap. Instead, switch to a functional setup, as it places a stronger focus on your skills and experience, rather than your work history.

Be Ready to Discuss Your Time Away

Any employer you interview with is going to ask about your employment gap. This is only a big deal if you make it one. Rehearse a short and sweet response that honestly explains the reason why you stepped away from work for a while and emphasizes your excitement to return.

Don’t stress if the reason you’ve been out of work is something you’re not proud of — e.g., you were fired from your last job. Briefly explain the situation, share what you learned and change the subject as quickly as possible. Every reasonable hiring manager understands you’re only human, so whatever happened shouldn’t inhibit your ability to start fresh.

Broaden Your Horizons

If you’ve always held permanent, full-time positions in the past, this might be the only type of job on your radar. However, temporary and temp-to-hire jobs can serve as a great transition back into the workforce. Consider taking on a job of this nature, as it will help you update your resume, meet new people and get your foot in the door with a great company.

Reentering the workforce is a major life change. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at

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