The Returnship: Tips for Reentering the Job Market After Time Away

Maximilian Vanegas
The Returnship: Tips for Reentering the Job Market After Time Away
Sponsored by, WayUp

Whether it’s because of COVID, a major life event, or personal choice, there are a lot of reasons why people are reentering the job market right now. Given the fact that employers tend to stray away from people reentering the job market and the difficulty of getting on your feet again, it can be a little challenging to make this leap.

But just because you’ve spent some time away from the professional world doesn’t mean you’re not fit for it. And just because you haven’t been working recently doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot to offer.

To make your reentry a little bit easier and to equip with you everything you need to know to land that “returnship,” we broke down some career tips that everyone in this position should be doing to make them more attractive to employers

Starting with your resume.

Refresh that Resume

If you’re reentering the job market, chances are it’s been a while since you had to use your resume. And if you haven’t updated it since your last job interview, you’re going to want a few resume tips to freshen things up a bit.

Depending on the job you’re applying for, you’ll want to select and describe your past experiences and skills accordingly. Applying for a creative-oriented job? Scan your job history and past experiences for times you had to do something artistic or imaginative. Or maybe it is more analytical? In that case, try to find experience that shows your organizational skills or preference for precision. 

And if you don’t have a lot of job experience to work with, you’re going to want to double down on your skills and the manner in which you present them.

Showcase Your Skills

As a job marketplace that has helped hundreds of thousands of people get jobs, we have seen people showcase their skills devastatingly bad and exceptionally well. In the case that you’re returning to work after some time away, showcasing your skills becomes increasingly important.

Because you may not have a lot of job experience to work with, you’ll want to draw extra attention to your skills and capabilities. One way you can do this is by discussing the long-term growth of your skills. 

How did you first develop said skill and how have you strengthened it over the years? Also, keep in mind how recently you used that skill. Although you may not have been working recently, you should be able to describe how you either maintained or developed that skill while taking some time off. 

Describing Your “Off-Time” Properly

One question that will most definitely be asked of people re-entering the job market is how they spent their time in between jobs. And even if you didn’t really do anything, you’re going to have to make it sound like you did.

Maybe you decided to start pursuing one of your hobbies more passionately? Break it down and talk about it like a job experience. How and why did you dedicate time to it? What did you get out of it and what did you learn from it?

Maybe you became a parent, maybe you went back to school, whatever the reason is, the more value, worth, and experience you can draw to your time off the better your chances will be in the job market.

Start Small

If you’re looking for your first job after a significant break from work, chances are you may not be able to get the highest-paying job out there. This being the case, you’re going to want to start small.

Whether or not you are at an entry-level position, we recommend still searching for jobs on this tier. Another thing to look out for are part-time, freelance, or contract jobs that might not be long-term or full-time, but will still give you a little bit of experience that you can grease the wheels with.

Although it may not be exactly what you want, any kind of work you can get at the early stages of reentering the job market will make your resume more timely and you more of an attractive candidate.

Stay Confident

The most important career tip for reentering the job market is to stay confident. Chances are you will probably hear no a few times before hearing yes. You’re going to have to be able to take those punches and still retain your confident and motivated attitude.

Because without confidence and motivation, you won’t get very far. Know your worth, show your worth, and then start hunting for jobs.

Ready to get started? Make your free profile with WayUp and start getting matched with employers looking for people like you today!