Resume Tips for Returning to the Workforce

Resume Tips for Returning to the Workforce

Returning to the workforce after a break can be challenging, but with the right resume, you can make a strong impression and increase your chances of landing a job. Here are some resume tips to help you navigate this process:

1. Highlight Relevant Skills and Experience

When updating your resume, focus on highlighting the skills and experience that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. This could include any relevant certifications, courses, or projects you have completed during your break.

For example, if you took a break to raise children, you can highlight skills such as multitasking, time management, and problem-solving, which are valuable in many jobs.

Here's an example:

Managed household finances and coordinated schedules for a family of four, demonstrating strong organizational and time management skills.

Volunteered at local school, developing and implementing a successful fundraising campaign that raised $10,000.

2. Address the Employment Gap

It's important to address the employment gap in your resume, as employers will likely notice it. Be honest about the break and explain what you did during that time.

For example, if you took time off to care for a sick family member, you can mention it in your resume:

Took a career break to care for a sick family member, providing full-time support and managing medical appointments and treatments.

Alternatively, if you used the break to further your education or gain new skills, you can highlight that:

During my break, I completed an online course in digital marketing and gained proficiency in social media management and content creation.

3. Emphasize Transferable Skills

Even if your previous experience may not directly align with the job you are applying for, you likely have transferable skills that can be valuable in any industry.

For example, if you have strong communication and leadership skills from your previous work experience, you can emphasize those skills on your resume:

Managed a team of 10 employees, effectively delegating tasks and ensuring timely project completion.

Delivered presentations to clients, showcasing product features and benefits.

4. Use a Functional Resume Format

If you have significant gaps in your work history, consider using a functional resume format instead of a chronological one. A functional resume focuses on your skills and achievements rather than the timeline of your work experience.

This format allows you to highlight your strengths and relevant qualifications at the top of your resume, making it easier for employers to see your potential.

5. Tailor Your Resume to Each Job Application

It's important to customize your resume for each job application. Carefully review the job description and identify the key skills and qualifications required for the position.

Then, incorporate those keywords and phrases into your resume to show that you are a good fit for the role.

For example, if the job description mentions the need for strong project management skills, you can highlight your experience in successfully managing projects:

Led cross-functional teams to successfully complete multiple projects on time and within budget.

Implemented project management tools to streamline processes and improve efficiency.

By tailoring your resume to each job application, you demonstrate your interest in the position and increase your chances of getting an interview.


Returning to the workforce can be a daunting task, but with a well-crafted resume, you can showcase your skills and experience effectively. Highlight your relevant skills, address the employment gap, emphasize transferable skills, consider using a functional resume format, and tailor your resume to each job application. By following these tips, you'll be on your way to securing a job and successfully re-entering the workforce.

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