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How to Explain Long Absence on Resumes

Resume Remedy: How to Update Resumes After Long Absences

Reader cleveland75 needs some help updating her resume after a long absence from work. Weigh in with your comments and suggestions below. She says:

I need some help updating my resume after being out of the workforce for the last four years while concentrating on my family.  How and where do I put that?  Also, my resume needs some help polishing.  Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!

To hear my response, read on.

Congratulations on your return to the workforce!  Your resume looks great, and you're right, you just need a little bit of polishing to make it shine. It's understandable that you had to take leave to take care of family matters so it's best to address that in your cover letter. Here are some things you can do to spruce up your resume and some other tips to ease your transition back into the working world:

  • Fill in Resume Gaps: Make sure your potential employer knows that you've been retaining and growing your skills even though you have been out of the workforce. Check out some of these great resume fillers that demonstrate your dedication to self-improvement. Highlight anything you've done in your absence that is related to your field.
  • Start Networking: Get back in touch with old colleagues and bosses just to get a better feel of the job industry or to see if there are any job positions available for you. Attend events to get back in the groove and to look for job opportunities. After all, 80 percent of job postings aren't listed so you should definitely amp up your network.
  • Freelance or Part-Time: Consider freelancing, temping, or a taking on a part-time job, just to get your feet wet, and as a reintroduction back into your industry. It might be tough transitioning back into the daily grind after a four-year break so think of these semi-permanent positions as a baby step to success.

Do any of you have more tips on writing resumes with career gaps, particularly if it's family related?

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