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How to write a CV after a career break

How to write a CV after a career break


Whether you’ve taken time out to bring up a family or just had time out to discover what direction you want to take, you’re now wanting to return to work and it’s time to write your CV. The common misconception is that employers frown upon a career break. That isn’t the case; employers will respect your reasons for taking time out, you just need to explain that to them.

Start by planning

Don’t just jump straight into writing your CV. It’s important to properly plan everything you want to get across. Firstly, consider the jobs you are planning to apply for. You want to tailor the information to these roles. Also, plot out your previous experience and skills, and ensure that they match up to the expectations of the role you want to apply for. If they don’t then you need to consider whether you do some training or gain qualifications, or consider other roles.

Choose the right structure

For the most part, people will typically use the reverse chronological structure for their CV, listing their skills, qualifications and personal statement above a history of their work experience starting with most recent first.

However, if you’ve taken a break from work then this format will draw attention to that. The other structure that can be used is skill-focused. Rather than listing your career experience by date, you can use the skills section to expand on the experience you have. Pinpoint the abilities that are most relevant to the role you’re applying for, using them as headings for mini sections (one per skill). Then in each section explain how you’ve put the skills into practice by using examples of your real-life experience, work or personal.

Filling out a skill-based CV structure

Each skill or competency section should explain in more detail how you can demonstrate this skill. Providing two to three examples that reinforce why you can consider this a skill or competency will help the employer to paint a picture of how you work and what benefit you can bring to the role.

Adding your skills to the forefront of your CV firstly draws attention to what you can bring to the role, which is important whether you have taken time out from your career or not. The employer wants to know why you are right for the role and if you have the skills and experience, a career break shouldn’t impact your ability to return to work and fulfil your duties in your new job.

As always, the team at Pitman Training Swords are available to chat and offer career advice throughout your job search. If you’d like to chat to the team, call 01 8404075 or email swords@pitman-training.net.



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