Many people find that throughout their lives unforeseen or planned events happen that pull them out of the workforce for short or long periods of time. Often resume writing for returning workers seems very problematic simply because there is a small or large gap in the work timeline detailed in the resume. Many people are very concerned with this, however resume writing for returning workers doesn’t have to be difficult with just a bit of planning and organization of the information on the resume.
One consideration in resume writing for returning workers is to avoid the traditional resume format that starts with employment history in reverse order. Most resumes will start with the most recent job first, then move on backwards in time. If there have been gaps in employment for any number of reasons this format will highlight those gaps rather than minimize them. A functional format is often the best, using a general topic then listing your specific skills under that heading. An example of the functional format of resume writing for returning workers could be:
• Completed daily ledger balances for sales and purchases
• Verified federal and state tax ledgers and audits.
• Managed Accounts payable.
Note that the functional format doesn’t list specific employers or jobs, which may be difficult for some employers to understand. You may wish to add some detail regarding the job name beside the various events or break it down under the general title by functional attributes at each job.
Another option for resume writing for returning workers is to place the extracurricular or volunteer or special skills section towards the front of the resume rather than towards the end as is typically seen in more traditional type of resumes. List the extra skills you possess that relate to the job before the actual work history skills.
Many websites that discuss options for resume writing for returning workers also report that addressing, in very brief and factual terms, the reasons for the employment gaps in the covering letter may also help the employer to understand. Keep this very brief and avoid trying for sympathy or trying to become too personal in the covering letter. A simple statement such as “I was temporarily out of the workforce from 1998 to 2005 during which time I was completing my degree and caring for my child”, is much more effective than just ignoring the gap or expanding on a personal belief that Moms or Dads should stay home for the child’s first few years. Illness or depressed economies can also be a cause for gaps in employment, it is important to consider if you wish to have this information in the covering letter or if you wish to discuss it at the interview.