Career gaps sometimes happen. Perhaps you’ve taken time off to travel, volunteer or raise a family—but now it’s come time to re-enter the workforce. You may be nervous that you’ve “timed yourself out” of job opportunities, but the key to remember is what you learned while you sought alternate ways to spend your time. Plus, our top five tips can help you quickly and easily transition to the working world.

Ready to work but not sure where to start?

  1. Build a functional resume. Rather than highlight glaring employment gaps, structure your resume to group your career experiences. For example, you might have a section titled, “Programming” and list all appropriate career experience that falls under that topic. Build a section for each of your major career skills or experiences.
  2. Give credit for the “school of hard knocks.” You can also pad your resume with learning you did outside the typical work place. This may have mostly to do with soft skills, unless you spent time studying abroad or gained similar hands-on knowledge. If you took time to raise young children, you may have gained patience and built your time management skills. If you traveled, you may have become more flexible or open-minded. Think outside the box—everyone is continuously learning, even if knowledge you gain is indirectly related to your career.
  3. Build your skills before you apply. As you’re busy boosting your resume, you may decide you need experience in a certain area and want to take a course, volunteer, etc., to build up your career skills. This way, you’ll have a recent accomplishment(s) to include on your resume.
  4. Consider part-time or temporary work. Another great way to increase your job experience is to try part-time or temporary assignments. You’ll be able to “get your feet wet” before jumping into a new job full time—and this can be a welcome comfort to help you get used to returning to the working world. You can also learn more about yourself your likes and dislikes. Plus, temporary jobs can often turn into full-time permanent positions.
  5. Get noticed. By posting your resume on major job sites, such as or, you’ll increase the number of potential employers who see them. Depending on your industry, you may also want to post to the website of a professional industry organization, or attend a networking event. It can also help to work with a recruiter who specializes in your field.

You’ll get out of it what you put into it

Your efforts will help you get that much closer to an exciting new job. Making the leap back into the workforce can feel intimidating, but the harder you work at it, the more your efforts will pay off.

McGrath Systems can help

We’re a leading staffing agency and we specialize in administrative, IT, human resources, light industrial and engineering job placements. We’ll work with you to ease your transition back into the working world and find a job you enjoy. To learn more, contact our experienced staffing professionals today!

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