Reading Time: 3 minutesAre you feeling the itch to get back into the workforce after taking a break to raise your little ones? Jumping back in after a career gap can be equally exciting and daunting, and it does require some preparation. To help you get ready and to make the transition smoother, here are four tips for stay-at-home mums re-entering the workforce.
Sign up for a course
Stay-at-home mums re-entering the workforce might need to update some skills. This is especially important if you’re switching to a new field. Think about what abilities you’ll need to succeed in your target role and pick a course that will allow you to develop those skills. This will show employers you’re serious about going back to work.
Websites like edX, Coursera, and Udemy offer a wide range of courses. Many of them are free and can be completed at your own pace. If you’re worried about transitioning from a stay-at-home mum to a working mom, committing yourself to a few hours of studying each week can be a great way to ease into it.
If you’re just looking to refresh your industry knowledge, attend a seminar at one of the city’s universities. They’re often open to the public but might require you to sign up in advance.
Look for networking opportunities
Never held a job in Hong Kong? Or have you been away from the workforce for several years? Get back on the job market by connecting with professionals in your field. But first, talk to your friends and acquaintances to see if they know of any open positions that would suit you. Your hiking buddy or tennis partner could be your ticket to your next job.
If that doesn’t work out, Meetup.com is a great resource for stay-at-home mums re-entering the workforce by helping find networking opportunities. Some events require you to RSVP, so make sure you secure a spot before they run out. Another option is to look up events organised by the local chamber of commerce or your home country’s chamber of commerce in Hong Kong. Some arrange frequent social events that give you an opportunity to expand your network.
If you’re specifically interested in connecting with people who have been in your position, consider joining Women of Hong Kong. They’re a network of women who organise gatherings of all kinds, including networking events for female business owners and working mums. Besides helping you find a job, they can help you achieve a healthy work-life balance when returning to work.
Choose a functional resume format
Choosing the right format for your resume when you prepare to re-enter the workforce can make all the difference. A functional resume is the best choice when you’re a stay-at-home mum re-entering the workforce.
Most templates available online follow the reverse-chronological format, but this is better suited for job seekers without employment gaps. A functional resume, however, emphasises your relevant skills instead of your employment history. So, if you’re looking to pick up your career where you left off, it will allow you to show hiring managers that you have the skills they’re looking for while downplaying your employment gap.
Pair your resume with a cover letter
Taking a career break to raise a child is a valid reason for an employment gap. However, any gap requires an explanation. This is difficult to do on a resume, so submit a cover letter in which you briefly explain your circumstances. Don’t make it the focus of your cover letter but mention that you took time off to raise your child and that you’re now ready to get back to work.
Ida works at Resume Genius, a company that supports job seekers as they plan their next career moves. She graduated from New College of Florida with a double major in Philosophy/Chinese Language and Culture. In her spare time, Ida enjoys hiking, reading, and gardening.