How to Get a Job after a Long Career Gap: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you planning to return to the career track after a long gap? It indeed sounds intimidating and sometimes almost impossible.

People opt for career breaks for unforeseeable and unfortunate reasons – health issues, childcare, business opportunities, relocation, etc. Some individuals never return to their career paths and the rest back away due to prevalent misconceptions. These prevalent myths about the difficulty of re-entering the workforce bar several candidates from their dream jobs.

In India, 6 out of 10 women have experienced a career gap. They find the rejoin phase overwhelming due to unsuccessful job hunts, unemployment struggles and recruitment rejection. Some interviewers understand the career gap on your resume, while others avoid hiring such candidates. The overall situation has led to employment between men and women.

If you are someone facing similar struggles, this is a helpful read. In this meticulous blog, we have discussed expert strategies to improve skills after a career gap. We have also offered a list of job-oriented courses that can help getting re-hired. This read will equip individuals with the proper knowledge to re-enter the career path.

Understanding Career Gaps and What Needs to be the First Step

Career gaps or breaks are periods of absence from work due to several plausible reasons. It includes health concerns, relocation, family issues, and more. Career breaks are unpaid, and individuals utilise them in various methods depending on affordability. These are not similar to being laid off or getting fired.

While some individuals stay away from work to care for their families, others choose to learn new skills. Career breaks can range from a few months to more than a year, depending on the reason for the gap.

Here are a few common reasons candidates voluntarily take a career break –

  • Family Concerns – In India, women are the top candidates to avail of a career break and care for their newborns. Other reasons include family relocation, a member’s major illness, etc. The career break offers reasonable time to care for family members and improve their well-being.
  • Academic Purposes – Several candidates opt for breaks for advanced courses and theoretical reasons to extend their abilities. It can be a new discipline or courses to develop in the same discipline. The break helps candidates develop new skills and sharpen the existing abilities in their arsenal.
  • Startup Dream – Starting a business in India includes several steps. It involves market research, demographic analysis, product finalisation, and more. It is logically impossible to balance a business launch while working. It eventually leads to a career break.
  • Health Concerns – Health concerns can be mental and physical, leading to excessive burnout and inefficiency at work. In such a scenario, the best step is to take a break and recharge; several people opt for this in a lengthy career.

Staying abreast of domain updates and trends is vital, no matter the reason behind the career break. The elaborate knowledge of evolutions facilitates rejoining the workforce.

Importance of Crafting an Effective Resume

If we analyse historical data, most organisations are typically biased about career gaps and find them to be an unattractive employment scope. It makes grabbing a job after a long gap difficult.

So, in this section, we will offer a thorough guide to constructing an impressive resume. We will explore strategies to proudly portray career breaks and mitigate the negative impacts, if any.

Here is how to do it the right way –

  • Always be honest about the career break in your resume. Mention the timeframe of the gap and fortify it with a valid reason that benefits the hiring process. Honesty during employment allows transparency, reduces confusion and is always appreciated.
  • Reframe the career break as a positive experience by highlighting the utilisation process. It could be skill development programs and courses taken during the break. Individuals can highlight the voluntary projects taken up, highlighting the skills honed during this period.
  • Customise the resume according to the hiring organisation’s needs. Tailoring the resume content is essential for candidates on break. It makes the application relevant to each available job opportunity.
  • Utilise a functional format for the resume to divert the focus from the career gap to the various skills obtained. Additionally, you can highlight personal projects to grab the recruiter’s attention.
  • Pay extra attention to the cover letter and address the gap in this section. Briefly explain the career gap and the reason behind it. Always portray the enthusiasm to get back to the workplace.

By effectively constructing the resume, it is easier to communicate the skills and qualities of a candidate. The resume is the ideal placeholder to present oneself as a valuable addition to the team.

Strategies to Bridge the Career Gap and Get Hired

90% of the working group has experienced a career gap at some point in time, either for skill advancement or unfortunate reasons. Do they never find a quality job after a gap?

A simple answer is yes, they do.

Restarting your career after a career break requires the right strategies in the arsenal. The perfect methodologies can help land the ideal job after a long gap.

A well-structured resume plays an impactful role in the process. However, there are other essential steps as well –

  • Networking during the gap

If you know the present-day job market, you must have heard the term’ networking’. Especially if you are seeking a job in the digital domain, networking is crucial. It is reaching out to relevant people in the market and promoting your skills. The people can be hiring executives, experts in the field, owners and CEOs, and so on. These people can directly hire you after a career gap or recommend a secure position.

  • Volunteering or freelance work

To some, freelancing is a mind-boggling episode because of the unsteady paycheques. However, freelancing can be a boon during a career break. It keeps you practising and helps you hone your skills. Additionally, it helps build an intricate network with industry experts and stay informed of evolutions. The portrayal of various freelance projects is fascinating when rejoining the workforce.

  • Online projects or contributing to open-source initiatives

Participating in online projects and contributing to open-source communities help boost skills and career paths. These are impressive inclusions to the portfolio and resume and readily attract recruiting teams to the candidate.

Open-source contributions highlight a candidate’s ability to work with a team and flexibility in sharing ideas.

These are necessary qualities to bridge the career gap and secure a reputable job. While the prevalent idea of never finding a great job is a misconception, these steps are proven strategies for job success.

12 Job-oriented Courses to Consider after a Career Gap

Whether a short career gap or a long one, it is crucial to stay competitive. One effective way to update one’s skills and increase employability is by enrolling in job-oriented courses.

Job-oriented courses keep you ahead of the competition and aligned with industry upgrades. Several online courses cater to diverse fields, ensuring you can find the perfect fit for your career goals.

Here is a list of IT-based job-oriented courses promising for candidates planning to rejoin the workforce –

1. MERN Stack Development Course

Mastering MERN (MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, Node.js) is an excellent choice for aspiring web developers. This full-stack technology is widely used in the industry, making it a valuable asset for job seekers. Multiple online academies offer comprehensive courses covering each MERN component. These also allow candidates to build real-world projects and showcase their proficiency.

Eligibility – A minimum qualification of B. Tech, BCA or Diploma.

2. MEAN Stack Development Course

Similar to MERN, MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, Node.js) is another sought-after full-stack technology. Consider enrolling in a MEAN Stack Development Course to acquire in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience creating scalable and efficient web applications.

Eligibility – A minimum qualification of B. Tech, BCA or Diploma.

3. UI/UX Design Course

User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design are integral to creating an engaging digital presence. Explore online UI/UX Design courses to grasp the principles of effective design, usability, and interaction. These skills are highly sought after in various industries and add to the competitive edge.

Eligibility – A minimum completion of intermediate school or graduation.

4. Web Design Course with Bootstrap

Enhance your web design skills with a course that incorporates Bootstrap. This front-end framework helps in creating responsive and mobile-friendly web development. A Web Design Course with Bootstrap will equip candidates with visual skills and functional development. These qualities align with modern design standards, making candidates valuable to the job market.

Eligibility – Candidates with intermediary school and graduation certificates can enrol.

5. Web Design Course with Shopify

The Web design course with Shopify focuses on enhancing the e-commerce presence with modern design standards. With this course, learn to create visually appealing online stores, optimise user experience, and manage products effectively. With the increasing prominence of online businesses, mastering Shopify design can open doors to multiple opportunities in web design and e-commerce.

Eligibility – A minimum degree of graduation, B. Tech or BCA.

6. UNITY 3D Game Designing Course

For someone thrilled with the gaming industry, a UNITY 3D Game Designing Course is an exciting choice for re-joiners. Delve into three-dimensional game development and acquire graphics, animation, and interactive design skills. This game designing course caters to gaming enthusiasts and develops a unique skill set applicable to simulation and virtual reality industries.

Eligibility – A minimum qualification of B. Tech or BCA and higher is essential.

7. iOS App Development

Apple devices are ubiquitous, and the brand has many loyal customers. Amidst the excitement about Apple essentials, iOS app development is at the top of the list of valuable skills for 2024. Explore courses to train a candidate in Swift programming language and the intricacies of iOS app design. They are acquiring expertise in iOS app development positions candidates positively in the thriving market. As we progress, several organisations will seek skilled developers to create innovative and user-friendly applications for the Apple ecosystem.

Eligibility – Candidates with B. Tech, M.Tech, or BCA can enrol.

8. Android App Development

Similar to iOS development, another course that complements the skill set is Android App Development. Android has a vast user base, and a progressive demand for proficient developers exists. Enrol in courses that cover Java or Kotlin programming languages, enabling you to build feature-rich and scalable applications.

A well-rounded proficiency in iOS and Android development enhances marketability in the competitive tech space.

Eligibility – Candidates with a B. Tech or BCA degree are desirable.

9. React JS Course

React JS is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces in modern web development. Enrol in a React JS Course to learn the fundamentals of component-based architecture and reactive user interfaces. This course enriches candidates with the skills to create dynamic and efficient web applications. For workspace re-joiners, these skills are an asset to venture into front-end development.

Eligibility – Graduates and B. Tech candidates are eligible for a React JS course.

10. Node JS Course

Empower your full-stack development skills by enrolling in a Node JS Course. Node.js, with its event-driven architecture, is essential for server-side JavaScript development. Explore courses that delve into asynchronous programming, building scalable network applications, and utilising the Node.js runtime environment. A Node JS Course equips you to handle data-intensive and real-time applications, enhancing your versatility and making you a sought-after candidate in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Eligibility – A B. Tech or a BCA qualification is mandatory to enrol.

11. Angular Course

An Angular Course helps rejoining candidates stay at the forefront of front-end development. Angular is a Typescript-based open-source framework and is instrumental in building dynamic and robust single-page applications. A well-structured course covers Angular’s components, modules, and services and readies the candidate for the job market. A course guides you into becoming a proficient developer capable of creating complex and responsive web applications.

Eligibility – Both graduates and B. Tech candidates can enrol in an Angular course.

12. Digital Marketing Course

It is a digital era, and a profound understanding of online marketing is invaluable. Enrol in a digital marketing course to acquire SEO, social media marketing, content creation, and analytics skills. A job-oriented course helps you stay updated on the latest trends and tools in the digital landscape. A comprehensive Digital Marketing Course broadens the skill set and enhances the ability to promote products and services effectively. Digital marketing candidates are highly desirable assets for companies seeking a robust online presence.

Eligibility – Candidates must complete intermediary school or above to enrol in a digital marketing course.

Investing in continuous learning showcases adaptability and determination, setting the stage for a triumphant return to the workforce after a career gap.

These are some of the best job-oriented courses for candidates to join the workforce powerfully. Webskitters Academy, the best academy in Kolkata and Durgapur, offer certification, internships and placement guarantees. It is advisable to look out for such institutions.

Tips to Choose the Perfect Job-Oriented Course after a Career Gap

While there are many job-oriented courses, finding the perfect one is daunting. The course must align with industry demands and eligibility, and candidates must enjoy the learning program.

To make it easy for you to choose, we have collated some of the best tips and tricks before enrolling on the job-oriented course –

  • Select courses that align with current industry demands. It is paramount for a triumphant return to the workforce after a career gap.
  • Be aware of the evolving needs of the job market and opt for courses that address emerging technologies and trends. This strategic approach ensures that the skills you acquire are relevant and demanding.
  • Research industries of interest, analyse job requirements and tailor your course selection accordingly. By doing so, you position yourself as a well-informed and competitive candidate, ready to contribute effectively.
  • Certifications are pivotal in validating the skills and knowledge you acquired during your career gap. Employers prioritise candidates with recognised certifications, viewing them as individuals who have undergone rigorous training and possess industry-standard expertise.
  • Utilise the resume by highlighting the dedication to continuous learning and skill validation. It boosts the chances of securing a rewarding job opportunity.

Navigating the Interview Process after the Career Break

The interview process is the ultimate decision round in a hiring process. A quality resume, personal projects, and community contributions are crucial job enablers. However, the candidate must tackle the interview process to land a job successfully.

Here are result-driven tips to bag a job after a long career gap –

  • Prepare for the common questions – The first impressions are essential in the interview process, and how you converse has an impact. After the career gap, the interviewee’s first and foremost question is the reasons behind the gap. When faced with such questions, approach the topic transparently and confidently. Deliver legitimate and accurate answers and be professional about it. Confidence goes a long way in the interview process.
  • Highlight the skills achieved – A career break does not necessarily have to be an unfortunate event. Explain the reason for the break concisely, emphasising proactive steps taken to stay professionally relevant. You highlight pursuing courses, certifications, or freelance projects. Showcase a commitment to continuous learning and professional growth. It helps steer the conversation towards skills and readiness for the role.
  • Preparing Responses Beforehand – Anticipate and prepare responses to common questions about career gaps. Address concerns about outdated skills by emphasising the necessity of staying current through courses and certifications. Discuss how the break allowed skill enhancement and position the pause as a strategic move.
  • Bear a Positive Attitude – Maintain a positive demeanour throughout the interview process and portray the eagerness to contribute and learn. It translates to the ability to adapt and thrive in dynamic work environments. Assure the employers of the excitement of rejoining the workforce and discuss opportunities, growth and contribution.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to break through an interview after a career gap. The most innovative way to handle this is to focus on the necessary skills acquired rather than the monotonous talk of the gap.

Additional tip – Get certified before applying to any organisation after the gap. Always learn about the hiring company and their opinion about rejoinders before applying.

As a leading IT training academy for job-focused candidates, we have had the opportunity to train numerous candidates through the years. Several individuals have handled the comeback journey with a practical certification after a career gap. There have been challenges. However, the right learning program enabled a smooth transition to a new-found career.

If you are a concerned candidate, here are some real-life success stories of individuals who tackled career gaps and re-entered the workforce effortlessly.

These stories encompass diverse backgrounds and career paths and illustrate various strategies. You can take multiple approaches to bridge the career gap effectively. From updating skills through online courses to leveraging personal projects, these narratives provide valuable insights and motivation.

Overcoming Common Challenges after a Gap

As mentioned earlier, rejoining the workforce comes with unique challenges. Several hindrances, such as biases, self-doubt, and lack of confidence when planning to return to the career track, come into play. If not addressed and resolved diligently, it can drag down abilities and cause hindrance in employment.

Here are a few advice to keep handy before seeking out jobs –

– Addressing potential biases from employers requires proactive measures. Emphasise skills, achievements, and commitment to professional development during interviews.

– Showcase adaptability and eagerness to contribute. It ensures employers focus on the capabilities rather than the career gap.

– Tailor the resume and cover letter to highlight relevant experiences and skills. It reinforces the suitability of the candidate for the role.

– Engage with career counsellors for personalised guidance on re-entering the workforce. Seek mentorship from professionals who have successfully overcome similar challenges.

– Consult with like-minded people or fellow course candidates to exchange valuable insights and advice and enrich the career-centric environment.

Re-entering the workforce can trigger self-doubt and under-confidence. Building confidence is crucial for success, and signing up for a course facilitates the process. Acknowledge your accomplishments and seek support from friends, family, or mentors to boost confidence. Remember, each positive step contributes to your professional growth and success.

Restarting Your Career After a Career Break

Being sceptical and nervous about rejoining the workforce after a long gap is natural. However, we have established that the right strategies and skills expedite and ease job-hunting. The best way to gain ultimate confidence is to skill up with professional courses. These courses are structured to access the IT industry and land the perfect job in the modern world.

Whichever job-oriented course you opt for, consult with mentors and fellow candidates to break through challenges and mitigate the need for more confidence.

At Webskitters Academy, we aim to help candidates land the perfect job after a long career gap. We offer the best IT training courses in Kolkata designed with a competitive edge. These help pupils re-enter the modern digital realm with their success caps on.

We promise premium mentorships, certifications and guaranteed placements after course completion. To learn more, contact Webskitters Academy in Kolkata and Durgapur.

Ayan Sarkar

Ayan Sarkar is one of the youngest entrepreneurs of India. Possessing the talent of creative designing and development, Ayan is also interested in innovative technologies and believes in compiling them together to build unique digital solutions. He has worked as a consultant for various companies and has proved to be a value-added asset for each of them. With years of experience in web development, product managing and building domains for customers, he currently holds the position of the CTO in Webskitters Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd.