Everyone may experience it at some stage or another, but whatever your reasons are for taking a break from your career, there’s really no reason why you can’t jump straight back into working life when you’re ready.

Below, we offer our advice on how to get back on the career ladder after a break in your career, to help make the transition back into work a whole lot easier.

Do your research

Firstly, you should do your research into what’s been happening within the industry during your time out.

Have there been any changes or new industry requirements? Is there a procedure in place that you now need to be aware of?

A simple way of finding out is researching the job role and seeing if anything has changed.

Perhaps sign up to an industry newsletter, or join a discussion online to help gauge if there have been any changes that are worth familiarising yourself with.

Better yet, see if you know anyone in the industry to speak to. It might be a friend, a mutual contact, or an old colleague. They can help fill you in on the necessary details, to make you feel at ease about coming back into the office.

Format your CV

10 Best Digital Marketing Certifications That Can Help You Scale Better Than Your Competitors

Whether it’s a short or longer period of time, it always looks odd having large gaps in your CV and little information about what you got up to.

There’s no reason for you not to fill out your CV, even if you weren’t employed at the time.

Look into changing the format of your CV to highlight any relevant experience or skills that are valuable to the employer.

And always remember to still highlight any relevant skills or experience that you gained before your break as it’s still applicable to the job.

Address the break in your cover letter

Don’t ever feel the need to gloss over your career break in the cover letter. Instead, use it as an opportunity to be upfront with the employer, as they’ll appreciate your honesty.

If you’re returning to the same industry, say that you can’t wait to come back. If it’s a new career, then highlight how excited you are to take on a new challenge.

Alongside this, be sure to shout about how your career break has benefited you: perhaps its given you a new lease of life, or time to retrain in a completely new area.

If you’re ready and immediately available for work then make sure to notify the employer in case they want to find someone quite quickly.

Read also: How to Write an Application Letter That Will Land You a Career

Prepare for the interview

Employers are going to want to know about why you took time off, so be prepared to answer it as tactfully as possible.

You don’t ever want to highlight how long you’ve been away from work. So if possible, always try to steer the conversation back to your skills and experience.

You need to prove that you’re as up to speed as someone whose been doing the job for a while. Therefore, you really need to research the company and familiarise yourself with the job description.

Doing so will give you a good understanding of what the employer is looking for. In turn, you’ll be able to prove that you know all there is to know about the industry and explain why you’re the best candidate for the job.

Regardless of any gaps, employers want you to show your willingness to come back to work and that you’re capable of doing what’s required.


While looking for work, volunteering is also great for easing yourself back into the working environment. That way it won’t be such a shock coming back.

Not only will volunteering help boost your CV, it will also give you transferable skills and experience you can highlight to potential employers.

Sign up for a local volunteering group, or have a look online for opportunities. Employers will value your work ethic and dedication.

Ready to get back on the career ladder after a break in your career?

Returning back to work after a large break can feel daunting. But, by planning ahead, researching the company and preparing your interview questions, you’ll soon find yourself climbing back up the career ladder in no time!

About The Author

Jack is a Content Marketing Executive at CV-Library. As a graduate of English literature and creator of Ramble on Records, he loves to write about a wide range of content and can be seen enjoying live music and festivals across the UK.