In an increasingly mobile workplace it is not unusual for candidates to have breaks on their CVs and for those looking for PA jobs in London, it is worth putting some effort into considering how best to present the time out.
First let’s look at the most common reasons for being out of the workplace. Clearly redundancy, whether voluntary or not, is likely to be one of the reasons. Employers will not be put off by that in itself (most people would be lucky to go through a career these days without it happening to them at least once), but they will be interested in the length of time and more importantly what you did to get yourself back in employment. They will also be interested in what you did whilst you were looking for a job - if the search becomes prolonged, think about doing a course to update your skills, learn a language, take part in voluntary work – this will not only will give you a structure it will boost your confidence, look good on your CV and lift your interview.
Career breaks for children
Children. Pretty obvious this one really and there are laws to prevent potential employers discriminating against you because of this. Again they will be interested in the length of time that you have been out the market, but don’t try to fudge the issue - be clear about why you decided to take more time, any skills you have gained and more importantly emphasise your goals and ambitions in returning to the workplace. Further education and retraining Both of these will be viewed positively by any potential employer, but if you’re retraining, it’s probably worth taking the time to mention the reasons behind that decision just in case it doesn’t come up at interview.
A far more common reason than perhaps it used to be and one that many employers will have seen on CVs. In our ever more connected world it is quite possible to travel to the corners of the earth and still remain in touch with your friends and colleagues, so a career break for travel doesn’t mean having to struggle to get back up to speed on developments in your industry. That said employers are going to be a lot more interested in a specific goal rather than reading that you’ve had a lovely six months lazing around on a beach in Bali for 6 months - climbing mountains sells better than being a beach bum or working in a bar (nice as that might be!). If you are going to work whilst travelling this is a huge opportunity to sell new skills on your return but try and find work that’s relevant and that will add new strings to your bow. Contact companies ahead of your arrival and try and fix up a work experience project however short can show your negotiation and organisational skills before you have set foot in the door.
Long-term career goals
If you’ve been out the market for a while it’s important to be clear about your career goals. What employers are looking for in a career break are signs of personal development and how that can be brought into a new workplace, so make an effort to spell out the benefits you have taken from your time out. Don’t be tempted to play down a voluntary break - if you had a great time say so - but you need to reassure a new employer that you’re committed to a return to the workplace.
PA recruitment agencies in London are seeing strong demand for candidates and RMS Recruitment will help you present the career break on your CV in a positive light to have the best possible chance of landing a plum job.