7 Ways to Make Your CV Stand Out After a Career Break

7 Ways to Make Your CV Stand Out After a Career Break: Returning to work after a professional sabbatical may be difficult, particularly when it comes to updating your resume. Whether you take time off to raise a family, care for a loved one, or continue your education, it’s critical to demonstrate your abilities and expertise in a way that distinguishes you from other applicants. In this post, we’ll look at seven strategies to make your resume stand out after a career pause, so you can successfully express your worth to potential employers and obtain your ideal job.

7 Ways to Make Your CV Stand Out After a Career Break

Highlight transferable skills

Highlighting your transferable talents is one of the most crucial things you can do to make your CV stand out after a career gap. These are talents you learned in past careers that may be used to a variety of occupations and sectors. Some examples of transferrable abilities are:

  • Communication: The capacity to successfully communicate with coworkers, clients, and customers.
  • Teamwork is the capacity to collaborate with others in order to achieve common goals.
  • Problem-solving skill: The capacity to recognise and solve issues logically and efficiently.
  • Time management is the ability to efficiently manage your time and prioritise responsibilities.
  • Leadership is the capacity to lead and encourage a group to achieve their objectives.
  • Adaptability: The ability to change with the times and function in a flexible and dynamic workplace.
  • Technical abilities: The ability to perform activities and projects using technology and software.

Emphasize any relevant volunteering or freelance work

Another effective strategy to make your resume stand out after a professional gap is to highlight any relevant volunteering or freelancing work you have done while your absence from the job. Even if you were not compensated for this effort, it can illustrate your abilities, passion, and commitment to your chosen area. Here are some suggestions for emphasising relevant volunteer or freelancing work on your CV:

  • Include a section on your CV for your volunteer or freelance work, and discuss the projects you worked on and the talents you employed.
  • Highlight any accomplishments or successes you had while volunteering or working as a freelancer, such as raising funds for a charity or completing a large project for a client.
  • Highlight the talents you developed via volunteer or freelance work that are relevant to the position you’re looking for.
  • Include references or recommendations from organisations or clients with whom you worked as a volunteer or freelancer, if possible.

Be clear about your career break

It’s critical to be explicit about your career break on your CV, since future employers may be inquisitive as to why you took time off from employment. Here are a few pointers to help you decide on a career break:

Include the dates of your professional sabbatical on your CV, and be honest about why you took the gap. You may, for example, say that you took time off to care for a family member, travel, or improve your education. If at all feasible, highlight any abilities or experiences you earned during your career hiatus that are applicable to the position you are applying for. For example, you may say that you increased your language abilities while travelling, or that you learned project management skills.

When discussing your career break, be upbeat and confident. Rather than apologising for the break or becoming defensive, emphasise the worth and advantages of the experiences you acquired while on leave. If you’re comfortable doing so, you might mention your career gap in your cover letter or during the interview process. This might assist you in addressing any prospective employer issues or queries.

Tailor your CV to the job

Another key technique to make your CV stand out after a career pause is to tailor it to the position you’re looking for. Here are some pointers for personalising your CV:

Read the job description attentively and take note of the exact skills and experiences required by the company.

Examine your own CV to determine which talents and experiences are most relevant to the position you’re looking for.

Make your CV stand out by emphasising these relevant skills and experiences. For example, you might restructure your job history so that the most relevant experience is displayed first, or you could highlight specific accomplishments that illustrate your talents.

Use job-related keywords throughout your CV, as many employers use automated tools to scan CVs for specific keywords. In your CV, be concise and focused, emphasising the skills and experiences most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Use a modern CV format

Another strategy to make your CV stand out after a job gap is to use a current CV structure. Here are some pointers on how to use a contemporary CV format: Choose a basic, clean design that is easy to read and navigate.

Avoid employing unnecessarily sophisticated typefaces or designs. Throughout your CV, use a consistent structure with clear section titles and bullet points to emphasise crucial facts. To offer a quick overview of your talents and expertise, consider including a summary or profile section at the top of your CV.

To bring attention to crucial information or to generate visual appeal, use colour sparingly yet carefully. If applicable, provide connections to your professional social media platforms, such as LinkedIn.

Using a modern CV style will help your CV appear more current and fresh, which is especially crucial if you have been out of the labour for a time. A modern format can also assist to highlight your talents and expertise in a clear and succinct manner, which is appealing to potential employers. However, striking a balance between modern design and readability is critical, as a CV that is too flashy or difficult to read may turn off potential employers.

Include any relevant training or courses

Another key technique to make your CV stand out after a job pause is to include any relevant training or courses. Here are some pointers for include training and courses on your resume:

Include any relevant training or courses on your CV in a distinct area, such as “Professional Development” or “Training and Certifications.” Highlight the abilities or expertise you earned via training or courses and explain how they are applicable to the position you are looking for. Include the name of the training or course, as well as the institution or organisation that provided it and the date it was completed.

Consider providing links to any applicable certificates or digital badges on your CV if you completed any online courses or training. Include no training or courses that are unrelated to the job you are looking for, since this will clutter your CV and draw attention away from your relevant talents and experiences. You may show potential employers that you are devoted to learning and professional growth by putting relevant training or courses on your CV. This can assist to distinguish your CV and boost your chances of being asked to an interview.

Get feedback

Receiving feedback is another key step in making your resume stand out after a professional gap. Here are some suggestions for gaining comments on your CV:

Request that a friend or family member evaluate your resume and give honest criticism. They might be able to see mistakes or inconsistencies that you overlooked. Consider seeking input on your CV from a professional career coach or mentor. They may provide you professional advise on how to improve your CV and make it more appealing to potential employers.

If possible, try to get feedback directly from potential employers or recruiters. You can request comments on your CV following an interview or informative interview, or you can request feedback by email or LinkedIn. Consider using online tools or resources to gain input on your CV from a larger audience, such as CV review services or online feedback groups. Receiving input on your CV may assist you in identifying areas for improvement and making your CV stand out from the crowd. You may improve your chances of getting noticed by potential employers and securing your ideal job by taking the time to solicit feedback and make improvements.


Taking a career hiatus may be a terrific way to focus on personal and professional growth, but returning to the workforce can be intimidating, particularly when it comes to updating your CV. However, by following the advice in this article, you can create a CV that highlights your strengths and distinguishes you from potential employers.

You may demonstrate that you are a well-rounded applicant with the abilities and experience required for the position by emphasising your transferable talents, relevant volunteering or freelancing work, and any training or courses you have done. Tailoring your CV to the position you’re looking for, utilising a current structure, and soliciting comments may all help your CV stand out and enhance your chances of being seen by potential employers.

Remember that taking a career hiatus does not imply that you have lost your professional worth. You may establish your worth and acquire your ideal job by emphasising your unique experiences and accomplishments and demonstrating how they can contribute to the position you are looking for. With a little time and attention to detail, you can produce a CV that highlights your talents and distinguishes you from other job seekers.


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