Life can take unexpected turns, and sometimes, we find ourselves facing gaps in our employment history. Whether it's due to personal reasons, pursuing further education, or even navigating a pandemic, a lapse in employment can feel daunting.
However, if you possess technical skills, you're in a favorable position to make a strong comeback. In this blog, we'll explore the steps to help you land a job after a gap in employment, leveraging your technical prowess. At Anchor Point Technology Resources, we would be happy to help anyone with a great technical background get back into an awesome role.
The tech industry is ever evolving, so it's essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. During your employment gap, consider taking online courses, attending workshops, or earning certifications relevant to your field. Platforms like Coursera, edX, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of courses taught by industry experts. By demonstrating that you're actively improving your skills, you'll prove your commitment to potential employers. There are also plenty of low-cost code camps available. You should check out Codecademy.com or a similar website. Freecodecamp.org is also a free source for learning, as is YouTube, which has countless hours of training information. HackerRank is also a great place to get coding certs.
Revamp Your Resume
Your resume is your first impression on employers, so it's crucial to make it shine. Tailor your resume to highlight your technical skills and accomplishments. Include any relevant coursework, personal projects, or freelance work you've undertaken during your employment gap. Be honest about the gap but focus on your growth and achievements during that time. You should also tailor your resume to the role that you are applying for. Highlight the relatable skills that you have used in other roles. If you have someone you trust or even a recruiter that you have been working with, they would be a great resource to give your resume a once over. Be sure to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date with your latest resume as well.
Network, Network, Network
Networking is often the key to landing a job, especially in the tech industry and after coming back from an employment gap. Attend industry events, join online forums and communities, and connect with professionals on LinkedIn. Don't be afraid to reach out to former colleagues or mentors for advice or potential job leads. Also, again, ask a recruiter as well. Depending on the experience you have, they know who is looking or where to look for a great opportunity. They might also be able to generate one given the right person reaching out. One of our specialties at Anchor Point is our massive network of contacts. We certainly know someone we can connect you with.
Showcase Personal Projects
If you've worked on personal tech projects during your employment gap, showcase them in your portfolio. Create a personal website or GitHub repository to demonstrate your coding skills and problem-solving abilities. Personal projects can often be just as impressive as professional experiences, especially if they address real-world issues or showcase your innovation. Personal websites are also a great tool, especially when you can really show off all your skills and the information that you decide to post.
Prepare for Interviews
Practice interviewing by participating in mock interviews or using platforms like LeetCode and HackerRank to sharpen your coding skills. Be ready to discuss your employment gap openly but focus on what you learned and how you grew during that time. Emphasize how your technical skills have improved and how they align with the job you're applying for.
When returning to the job market after a gap, it's essential to be open to various opportunities. You might not land your dream job right away, but consider entry-level positions or internships to regain your footing. These opportunities can serve as stepping stones to your desired role and help you rebuild your professional track record. You might also have to work more in person job and can work into a role that can become more remote.
Work with a Recruiter
Re-entering the job market can be challenging, and a professional recruiter specialized in the tech space can be a vital resource. When dealing with an employment gap, knowing where to start can be easier when working with an expert. We have said it a few times, but recruiters are an amazing free resource. A good recruiter will advise you on your resume, connect you to job opportunities that align with your goals, prepare you for your interview, and many other valuable services. The goal of our recruiting team is to provide career advisement to our clients across the span of their employment journey. Anchor Point has an extensive network as well as the best staff in the industry.
In conclusion, getting a job after a lapse in employment, especially when you have technical skills, is entirely achievable with dedication and the right approach. Remember to continually update your skills, network with industry professionals, and present your experience and personal projects effectively. Embrace the journey, and you'll find yourself not only back in the workforce but thriving in the ever-evolving tech industry. Your unique blend of technical skills and personal growth can be a tremendous asset to future employers, so don't underestimate your potential for success.