Re-Entering the Workplace After Time Away

This section of the CWS website is focused on alumnae seeking to re-enter the workforce after time away. 

We hope that the following suggestions and resources will help prepare you for an effective job search.  You are welcome to make a phone or in-person appointment via MyCWS

Special Considerations

Resumes: Many women find it challenging to prepare a resume after being home for several years.   Do not discount the value of “work” that you have been doing even if it has not been a formal or paid job.  Include volunteer work, project work, freelance work, or anything that shows that you are using skills that are valued in your industry or in the workplace.  Include information that can communicate that you have improved skills and stayed current on your industry.  Make sure that you are up to date on the technology required for your field. 

Networking:  A network is a network, even if you are not working outside the home.  Remember to reach out to friends and contacts from many different sectors of your life:  former colleagues, school contacts, college or graduate school alumni groups, place of worship, extracurricular activities for yourself or children, sports teams, neighbors, even the local coffee shop.   Learn from those who have made a transition and talk with others in the same stage.  Consider strategic volunteering to develop or update your skills.  Create a complete Linkedin profile and learn how to use it effectively.

Interviews: It is a great idea to practice interviewing if you have been out of the loop for a while.  Remember to be positive about your experiences and your excitement about returning to work.  Do not apologize for being away, but rather be confident about the timing of your decisions to focus on family and return to outside work.

The following are websites that focus on women returning to the workforce and working parents.  Resources are being developed, changed, and updated all the time.  Please consider this a starting place rather than a comprehensive list.  
This site supports mid career professionals and the companies and organizations that want to hire them.  They offer programs, events, and content for individuals and employers. Also includes list of companies and colleges/universities that offer specific programs for women returning to the workforce  
A professional staffing firm specializing in flexible workplace solutions. Includes weekly job listings in multiple U.S. cities.  
A digital hub of information for working mothers with @ work and @ home sections. Includes job listings.  
Contains advice for women seeking to combine work and family life as well as targeted resources (for purchase) for many career paths that have flexible work options. 

ReacHIRE offers a systematic approach for professional women seeking to re-enter the work force after taking a career break. The program combines a skills refresh, coaching and peer support, and placement in part-time projects at leading companies.  

Books/Additional resources

Back on the Career Track, by Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin
Off Ramps and On Ramps:  Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success, by Silvia Ann Hewitt
Work+Life:  Finding the Fit That’s Right for You, by Cali Williams Yost

Also see Job Searching After 50.