7 Tips for a Resume Makeover after a Sabbatical

7 Tips for a Resume Makeover after a Sabbatical

The purpose of a professional resume is to enhance your experience and knowledge to a prospective employer. It is the first step to convincing an employer that you are the best fit for the job. A well-written resume speaks volumes about the value that you can add to an organisation and can certainly give you a foot in the door.


However, if you are a woman returning after a sabbatical, a good CV becomes all the more important. It is important to demonstrate your Readiness to Restart, Ability to contribute & Willingness to catch-up.


So here are a few steps that you can take to refresh your resume which can get you the interview that you desire.

Resume Makeover Tips

Professional Summary:

A Recruiter spends 5 to 7 seconds on a Resume while screening. It is important to make a strong start. Write a Professional summary that makes an impact and compels a Recruiter to read on. Include your Skills, Qualifications, and Achievements.

Demonstrate your Job Readiness:

Often, back to work professionals are perceived as those lacking commitment. Since the organization has not met you, your resume will have to do the talking. Therefore, clearly demonstrate your willingness and readiness to go back to a full-time career. Include the details of recent certifications, volunteering or freelancing experience, and office software skills to show you’re ready to dive in.


Volunteering efforts – Mention any volunteering projects that you took up, whether it was to help aged people, teaching in an orphanage or even planting trees in your local community. Volunteering proves that you are someone who takes the initiative.


Skill development– Highlight in the CV if you have been upgrading your skills via online learning or courses. The fact that you have been learning during your break gives confidence to the potential employer in your ability to adapt to the workplace once you are hired.


Professional development– List down any conferences or events that you have attended during your time off. This shows that you are still active in network circles and are quite up to date on the latest happenings in the industry.


Freelancing – If you have worked on any projects for organisations during your career break, this is certainly worth a mention. Talk about these projects in detail and how your contribution made a positive impact on the company.


Every Job description is unique to a position. It makes perfect sense to amend your professional summary and the information in your experience section to correspond to each job’s requirements. Let the recruiter find what they are looking for!


Be Honest about your Career Break:

In case you have not been able to engage in any of the above activities during your break and you completely devoted yourself to some personal cause, don’t fret! Use your cover letter as a tool to mention the gap. Emphasize in the cover letter that you are aware of the changes and latest trends in the industry.


Every organisation appreciates honesty and this will go a long way to convince them that you can be an employee that they can trust.

Reader- friendly Format:

Recruiters want to look at your Current and Past positions, Dates of employment, Achievements and Qualifications. Ensure that this information is easy to find on your Resume. Get rid of Huge Paragraphs and use bullets where you can. Use bold headings to clearly divide a resume into Experience, Achievements, Qualifications etc.

Spellings & Grammar:

This is applicable to anyone sending out a resume; even more so, if you are a re-starter. If you want to be taken seriously by your potential employer make sure that your spellings are right and your grammar is accurate. Typos and unstructured resumes can be frustrating to go through and are often, not shortlisted.


Since the objective is to put your best foot forward, make sure to run a spell check. You can even get your friends or family to look through your resume to get some advice on anything that you have overlooked. Follow these steps for a good Resume Refresh. If you need Professional help with your Resume and Interview preparation,


Use a Professional sounding Email address:

Study shows that the Recruiters do not like unprofessional or casual sounding email addresses. So even if you have to get a new email address, make sure it sounds appropriate for a professional set-up.


If you need Professional help with your Resume and Interview preparation, get in touch.

Profile photo of Sheetal Arora

Author: Sheetal Arora