1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Dear Theo - explaining a career break

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by master-of-non, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Dear Theo,

    I am currently taking a year out of teaching and am now applying for posts starting in Sept 2012.

    Could you please advise me on how to put a positive slant on taking a break from teaching, both in my cover letter and (if I'm lucky) at interview.

    Quick summary of my circumstances: My Mum got ill and died in 2008, and I was her carer for 3 months, in 2010 my partner had a road traffic accident and I became carer again for about 3 months. Working very long hours as Acting HOD, sometimes very frustrated in the role. When my HOD came back from maternity leave, I found it hard to go back to being her assistant. Then my school became an academy, which I opposed quite openly. A culmination of things... so I decided to have some time off, and get the joy back.

    I realise that it is vital to come across positively so I'm not sure what to include, if anything.

    Thinking of maybe something like this;

    I am currently taking a planned career break of one year, ending in August 2012. While I am thoroughly enjoying the pursuit of personal goals this year, I am excited by the prospect of working in a dynamic environment where I will be able to further develop my leadership experience.

    Anyway, all/any ideas and feedback would be really helpful,
    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Eleanor
     
  2. dizzymai

    dizzymai New commenter

    Hope you don't mind my butting in.....
    I would be honest but make sure you spin it right. If you say your career break was 'to pursue personal goals' it makes it sound like you are having a bit of an indulgent holiday, which clearly you aren't.
    I had a career break for four yrs- a heck of a long time- but I always clearly state it and it was as a full time parent to two of my children. I put this in the Reasons for leaving section of the app form, where it clearly shows 4 yrs out between jobs. I then put it, quite succintly, in the Explain any gaps section again. Dates- Full time parent.
    Could you explain it as Full time Carer for parent and spouse and break it into months? in the explain any gaps section on your form?
    I might mention why you are keen to get back to FT work again and how you have kept your oar in, during your absence??

     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Eleanor - I think that I can read between the lines here to see that life is getting better for you now. I hope so.
    Dizzy's advice is sound here, but I wouldn't be quite so precise about it.
    Just lump the whole period together and say something like: Family reasons, full-time carer on the form. But make sure that you have a very brief paragraph in your letter explaining this, without going into too many details, and emphasising that this period of your life is now over and you are raring to get back.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
     
  4. Not at all!



    I'm not sure my post was clear now.



    I'm taking a break as a result of all the other stuff, so I'm currently not a parent (no kids) or carer. The year off came as a result of life becoming just a bit too much, but I don't want to colour my application with negativity. And i'm not keeping my oar in, because that would not be a break?


    I am currently, just having a year off to feel better, which I do. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in again!
     
  5. Thanks Theo....life is much better : )
     
  6. I think you need to have a reason for the year off that employers can understand, such as being a carer. I'd be v wary of employing you tbh as i'd be worried you might feel like time off again.
     
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Which is why it is very important to say outright in the letter that this is all behind you now.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
     
  8. Hi Theo,

    I got a job in April - such a relief!
    Thanks so much for your help and advice.

    The jobseekers info was particularly helpful and I included an executive summary in 4 of my applications. I applied for 6 jobs, got 4 interviews and was successful at my 2nd interview, so it took a bit of time to get into my stride, but I got there in the end.

    Thanks again, and good luck to fellow jobseekers,

    Eleanor
     
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Excellent news! Really, really glad for you, after your hard time earlier.
    Yes!
    Follow the advice, folks!
    Now you need to do an official Dear Theo I got that job! so that other posters can see and be given hope.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions
     

Share This Page