Scripts & Dialogues Series - Part 1
We answer questions from our relauncher community about what to write and what to say when relaunching.
How do I answer the "tell me about yourself" question succinctly, without getting into TMI (too much information)?
Great question! You definitely need a succinct one-liner for potential employers or networking conversations that does not wade into TMI territory. At the same time, you will want to be specific about your career goals. Below are four examples, including one for making a career transition, two for returning to the same field as before, and one after a very long career break.
Note: depending on the context, you may or may not want to say why you took a career break or how long it was. Sometimes you may want to leave those details out.
The Script: introducing yourself succinctly
“I was an international business development manager, and after a
career break to care for my children, am now interested in a strategy
role in education.”
“I worked in corporate finance, took a[n] [11 year] career break and am interested in returning to a financial analyst role.”
“I spent my entire career in fundraising and development in the non-profit sector before taking a career break and am looking to return to exactly what I left.”
“I was a software developer for 10 years and then took a 22 year career break. I just finished a 9 month iOS development course and am eager to get back into a software engineering role.”
How do I talk about my career break in an interview?
Key to your answer: do not apologize for your career break. Acknowledge
briefly why you took the career break and move on immediately to why you
are the best person for the role.
The Script: addressing the career break in an interview
- Yes I took a career break to [care for my children] [to focus on an eldercare situation which is now resolved][for a family health issue which is now resolved] and now I can’t wait to get back to work.
- In fact, the reason I am so interested in this particular position is because of the work experience I had at [Employer X] where we faced very similar customer challenges.
- One of the most difficult situations was Y and this is what we did.
Note the last comment requires that you identify an anecdote from each of your prior work and volunteer experiences to use as appropriate in interviews and related conversations. These anecdotes need to be written out as a script and practiced out loud, over and over. until they are memorized. You will feel more confident when you have over-practiced these and can say them with ease.