The iRelaunch Scripts & Dialogues™ Series - Part II
We answer questions from our relauncher community about what to write and what to say when relaunching. This is Part II of the series.
This week's topics: How to talk about coursework in two “tell me about yourself” situations - after a long career break and when transitioning to a new field
I had a long career break, so I took a course as part of my relaunch and I want employers to know. How do I bring this up without it sounding awkward?
The Script: talking about a course you took as part of “tell me about yourself”
Last week, we included this answer to the “tell me about yourself” question for the person with the long career break: “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.”
This is a great way to state facts, show enthusiasm and motivation, and give enough information for the other person to ask a good follow up question: “Where did you take the course? What was most interesting about it? What did you learn? Was it hard after being away from the field for so long?” Answering these follow up questions gives you an opportunity to show your focus and determination to return to work.
“I was a credit risk analyst for 7 years and then took a 10 year career break. I just finished a review course on asset-backed securities to refresh my knowledge and now I’m really ready to get back into a challenging financial analyst role.”
“I have a manufacturing engineering background and am looking to relaunch as a quality engineer after an 11 year career break. I just finished a LEAN mapping study as part of my LEAN certification and it was fascinating.”
I want to transition to a new career so I took a course in the new field. How do I work that into my conversations with people in the new field at a professional association event or in an interview?
Taking a course in your desired field can signal to an employer that you’re serious about making the transition. These introductions are good material for the other person to ask a follow up question about what led to your interest in the new field.
The Script: talking about a course taken for career transition as part of “tell me about yourself”
“I was in media and want to transition into finance so I took a certificate course in anti-money laundering and loved it, and that’s why I applied for this role.”
“I was in media, and want to transition into finance so I took a certificate course in anti-money laundering and loved it, and now I’m applying for compliance roles.”
“I was in communications for a multi-national company and then took a[n 8 year] career break. I just got my teaching credential and ideally, would like to teach high school English.”
“I was in marketing and then went back to get my Master’s in Nutrition Education in order to relaunch my career as a dietitian after a childcare career break."
Taking courses, certificate programs, or other educational opportunities is a great way to signal to an employer your seriousness about relaunching your career. Use these scripts to succinctly reference this coursework when introducing yourself.