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Has anyone had experience with returning to work after caregiving? I am beginning to look for a position and not sure how to add this gap on my resume. (By the way, I returned to school after my loved one passed so that added another two years to unemployment)

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Hi hopeforpeace, I actually went back to school and graduated specializing in gerontology. I spent two years and a lot of money for nothing. In my opinion the field has been "over" specialized. The agencies where I was applying only wanted either a Masters degree or someone who was already an RN. I have neither and yet when I was caring for my relatives I somehow managed to get things done. Did I always know the chemical make-up about the meds they were taking, no, but I did learn about causes, symptoms, how to administer and what to look for in case of adverse reactions. I don't think these agencies understand that insurance does not pay for the care manager but most is payed out of the patients pocket. My father could not afford any where near the amount of money these guys want. It has been suggested to me that I sign up with an agency, get my certification as an aide and go back into caregiving. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. I am currently looking for an administrative position just so I can live. I have heard over and over that gerontology is such a new field that it isn't organized yet. I guess when the field is overrun with boomers then maybe they will take a look at how they are doing things and make some changes. Sorry, if it sounds like I am frustrated it is only because I am.
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I've been looking for years! and getting nowhere. No entry level. No anything.
Caregivers may be essential but in my other areas of expertise, the employers are flat out saying they only want people who are just rolling of other similar jobs. The LAST thing I want to do more of is caregiving. I'd gladly be the one on the phone helping families coordinate solutions -- or be the office manager or marketer -- but the last thing I'll ever do again is be the hands on carer.
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Just want to wish you the best of luck!!
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Thanks everyone! I've conducted a little more online research since I posted this and all of your suggestions are right on target. :) Thank you for your comments!
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I meant livelifefull, sorry.
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Lifivefull, what company?
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I did not create a break. I simply put the truth, I chose to quit my banking position to care for my mother with Alzheimer's disease. This lead me down a different career path for about 9 plus years and realized that I have excellent skills with patients and would be a great fit for your company.

Also, include or I always get a reference letter typed,
Life is a journey, not a Race
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The FMLA (Family Leave Medical Act) was desinged for people who had to go off the job to take care of their loved ones. You could add that to your resume.
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Age discrimination in current hiring practices is rampant, but near impossible to prove. Highlight all the training you have completed during your caregiving sabbatical. I agree you should not address the employment gap in your resume, but rather as a brief explanation in your cover letter that leads back to all the training and coursework you completed while unemployed. Current technology skills are key, many public libraries and community colleges offer very affordable computer courses. Additionally you can look to your state department of aging to see what resources are available. There are employers who partner with the NYS dept of aging to hire workers aged 55+, of course you need the requisite skills but at least the employers are age friendly. Nonprofits tend to be age friendly and offer excellent benefits although pay rates can be low. Keep positive and best of luck.
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Hi Diane -

Thanks for your great question. A few approaches can present your concrete skills to your new employer effectively and increase your chances of getting a new position.

Order your resume based upon experience (not chronologically). This way your hiring manager will see your skills and how you can help him / her reach the goals of the business.

I like the suggestion of the first commenter. In your cover letter spend two sentence explaining the situation. Say something like, "I believe my experience in X (list previous work experience) makes me a strong candidate for the Y (list the position. Following caring for my ill Z (fill in family member) and attending school at M (fill in school name) to increase my skills I am eager to speak with you about your group and how I can add value to your organization."

Notice the order. Start with their needs, follow with how your work experience helps them reach their goals, and end with the context on your recent history.

I hope this helps!
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Do not apologize for caregiving. Caregiving is a growing industry. Caregivers are responsible, hard working, dedicated, and extraordinarily patient. These attributes are coveted by employers.
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Here are my thoughts for your resume:

EMPLOYMENT
Year/Date: Job Title
Job description

EDUCATION/TRAINING
Year/Date: School or Institution
Degree or certification, if any
Brief description of skills acquired from the education/training

OTHER
Year/Date: Caregiver

Duties:
Brief description, such as:
- Scheduling medical appointments
- Consulting with medical personnel,
- Monitoring medications
- Coordinating activities
- Housekeeping
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I would explain the gap in time in the cover letter attached to the resume, keep it simple.
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