I am planning to return to work as a marketing director after a 12-year break. I want to communicate to the employer that I will need time off to accompany my husband when he travels to Europe and Asia for work. Most times, we have a 2 to 3-week notice of the trips. We’re usually gone 10 days and probably only go 3 times each year. Also, when my kids are off school, we spend some time at the beach. So, the grind of working with only 3 weeks of vacation is not going to work for me. How do I make this clear in my resume and cover letter? I would rather them know upfront so we both don’t waste our time.
It is smart to think about your priorities and create a vision for your ideal job before you start your job search. The next step is to determine if there are jobs that meet your requirements available in the marketplace. I would say that a position as an employee will most likely include two to four weeks of vacation per year plus holidays and a few days of paid-time-off for illness or personal days. For non-executives and recent hires, two weeks of vacation is more common.
Of course, everything is negotiable. The time to lay out your terms is not in the resume or cover letter. These are things to be discussed after a job offer has been made. If you mention in your resume or cover letter these requirements, your interview invitation rate will likely be non-existent. During the application and interview process, the focus should be on the value you offer and not on your needs and limitations.
My recommendation is that you consider working in a contract position so you can work for sprints of time and have plenty of breaks for travel and recreation. Another option that may suit your lifestyle is to launch your own marketing consulting practice.
I wish you all the best in your career!
Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.