With so many people looking for employment these days, the competition can be stiff. But no worries, reentering the workforce can be much easier if you are prepared. With these tips, it can be a breeze.
1. Begin updating your skills before you start to look for a job. If you can, start adding experience to your resume a few months before you want to start looking for a job. Volunteer, take an online course, investigate internships—do anything you can to help breathe new life into your resume. Don’t forget to list anything that you did during you “gap-year(s)” that may be applicable—online classes, volunteering, freelance, or contract projects.
2. Don’t underestimate the power of the cover letter. You can mention what you did to remain active during your time away. Be sure not to come across as defensive or apologetic, you had your reasons for getting out of the workforce and now you are ready to return. Add a little personality to your cover letter—this can often be an icebreaker in an interview. Employers not only look for great qualifications from potential employees but also want to get a feel for your personality and if they think you will fit with the company’s culture.
3. Create a hybrid resume. A combination of a chronological and functional resume may be the right layout for you. This style is great for showcasing your skills and strengths first— be sure to include keywords that will help your resume appear higher in searches. Next, list your most recent positions in reverse chronological order. This format allows you to grab your future employer’s attention at the get-go so he/she can focus on what you can bring to the table rather than focusing on the gaps in your work history.
4. Put yourself out there: After spending all that time updating your resume, make sure it will be found by uploading it to multiple job-matching engines. Below are the top 10 for 2020.
7. Snag a Job
8. FB Job Search
9. Zip Recruiter
10. Robert Half
5. Seek advice and take it humbly. Now is the time to listen to your wise friends who are gainfully employed. Have your cronies eyeball your resume, read your cover letter, give you tips on networking, and help you practice your interview skills. If you feel like you’re in need of a self-esteem boost, take a trusted friend shopping to help you pick out an interview outfit that will make you feel sophisticated and professional.
6. Be an interview superstar. When you land an interview, arrive ready to outshine the competition. If asked about it, discuss your time away briefly. Don’t get bogged down in the details of your year in Belize or become emotional about a loved one’s illness. Emphasize your skills and work ethic rather than your time away. Sell yourself as a blank slate ready to jump in and work hard in a new work environment. If it makes sense, draw concrete conclusions between the job you’re interviewing for and the things you learned while coping with real-life situations (travel, illness, graduate school) that the competition may not have had to deal with. Remember to take cues from your interviewer regarding how much they want to discuss non-related work topics.
7. Be open to new experiences. The reality of reentering the work world is that you might have to make some compromises. Be open to part-time, project or contract work. These short-term jobs often provide great experience and contacts that can help you land a job that is a perfect fit for you and all the experiences you bring to the table.