Re-entering the workforce after time away can take extra effort and interpersonal savvy. Knowing how to beef up your resume, present your work history, and develop a professional persona can help you find a job more quickly. The following tips are designed to help anyone who is planning to re-enter the workforce after years or even decades away.
Fill Your Time
Once you’ve made the decision to re-enter the workforce, do something that will fill your time as you look for a new job. Volunteer experience, classes and internships are all activities that you can put on your resume to show potential employers that you’re motivated and still have the skills necessary to work in a professional or competitive setting.
When you put this experience on your resume, list the duties and skills you utilized or learned in this position. For the sake of clarity, make it obvious that your position or activity was not a job. For example, if you had a nonpaid volunteer position, write “volunteer work” in a logical place near the entry.
Create a Non-Chronological Resume
Skill-based resumes emphasize experience by skill set, not by chronological order of employment. To create a skill-based resume, categorize the type of skills utilized in each position you’ve had over the years, then create headers that describe each category. Your headers may have names like “sales” and “human resources” and so on. List your experience under each header.
Buy an Interview Outfit You Love
You’ll feel more confident in yourself and your ability to give a successful interview if you’ve got clothes that you really like and feel good about. Not all positions require suits for the interview, but suits are a good choice for many office and desk positions. The more professional you appear in your interview, the more confident you’ll feel when you walk into the interview room.
It’s been a while since you’ve had a full time job, so you may find it difficult to talk about your professional experience. Practice interviews can help you get back into the habit. If possible, ask a friend who is currently employed to give you a mock interview. When the interview is finished, seek feedback. Ask your friend to critique you based on all aspects of your presentation, including posture, appearance, attitude, demeanor and professionalism. This will help you know where to focus your efforts when you give a real interview.
Perfect Your Cover Letter
The cover letter is an often overlooked part of most job applications. Many applicants fail to write a letter that stands out from other cover letters. Writing a standout introductory letter is a good way to distinguish yourself from the other applicants on the job market. Go through many drafts and have many friends edit your letter and provide suggestions.
Be Willing to Compromise
You may not land the job of your dreams on your first shot. Be willing to consider jobs that are not ideal for your needs. For example, you may be offered part-time work or a position in a field that you find less than exciting. The most important thing is to get back into the job market. After you’ve established a new work history, it will be easier to find a job that’s more suitable for your needs.
Finding a job may take more than simply sending applications into the ether. Networking, following up on applications, securing informational interviews and sending thank you letters after interviews can all help you stand out as an applicant. Tell employed friends when you’re on the job market, just in case someone knows of a lead that can help. Finally, get active on social media networks like LinkedIn, where you can make professional contacts and display your work history for anyone who wishes to see.
Following these suggestions can help you get a job after a long time away from the workforce. In the end, persistence and diligence are the most important qualities that you’ll need for your job search. With time and energy, you’ll find a job and make a successful re-entry into the workforce.
Author bio: Rocco Lungariello is Marketing and Social Media Content Creator at New Horizons, the largest group of New Horizons training centers in America. He has been generating content surrounding the IT Industry for more than four years.