Trying to get back into the workforce after a long break can be pretty rough.
You might be worried your abilities have stalled to the point you will not be successful in a new job. You also may be worried about leaving a lifestyle you had grown accustomed to while out of the workforce.
Fortunately, getting back into the workforce isn’t impossible. Review the following steps to take when restarting your job search after a long absence.
Trying to find a new job without focus is twice as hard and half as effective. The first step you need to take is to identify what you are trying to achieve with your search. Are you looking for a low-stakes job to get your feet wet? Do you want a position in a specific field? Is there a specific location or shift you would prefer?
Once you have a sense of the job you are looking for, you can tailor all your efforts toward landing that job.
Develop an Explanation
When you leave the workforce, it creates a gap in your work history that can be a red flag for potential employers. You need to address this gap front-and-center with a good explanation. You don’t need to be apologetic or defensive. Simply, create your explanation in simple, relatable terms. If you left to take care of your children, tell them about the experience and why you wanted to focus on your family. If you happened to leave the workforce because of an unfortunate situation, simply address it and pivot to what you have been doing to get back into the workforce.
Gain Experience/ Knowledge (If You Haven’t Been Already)
After finding out why you left the workforce, the next thing an employer wants to know is what you’ve been up to since you left. Ideally, you should be able to talk about productive activities that have professional value. For instance, if you left to care for a sick family member, you could talk about providing care, handling paperwork, paying bills and providing emotional support.
During your job search, you should also be trying to learn and gain experience through things like volunteer work, temporary work and attending classes.
Address Any Skills Gaps
One of the concerns a company might have about someone who has been out of the workforce for some time is that her or his abilities are out-of-date. You can address this concern by showing you have kept or even increased your knowledge during your absence.
If you realize that your abilities are a tad outdated or if a professional certification has expired, you should do something about it. Take any and all steps possible to get up to date. Once you do, include your training in your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile.
Network, Network, Network
Because many people find jobs through network connections, networking is important for any job search. However, it is absolutely crucial for those returning to the workforce after a long absence.
Start by reaching out to friends, family members, former colleagues and old classmates. Attend formal networking events and try to meet new people at social events. Get involved in online discussion group related to the job you are seeking.
Let NSC Help You Restart Your Career
At NSC, we are highly experienced in helping folks get back into the workforce. If you are currently in need of career assistance, please contact us today.