Job Hunting When You Have Been Away From The Workforce

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Job Hunting When You Have Been Away From The Workforce

legal jobs vancouverYou’ve probably heard the saying that it’s easier to get a job when you have a job. Well, what if you don’t currently have a job? What if you haven’t had a job for a long period of time?

Returning to work can be both exciting and overwhelming. An absence from the workforce may cause you to lose confidence in your professional abilities. But don’t waste time trying to eradicate these fears. Instead, focus your energy on finding a job. Whether you have been away from the workforce for 30 days or 30 years, you can apply the principles of job seeking to your job search and successfully find work.

First and foremost, it is a mistake to hope that employers won’t notice that you are currently out of work. A gap in your resume is certain to raise a red flag. You need to address it directly. However, you can also ease the impact of this gap in professional work by using a functional resume that emphasizes your skill set.

Be pro-active. While your skills and concepts in your career may still be current, your experience may not be. Take a course, workshop, or seminar to boost your educational background. A part-time job, volunteer work, temp job, or even a one-time gig related to your field can show that you have remained invested in your work. It takes time to build confidence, trust, and knowledge – both for you and your prospective employer – so that you are once again recognized as a valued employee. That means you may not jump into the same level you once were at.

Practice interviewing. If it has been a long time since you have written a resume, it has probably been even longer since you’ve been interviewed. The best way to prepare is to go online and write out your answers to sample interview questions. Then, get a friend or family member to perform a mock interview with you. Be thorough yet concise with your answers, and practice until you are able to accurately respond to the most common interview questions in 90 seconds or less. Also, be prepared to address your job gap.

Know what you want. If you have to accept a job with a smaller salary in order to get your foot back in the door, do not hesitate to do it. Starting at the bottom isn’t easy, but your previous experience should help you move up quickly.

Get back into the networking loop and make or re-establish connections. Join professional organizations in your field in order to network and develop contacts. Subscribe to professional blogs, newsletters, and magazines to familiarize yourself with new trends in the industry. Don’t be afraid to let people know that you are looking for a job and what you are interested in pursing.

Re-entering the workforce and finding the right role after a hiatus can be a challenging process, but developing a job-search strategy that helps you downplay your hiatus can significantly boost your chances of success. Be patient, optimistic and stay committed. Remember, the job search will not happen overnight.


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