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7 Tips for rejoining the workforce

SidneyAnne Stone is a freelance writer, Cancer survivor, Marathoner, actor and activist.  

Ace your job search and interview with these tips to help you prepare your skills, resume, and attitude.

job interview

Whatever their reasons for taking a break from the traditional workplace — maternity, non-traditional business opportunities, or personal preference — many women now find themselves trying to get back into the workforce. However, if they've been away from the workforce for a long time, the gap in their resumes can create a challenge. In the current employment market, with so many people competing for jobs, it can be a chore to get an interview in the first place. If you're on the search for employment, don't let shaky interview skills or poor preparation ruin your chances! Brush up on these tips and edge out the competition.

Get your resume together

If it's been a while since you've updated your resume, you may want to ask for guidance from a professional. You might think you know how to do this since you've been doing it for a long time, but the modern resume has been drastically streamlined. Details that once seemed relevant are now considered “fluff” and might make your résumé unnecessarily lengthy.

Take the time to research the institution

Learn as much as possible about the work culture of your prospective employer to find out if you will be a good fit or if the job will fit your lifestyle. This will also help prepare you for an interview. For example, if the company is tech-oriented, you can show that you know your way around the latest gadgets by slipping your experiences into the conversation... just be sure you know what you are talking about! Cutting-edge workplaces will be wary of someone who has been out of the game for a while, so you should demonstrate that you are still up on the latest trends in your field.

Know your target audience

If possible, find out who will be interviewing you. Look up any research articles they may have written so you can speak intelligently on their favorite subjects. If nothing else, they will respect your efforts.

Send thank-you notes

Today's thank-you notes are generally in the form of emails. Handwritten notes are lovely, but in a large company the recipient may not receive the note until after someone else has been hired. Also, keep in mind that executives often leave their smartphones on all the time, so you don’t want to send a thank-you in the middle of the night (even if that is the only convenient time for you). You are looking to make an impression, but you want to make sure it's the right kind.

Don’t get discouraged

In today's lagging economy, don't take it personally if you have difficulty finding a job right away. As we all know, employment rates are very low across the board. You may have once been a superstar in your field, but now you may struggle just to interview for an entry-level position. If so, you're not alone.

Don’t get caught up in ego

When times are tough, it's okay to do what you must to get by instead of waiting for that "dream job." It can be humbling to be offered positions that you once used to oversee. How badly do you need the job? If you can afford to wait for something better, great! But don't hurt yourself by waiting too long.

Get creative

When all else fails, and if you are truly unhappy with the options available to you, change them! This is not the option for the type who likes to simply do a job and go home at the end of the day. Only innovators need apply! There are so many ways for skilled people to create their own opportunities. Perhaps you will stay in the field you know or maybe this could your chance to branch out and explore a whole new area. The possibilities are endless, and often don’t require as much of an investment in time or money as you might think. Unconventional jobs have become the norm in recent years, so if you are having trouble finding a position that suits you, maybe you need to create one!

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