Whether you’re a stay at home parent getting ready to go back to work, entering a new career or recently unemployed, re-entering the workforce can be an overwhelming proposition.
To help, here a five steps to help you overcome employment barriers and find a great job faster:
- Explain why you have a gap in work history–before asked.
Many job seekers don’t include information about their gap in employment when submitting a resume. This is a mistake. It causes the prospective employer to imagine and guess at what you’ve been up to. So be sure to include details about your gap in employment in either your cover letter or resume. This will eliminate any guesswork on the part of the employer.
- Highlight any volunteer work or community activity in which you were involved.
Whether it’s sitting on a local community board, or fundraising for your child’s school, be sure to include any volunteer work on your resume. Just because you didn’t get paid, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t count.
- Be upfront and don’t try to lie or hide anything in your interview.
Chances are an interviewer will ask you about your gap in employment during the interview. Don’t be vague or try to fabricate facts. Instead, be completely honest about the situation.
- Take time to strengthen your skills.
If you haven’t sat in front of a computer in five years, then you may want to update your skills. Consider taking a class at a local community college. An employer is much more likely to hire someone with updated skills who they don’t have to train.
- Be realistic.
Your next job may not be a step up from your last job. Compared to someone who hasn’t left the workforce, you may need to make a lateral move, or even take a small step backwards in order to land a good job. So focus on the bigger picture and how a small step back can really help you achieve your goals in the future.