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Re-entering the workforce 5 tips for success
You may have taken time off to be a home maker, travel, or pursue a
lifelong dream. Returning to the workforce may feel overwhelming and
almost unachievable in today’s rapidly advancing environment. However,
don’t be discouraged. Here are some tips that can help you avoid
common mistakes and shorten the time it takes you to get re-hired.
1. Honesty is best – Be honest with your new prospective employer when
they ask you why you left your last job. It is better to tell them
that you took time off to travel, spend time with your family, or pursue a
lifelong goal. Be specific and avoid nebulous or false answers.
Employers are constantly interviewing will know immediately if you are trying
to hide or fabricate facts.
2. Document the time gap – Your resume should document what you have
been doing since you left your last employer with dates. People
frequently omit the time gap between their last job and the present time. If
it is 2006 and the last item on your resume is with a firm in 2003 this
will raise concerns. The reader might assume that you have been doing
nothing for the last 3 years. In the worst case a naïve interviewer
will assume that you had a long gap of no activity and eliminate your
candidacy. Document where you have spending your time; such as tax
consulting for friends, fund raising for a charity, sitting on a board. This
is valuable experience that might be relevant to the organization.
Include volunteer work, classes,
3. Keep up with Technology – Proficient computer skills are essential
in all industries. If you have been out of the workforce for more than
two years you should upgrade your PC, the operating system, and educate
yourself on the newest applications and technologies. Many colleges
offer classes. Employers will be more inclined to hire someone who is
technology proficient so time is not wasted on IT training.
4. Position your expertise – Companies hire candidates for their proven
expertise what s/he can do immediately to help a company improve its
profits. If you desire to use the transition to change your career you
may need to start at a lower level position. It may be more prudent to
enter with your strength and then explore lateral moves to other areas
5. Be realistic with salary and title expectations – If you have been
out of the job market for more than a year you may not receive the same
title, job responsibilities, or salary as someone who has not left the
Keep in mind when you interview there will be competition. Most
employers prefer to hire someone from a competitor who is currently
doing the exact job they are hiring for. Be flexible with your
expectations after you are back in the work force your value will increase
About the Author: Gary Daugent is President of JustSTAFF www.juststaff.com