When you’re out of work for a long time, it can make it that much harder to jump back into the workforce. There are countless reasons why you might withdraw from the rat race for a while—maternity or paternity leave, health concerns, family needs, a stab at entrepreneurship—but ultimately, the reason doesn’t much matter. Reentering the work force is always going to prove challenging.
So say that you haven’t had a job in a couple years, but now you’re ready to get back in the swing of things. What steps do you take? How do you ensure that you find a new job as quickly and as smoothly as possible?
Get your LinkedIn profile up to date.
First things first: Employers are going to know that you’ve been out of work, but you don’t want them to think that you’ve been out of the loop. Spend some time going into your LinkedIn page and fully optimizing it—providing some succinct yet precise information about your previous employment history and your different skillsets. Try reaching out to some old colleagues and co-workers to get some LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations.
Get your story straight.
When you interview for a new position, you’re probably going to be asked why you’ve been out of the workforce. Spend some time thinking about what you’re going to say. Rehearse an answer so that you can respond without seeming flustered or defensive about it.
Think about your goals.
Your goal may be to find work—nothing more and nothing less—but it’s probably best for you to have a slightly clearer career trajectory in mind. At the very least, come up with a couple of specific jobs or job titles that you want and focus on achieving them. Without goals, your job search will simply be aimless.
Have encouragers in your life.
Finding a job is always tough, not least when you haven’t had one in a while. You may start to feel desperate or frustrated—but if you let it show, that will only hurt your chances. Make sure you have some friends to build your confidence and remind you that you’re just as qualified and just as deserving as anyone.
Get an updated resume.
It’s amazing how quickly resume standards can change. An obviously out-of-date resume will cripple your prospects—so invest in yourself, and in your career.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: How to Get a Job When You Haven’t Had One in a While
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