Re-Entering The Job Market After A Long Absence
Whether you’ve been a stay at home mom or just someone who has spent the better part of their twenties lounging around a parent’s home, finding work with a large gap in employment history can be very difficult in this already competitive work environment. Fortunately, however, it isn’t as hopeless as some make it out to be. As a matter of fact, with the right attitude and ambition, you can be just as competitive as those who are fresh on the unemployment rolls.
Reach Out To Everyone
Networking is the single most powerful tool for getting you back into the business world. One perfect referral or reference is often enough to overcome any other shortcomings. With this in mind, it is absolutely necessary for you take advantage of any contacts you may have. Try to be as creative as possible. For example, if you know someone at church who works at a company you’re interested in applying to, then ask them for help. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to aid you in getting back out there and working.
Start At the Bottom, If Necessary
Because of your lack of industry contacts and employment history, it is only reasonable that you shouldn’t expect a mid-level or higher position. As a matter of fact, you can expect to compete for entry level work against those who are younger than yourself, with more recent degrees. As such, you have to show an extra level of motivation to make up for this deficiency. To do so is as simple as explaining to the hiring manager why they should hire you instead of anyone else. Play up your strengths, whatever they may be, and always tie these strengths to the position being discussed. If you’re good at understanding computer technology, for example, then it is time to talk about that and be prepared to prove you expertise if given an opportunity. Above all else, however, don’t have too much pride to start at the bottom with the entry level job. The good news is that you can quickly move up the ladder if your work is impressive to management.
Don’t Talk Bad About Yourself
Don’t bother highlighting the negatives of your resume, unless specifically asked to comment on them. Instead, focus on your strengths and your accomplishments. No matter how long ago these may have been, they’re still things which were obviously important to you at the time and should be noted during a job interview. So take pride in yourself. You never know when something may impress the interviewer, giving you an advantage over all the other applicants.
Most importantly, never give up. While the job market may seem bleak and unforgiving at times, there are also companies and small businesses willing to give motivated people a chance to prove themselves. So stay ambitious, have a great personality, and don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. Confidence is an endearing quality in business. Having enough of it to make a good impression can get your foot into the door so you can be on your way to a rewarding, established career.