10 Tips to Finding a Job After a Long Absence from the Workforce
By Brad Taft, MBA, CMF, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Chief Career Strategist, Taft Career Group
Individuals who have been away from the workforce for more than 2 years face a number of challenges when looking for a job. Here are 10 tips to plan and implement an effective campaign to re-enter the job market after a long layoff.
1 Analyze Your Talents
Set a solid foundation for a job search campaign by reviewing your career history and assessing your skills, knowledge, responsibilities and the contributions you have made to organizations. List these talents you have gained along with the top achievements in each job you have held.
2 Assess Your Interests
Prioritize your interests: What skills, knowledge and experience do you want to apply to your next job? Have you developed new interests since your last job that are worth pursuing?
3 Use the Internet Effectively
As you start to plan a job search campaign, the Internet can provide you with a wealth of information to help achieve your objectives. Use it as a research tool, a support mechanism for networking, and a source of job openings.
4 Investigate Your Options
Put on your detective’s cap and investigate the job market for your talents. What jobs are in demand in specific industries and functions that match your talents and interests? Talk to people at jobs in which you have an interest, find out how they gained that employment, what they like about the position, and what the future holds for that area of work.
5 Set Your Objectives
Based on your assessment of your talents and the market for them, determine your short term objective: i.e. finding your next job. Do you want to stay in the same function, in the same industry, as before, or is it time for a change? Do you need to gain additional training or a credential to successfully transition to the next opportunity?
6 Develop Your Personal Brand
Now it’s time to write a resume along with developing other communication tools to broadcast your personal brand to the job market. Create a strong message that shows what your talents can do to contribute to the success of organizations. Written communications include resumes, biographies, cover letters and a LinkedIn profile. Verbal communications include brief (30 and 60 second) personal branding statements to effectively introduce you in networking situations along with job interviewing strategies.
7 Network to Build Referral Sources
70% of jobs are found through networking. Expand your network by listing people you know who can refer you to others in the fields and industries that interest you, and ask them for introductions.
Before applying for jobs, research the industries and the companies that interest you. Gain insights about organizations and introductions to decision-makers by networking with referral sources. Use social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to gain visibility and establish relationships that can lead to new career opportunities.
8 Identify Job Openings
Gain job leads through a variety of sources, starting with your network. Use the Internet to find job postings by targeting companies and searching the career opportunities on their websites. Also, use job search engines such as Indeed.com and Beyond.com, and visit Job Boards including CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, and Jobing.com. Recruiters and employment agencies are a source of both full-time and part-time jobs.
9 Seek Support from the Experts
You do not need to “Go It Alone” in looking for a job. Seek advice and assistance from a variety of career experts. Workforce Development Agencies, including Workforce Connection in Arizona, offer free advice and support services for job seekers. Support groups created by faith-based and other community organizations offer job search services, and Career Consultants offer fee-based assistance in helping you develop and implement an effective job search campaign.
10 Continue to Follow-up and Network to Advance Your Career
Develop and maintain connections with the people who assist you in finding your next job. Gain visibility in your function and industry, and stay on top of trends that affect your field of interest. Reach out to others to support them in their transitions: what goes around, comes around!
Author, consultant, and public speaker, Brad Taft is the Chief Career Strategist of Taft Career Group in Scottsdale, AZ, a career management consulting firm that supports individuals in planning and implementing effective job search campaigns. He is also Managing Director of Taft Vocational Experts LLC which provides expert witness services in employment-related lawsuits.
Brad brings a passion to his work in supporting people who are at a cross-roads in their career. He facilitates career decision-making, helps individuals communicate their talents and interests to prospective employers, and develops strategic campaigns for people to land new career opportunities.
Learn more about Brad and his career transition services at www.TaftCareerGroup.com. Contact Brad directly at email@example.com, 480-315-0372.