How to Relaunch Your Career Successfully
By grownandflown on October 31, 2012
Network and Social Media
LinkedIn may not have been part of your last job search, but it will be a big part of this one. Speaking with recruiters, there is unanimous agreement about the value of this tool and as one of the most important avenues in finding those returning to the workplace. For job seekers it provides unparalleled access to employers and it is a great research and networking vehicle. Through this social networking site you can contact former colleagues who may have moved on but might still be in the industry you hope to return to and may be inclined to help you make some crucial contacts.
Sign up for every form of social networking. First, nothing screams “out of date” more than the inability to use these modern tools. Second, looking for a job is hard and you will need every tool available. Facebook is not just for swapping baby pictures any more. You wouldn't want to go on Facebook begging for job leads but when your status says, “Second interview today, looking forward to it,” you will have planted a germ of an idea with your online friends that you are back in the job market.
Social networking will allow you to cast your net widely but some of your best contact may still be in your real life. Rabin found her first job back through a neighbor and another conference presenter found hers through her child’s baseball coach. Many times friends and acquaintances will not know of jobs but be more than happy to help set up an informational interview that will move you up the learning curve and expose you to people in your field. When you have a good lead, ask the person for twenty minutes of their time to explore your field of interest. Tell them you will be brief but come in with a carefully prepared list of well-researched questions that will show how serious you are about getting a job. Before you walk out the door of your informational interview ask if there are others that your interviewer can suggest you speak to as every conversation is a networking opportunity.
In the end, a personal referral may be just enough to get you out of the resume slush pile. One large consumer bank noted that while many resumes may get only a cursory look, personal referrals always get a careful once over.
Read, study and work hard...that hasn’t changed. What has changed is the amount of information available about any company you are interested in working for and the managers who will interview you. So do your research, consult a company’s twitter feed to read the latest news about that company and find out the areas of interest/expertise of those who will be interviewing you.
Advice from the experts at iRelaunch:
Credit Image: iRelaunch
Don’t apologize for your time away. Rather, show how you have recently honed your skills and taken leadership roles outside of the paid workplace.
You were smart and capable before your career break and you still are. No matter how hard or daunting this may seem, it is easier than some of the really hard things you have done in your life.
Treat getting a job as a job. Get up early, get dressed in something that says purpose, spend seven hours a day on constructive job seeking activity.
You may be working with people who are much younger than you or who never took time away from the workforce. Get over it.
Do not underestimate the value of your core skills. Your value to an employer before you left was not simply a body of knowledge or a list of clients. Your core competencies, be they analytic skills, leadership, sales ability, are all still there and remain an asset. Remind yourself of that and then make it sure it appears on your resume.
Get talking. Practice what you are going to say to interviewers with people who like you, will be nice to you and will give you realistic feedback.
Get out of the sweatpants, tee shirts and anything else that makes you look like someone who is not serious about work. You need to get out of the house and meet people and when an opportunity arises, even if it at the grocery store, you need to look like you are ready for it.
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