Friday, September 3, 2010

To those taking time off from work to raise kids (or pursue other interests)

This is my very first post on my very first blog. If you're out of the workforce but want to go back someday, planning is everything, so keep that in the back of your mind and do what you can now to prepare for your comeback.

Do something. Anything.
If there's a chance that you might go back to work someday after taking years off, the best advice I have is to do something you can put on your resume. Try to avoid a large, multi-year gap on your resume. Freelance, volunteer, work part time, just do something that will enable you to talk about your accomplishments and contributions when you interview for a job again someday. The goal is to show that you’ve kept up your skills and remained productive, even if you didn't maintain a full-time job. Remember, interviewing success hinges on your ability to tell good stories about what you’ve done and learned, and how those things uniquely qualify you.

Update your resume.
Since more people are returning to the work force after taking time off, the functional resume format is becoming more popular vs. the traditional chronological resume. The functional format will be covered in future posts. Some recruiters prefer the traditional format, but functional might work better if you have a gap in your work history.

Keep up with your old professional network.
We all know the best way to get a job is by networking, and that the majority of available jobs are not posted online but rather filled through employees' connections. So keep in touch periodically, meet up for lunch, drop a note to say hello or send an article of interest to a particular person to stay on their radar.

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