Returning to the Workforce

Returning to the workforce may seem like a scary proposition, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you are male or female, if you have been absent from the workforce for some period of time, you have some things to consider regarding your resume.
Here are a few of the most common issues people have when returning to the workforce:
  1. Lack of relevant (current) work experience
  2. Lack of self-esteem/confidence
  3. Limited or no knowledge of current software
Consider the following ways to address the issues listed above:
1. Relevant, current work experience
Just because you have not held a paying full time position does not mean you do not have anything to list on your resume in the work experience section. Volunteer or charity work is a great asset to capitalize upon when updating your resume in order to return to the workforce. The more you are able to relate your volunteer experience to your job target, the better your chances of impressing a prospective employer. Another way to recognize relevant work experience is to consider the tasks and responsibilities that you handle on a regular basis. For instance, if you plan parties, teach in Sunday School, maintain the household budget, utilize various software programs, pay bills or any one of many other "common household duties", consider how they might apply to your new job objective. These skills are often called transferable skills because they transfer from one position to another. A great way to list your skills, whether from volunteer work or from your day-to-day responsibilities, is by using a "Summary of Qualifications" section near the top of your resume. This way, you can highlight what you do well without having to prominently disclose the source(s) of your experience. You can use a bulleted list that defines and brings attention to your current skill set/recent experience.
2. Lack of self-esteem/confidence
You are most confident when you are well prepared. Even if your skills are not as amazing as you think a competing job candidates might be, take the time to craft a well written resume and cover letter and you will feel much better about the job search process. You never know exactly what an employer might be looking for. In addition, focus on all of the tasks, responsibilities and skills that will make you a good employee. Focus on transferable skills and also on the professional traits that impress employers. The more you think about your successes, the more confidence you will gain.
3. Limited or no knowledge of current software programs
It does not take very long in the world of computers for software programs to evolve or for new programs to be released. If you believe that your computer skills need to be updated, consider taking a course at a local community college or even on-line. Even if you have just begun a new software course when you start your job search, you will make a far better impression on a prospective employer than if you do nothing. No matter how long you have been out of the workforce, you are sure to have a lot to offer employees. Sometimes you simply need to see yourself in a new light. Returning to the workforce does not have to be so scary. Preparation and reflection are key elements to success.

The information in this article about Changing Careers can also help you when you are Returning to the Workforce 

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