Sunday, March 15, 2009

Do's and Don'ts for Returning to the Workforce

At our first Washington area Candidate Coffee Break last week we were delighted to have Christine Fruehwirth of Flex Careers Consulting share with us Top 5 Do's and Don'ts for women returning to the workforce after a "break" for child rearing.
  • Do figure out what you want to do first, Don't just jump at the first thing that comes along. Have your "story" down, update your resume and devote some time to self-exploration.
  • Do remember George Eliot's saying "It's never too late to be what you could have been." Take short-term steps towards your long-term goals. Don't assume you have to go back into your prior career field. Identify transferable skills from your former career life and determine if it's possible to incorporate new or rediscovered interests.
  • Do use technology, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, to reignite your network (just make sure your online self is cleaned up and presentable!) Don't think major job sites, such as, replace networking.
  • Do address your resume gap. Replace it with volunteer activities, schooling and other activities during this time period. Don't hide the date gap, above all do not apologize for the gap. Be matter of fact: you were happy with the time out of the workforce, you're excited to jump back in!
  • Do practice interview skills with mock questions from a friend or spouse, contact your alumni career services to see if they offer interview help. Don't go into interviews unprepared! Do research on the organization, recent industry trends and use your re-energized network to find someone at that organization or within the industry for the "inside scoop."

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