Getting back into the job market after being out for a number of years is very tough.
There are many reasons for being out of work be it redundancy, raising children, illness or studying. Explaining a true story of why you’ve been out of work to a potential employer while still convincing the employer that you’re the right hire is not easy.
But it’s not so hard to get back into the game if you are up for it. Communicate and connect, tell your close friends and former colleagues that you’re looking for a job. They may know of people or opportunities that will help you, and might not mind you asking for help.
Potential employers can be biased against the long-term unemployed. Your close friends know you best and may be the only ones who can vouch for you to a stranger when you don’t have a current reputation in your industry.
Take advantage of social media networks. Many recruiters now use social media as a way to find job seekers. Search for people and groups that talk about the field you wish to be in.
Update your CV, this will give the employer a clear view of how you are doing, include new skills you have learned and be open to learning new things. Remember to include any skills or experience that you acquired when performing volunteer work. If you have been out of the job market for a long time, prepare yourself for some changes. Most positions require basic information technology skills so upgrade your skills in this area.
Talk to employed friends you know, people who have recently been job hunting, about their experiences. Practice for your interview with a friend, spouse or anyone close to you. People going back to the workplace after a long time out often lack confidence, which can affect how they perform.
Volunteer work and internships can help you strengthen your skills and learn new ones without the pressure of working in a paid job while giving you needed exposure to people in your field of interest.
Things have changed and if you used to have a senior role in the past, you might have to take a step backwards to eventually move forward. Since you’ve had experience from the past, if you commit it will be easier to go back to your senior role in a short time.