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How to Re-Enter the Workforce
Are you a parent who’s taken time off to raise your children? Or you simply found yourself at some point in your life without an industry and a job? Right now, you are looking into re-entering the workforce, and you just don’t know how to start. First, you need to understand how to revamp your resume for maximum impact. Here are some tips to consider:
Your Resume Should Maximise Strengths and Minimise Weaknesses
The number one weakness on your resume would be, understandably, the lengthy time out of work. Employers are generally concerned about how long term unemployed workers can adequately fill a new position – skills get rusty, and knowledge can be outdated. Before you apply, know the position and the qualifications of your targeted position. Sharpen your skills and knowledge, and ensure that these are highlighted on your resume. How you present this data to an employer is critical.
You Can’t Heavily Rely on Past Experience
If you’ve worked in the manufacturing sector, you know those great paying positions are long gone. Many will not return. Rather than chasing the few that remain, look to a relatively stable industry such as healthcare for new opportunities. Search job postings to determine what education and certifications you may need. On your resume, list the ones you’ve obtained and those you’re seeking. With more and more employers using scanning software to screen out candidates, you’ll need to include industry keywords so you won’t be excluded from an opportunity.
Functional versus Reverse-Chronological Resumes
A Function Format is when you list your job responsibilities first without ever stating where you used them. This section is followed by a quick glance of your Professional Experience. Here, you would list only your former employers’ names, locations and your various job titles. Absolutely no other information is given. And you should avoid this format at all cost. First, you are forcing the hiring manager to guess where you gained or used your skills and knowledge. Also, hiring managers are aware that job hoppers use functional formats to hide gaps in work history. You cannot weave your way in using this trick.
Use a Combination Style Resume
A Combination format uses the best features of the functional and the reverse-chronological style resume. After your opening summary, you would include your education (if you’ve acquired recent certifications or a degree in a new specialty), followed by a skills section. This gives the hiring manager a more complete picture of how recent your knowledge is and what you actually did with what you know.
Following the skills section, you would then list your work history, with bullets of your tasks and results of them beneath each employer. Yes, you will still have the employment gap, but it will be softened considerably by the new resume format and the achievements you’ve showcased.
Returning to the workforce is not an easy task. However, with preparation, updating your skills, acquiring new skills, and using the correct resume format, you increase your chance of landing your new job.