Whatever your reason for your career break, whether it’s due to redundancy, caring for a loved one, or travelling, getting back into the job market can seem a bit daunting! Here are some tips that could help you to start on your new job search journey, and stand clear from the crowd of other applicants.
1. Stocktake Your Place in the Job Market
- Put aside some time to really take stock of where you are in your life and, in an ideal world, how you see your future. In reality, you may need to take ‘a job’ to pay the bills in the short-term. However, if you know your longer-term goals, you’re more likely to plan for success and achieve your dreams.
- Don’t just assume that you should look for a new job in the same industry or role that you’ve always had. With the recent changes in the job market, the kind of work that you were doing may no longer exist.
- This could be the opportunity to do something really different or move into a new career. If you’ve always had a dream about changing your working life, this could be the time to fulfil it.
2. Transferable Skills
- When we’re looking for a new role, we tend to think about the skills and experience we’ve gained throughout our careers. While these are of course important, there are many other aspects of our lives where we gain skills that can be valued by an employer.
- Think as broadly as you can about skills from family life, through voluntary work, or even from your hobbies. For example, if you play a team sport, you are literally demonstrating that you’re a team player!
- Changing your mindset can change the way you define yourself. For example, ‘I have time management skills’, ‘I’m able to manage staff in a pressurised environment’, or ‘I have financial management skills’. These are the types of transferable skills you can take with you into any role.
- You can have all the skills and experience a potential employer is looking for, but if you don’t have the confidence to believe that you can succeed, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you even start.
- If we constantly put barriers in our way, our chances of realising that potential get reduced as each barrier goes up. Culturally we tend to underplay our achievements. This is not the time to do that! If you’ve personally been responsible for a success in your job, don’t be afraid to take credit for it and tell your potential new employer about it.
- If you’ve been offered an interview, this should be a huge boost to your self-confidence. Your potential employer has seen something in you, so you should have the belief to see that in yourself as well. If you use that confidence, and prepare properly for your interview, you’ll give yourself the best chance for success.
- Once you’ve got a clearer idea about what you would like to do and the skills and experience you can bring to an employer, start looking at job sites and job advertisements. This will help you to identify the kinds of jobs that you’d be interested in and see if your skills match what’s being asked for.
- It will also give you a good idea of the kinds of jobs where demand for more staff is growing, and the types of companies that are recruiting.
- Once you’ve done your research, this can help you to be more focussed with the next stage of marketing yourself and actually applying for jobs.
5. Marketing Yourself in the Job Market
- In a competitive job market you need to be really clear on what it is that makes you different from all the other applicants.
- Once you know what makes you unique, you’ll be able to market yourself more effectively and target those jobs and companies where you believe you’ll have the greatest chance of success.
- While it’s really important to be confident, it’s equally important to be realistic. Looking for work can be a full-time job in itself, so you need to focus your effort on activity that is likely to give you the most reward.
- Make sure that you have the right tools to help you market yourself to potential employers. A well thought through, up to date CV is probably your most important tool. A strong LinkedIn profile and social media presence are good ways to let people know what you have to offer. Also, to build networks of people who may be able to help you to find your dream job.
If you’ve found these tips for getting back into the job market useful and would like help with CV writing, your cover letter, LinkedIn profile, job applications or to improve your interview techniques, please get in touch.