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Returning to the Workforce? Here’s How to Get Started

You’ve been away from the workforce for a while now…maybe a long while. Not just a few months, but a period that can be measured in years (or even decades). You’ve been attending to other aspects of your life, and now you’re ready to turn your attention back to the world of paychecks, deadlines, commuter trains, and status meetings.

But before you can start making contributions to your new employer, you’ll have to find that employer. And you’ll have to convince them to hire you. Here are a few steps that can start you down that path.

Take baby steps

Don’t be overwhelmed, and don’t put this project off. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be back in action. Start by making some decisions about the kind of employer and the kind of position you’d like to target. When you have your ideal position in mind, you can start looking for postings and open positions on job boards and industry websites.

Create a resume template

Start drafting your resume by breaking your document down into subheadings for Education, Work History, and Special Skills. You’ll fill in each section one at a time, but setting up your documents can help you get past the discouragement of facing a blank page. When you’re ready to write, begin with a short one-paragraph summary that will briefly describe your most important credentials.

Get connected

Reach out to your network of friends, family, and former coworkers and supervisors. Let them know that you’re about to start searching. Update your Linkedin profile, and make specific personal contact with anyone you consider a mentor or especially valuable resource.

Arrange informational interviews

Spend some time making contact with established professionals in the field you’d like to enter (or re-enter). Sit with these people face-to-face if you can for meetings of at least ten minutes, and use this time to ask them for advice. Let them know your plans and find out what they would do if they were in your position.

Make contact with recruiters and staffing teams

Leverage recruiters and make sure you reach out to those who send you job posts that you find interesting. Return calls and emails quickly and politely, and be very clear about what you want, including your preferred salary range. Don’t pursue jobs that clearly can’t meet your minimum requirements. Stay focused.

Consider contingency employment first

Don’t dismiss the idea of contingency or temporary assignments as you make your way back into the workforce. Contact the staffing experts at PSU and find out more about the short term, part time, or temporary positions available in your area and your industry.

How can we help you with your staffing needs

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