Millions of Americans have lost their jobs in recent months or been out of work for some time; there may be many good reasons for that. Whether you decided to become a stay-at-home parent for years, served in the military, were incarcerated or ran into some career difficulties, you can't stay unemployed forever. As such, you need a plan to re-enter the workforce with confidence and find a job that will work for you.
The following advice should help you do just that, and set you back down a solid, reliable career path once again:
1) Catch up with industry norms and trends
If you've only been out of job for a few months, the good news is not much has changed. But if it's been longer, you might need to brush up so you can impress any hiring managers with whom you meet, according to Top Resume. It will be helpful to spend time researching where your industry of choice has shifted, some of the latest trends and where you might need to make some changes or improvements to what you bring to the table.
2) Hone your skills once again
Likewise, it's going to be important to ensure your skillset will set you up for success with any company that my hire you, Top Resume advised. That could include hard skills specific to an industry, something as simple as learning software that may have become industry-standard since the last time you were working, or making sure your soft skills are where you want them to be.
3) Let your resume show off your experience, not your employment gap
Now will be the time for you to start reshaping your resume and cover letter documents, and it can sometimes be embarrassing or feel uncomfortable to list a large gap in your employment, according to Military.com. However, there's nothing that says your resume has to explain exactly why you were out of the workforce or for how long. Change your resume to highlight your great work experience and skills, while leaving out the potentially years-long lack of employment that could be a turnoff for some hiring managers.
4) Be ready to explain your situation
With that having been said, you must also be willing to admit why you weren't working, Military.com said. There will no doubt be a learning curve if you get the job, and it benefits everyone to be forthcoming about your employment gap in an interview setting.
5) Talk to the people you know inside and outside your industry
In just about every industry, success is often about who you know and what they can do for you, according to Palmetto Goodwill. If you have friends, family or former colleagues who are willing to vouch for you and recommend you for a job, or keep an eye out for openings, that will help you find great opportunities.
6) Get ready for the interview
It has likely been awhile since you interviewed, and this is the kind of meeting that is not always easy to get right, Palmetto Goodwill noted. As such, you need to be willing to practice and brush up on common interview questions for your industry so you can enter the meeting with confidence.