1. Update your skills. Ask yourself if you have the requisite skills to thrive in
each role. You may discover you need additional education or training to increase
your marketability. Taking time to gain the skills you lack may delay your job search,
but it will help you land a more enjoyable and satisfying position in the long run.
Updating your skills also will boost your confidence and help you compete with other
job seekers who have been on steady career tracks.
2. Create a killer resume. Your
resume can be a deal maker -- or breaker. It often determines whether you'll get
a call from a prospective employer, so make sure your document accentuates your strengths.
Choose a format that emphasizes abilities over chronology -- but don't try to hide
employment gaps. A combination format -- which lists specific jobs and dates of employment
under broad skill headings -- for example, allows you to highlight key accomplishments
while also documenting when and where they occurred. Also, don't forget to include
any freelance projects or volunteer work you've done, as well as any professional
organizations you belong to . These activities will illustrate that you remained
active and engaged while you were not working.
3. Self Market Yourself Once you feel
confident about your skill set and resume, begin your self-marketing efforts. Let
all your former colleagues from past work situations know your current situation
and that you're looking for work. These contacts may know someone in your area who
can help you with your job search. Tell whomever you talk to that you are in the
job market. Don't be shy about speaking up; you may be surprised how many people
are willing and able to help. If anyone offers assistance, be sure to return the
favour. Serving as a resource to others -- by forwarding articles of interest or
providing contact information when requested, for example -- is the most effective
way to forge long-term relationships.
4. Broaden your job hunt While you likely seek a full-time role, consider broadening
your job hunt. A consulting or project-based job can help you ease back to work and
allow you to evaluate prospective employers before committing to a full-time position.
A specialized staffing firm can help you find opportunities that suit your talents
and preferences and also help you get a foot in the door at companies for which you've
always wanted to work.
5. Seek out people for support
It's easy to become frustrated during a job search. Just remember, countless people
have been through extended job searches, including, as you may find out, friends
and family members. Seek out people for support; you may find not only a sympathetic
ear but also a person who can relate to your situation and offer advice for overcoming