So, you’ve taken a career break to travel, care for family members or to try something different. Now it’s time to return to work and you’re looking for a new job. Whether you’ve been away 10 years or 10 months, the job market will have changed. Making sure you’re up-to-date with those changes will be an essential first step in your job search.
To help you focus your time and energy effectively, you need to have a clear understanding of which skills are in demand, the salaries on offer and the industries that are hiring. It’s also important to make sure you’re familiar with current recruitment practices.
Here are some tips to help you get up to speed:
ICEAW and CABA both have great online resources and run regular events for members. As well as refreshing your technical knowledge and giving you some insight into the current state of the industry, these events are a great networking opportunity.
Recruiters often get a bad rap, getting clubbed together with estate agents as the people we love to hate. But, they do play a vital role in matching the right people with the right opportunities. Working with a recruiter can help you hone your job search. They can tell you what type of roles are in demand, the kind of experience and skills that employers are looking for and importantly the salaries that are on offer.
Spend time researching news and updates from your profession or sector. Have there been any changes that could affect how you work, or the types of jobs available? Get familiar with potential employers by reading their blogs and websites. Joining relevant groups and networking on LinkedIn is another great way to find out more about an industry. Who do you know that could help you? Who could give you some pointers? Make the most of your contacts. They’ll be happy to help.
Developments in technology regularly change the way we work and recruit. If you’ve been away for a substantial period, make sure you’ve got a complete LinkedIn profile, with an up to date photo and a detailed career history. Even if you already have a profile set up, it’s a good idea to give it a refresh.
Online job boards are the easiest way to look for work. Find out which ones are the most relevant for your profession or sector and sign up for job alerts.
Technology hasn’t just changed how we look for jobs, but also the interview process itself. Interviewing via video conference is becoming increasingly common and can be a bit unnerving if you’re not used to it. Taking some time to get familiar with programmes such as Skype will help you feel more confident about using them as part of the application process.
Online tests such as Psychometric and task-based tests are another increasingly common part of the recruitment process. Try to find some examples online so that you can practice and know what to expect.
Interviews in general are becoming more complex. They’ve moved on from simply talking through your CV and answering a few questions, to more competency-based interviewing. Preparing answers in line with the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) technique can help ensure you’re not thrown by this more detailed method of interviewing. You should also be prepared to deliver a presentation or complete a job-related task, such as writing a report.
This article was written by the career coaching experts at Chiumento.
Working with a career coach can give you the knowledge, skills and tools to jump back into the job market with confidence.