It can be tough to land a job after being a stay-at-home parent. You may feel like you've been out of the workforce for too long, or that your skills are no longer up-to-date. But don't give up! There are plenty of ways to show that you're ready to return to the workforce. Our recruiters, coaches, and resume writers put together the following list of our top tips to land a job after being a stay-at-home parent.
Look at Jobs
Take the time to understand the current job market. Looking at the job boards can be overwhelming. But, the purpose of starting with looking at jobs it that it can show you what employers want now and what they are requiring for positions. As a stay-at-home parent, your experience from before may not translate directly to the jobs you want now, so look at postings broadly to see what is out there and to explore the potential.
Get Your Resume Ready
After you understand what the market wants now and what jobs or companies are of interest, the next step is to prepare your resume. Keep in mind that a resume is simply a marketing piece that positions you for the job that you want. So, take the time to put the relevant talking points on your resume. Focus on your strengths and include the details about the examples of results that you have achieved (paid or volunteer). This will make interviewing easier and will help your applications to stand out.
In updating your resume, make sure to account for all of your time. Explain your career breaks on the resume. You don't have to get into personal details, but you do need to explain what you were doing when you weren't working. Failing to do so can result in people making really negative assumptions about you. So, take the guesswork out of the equation and clearly account for your time - paid or otherwise.
If not sure how to do this, professional resume writers like The Contingent Plan would be happy to assist in writing you a resume that is optimized for the applicant tracking systems.
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn matters more than most people realize in the current job search market. Make sure to update your profile and be active on the platform in reviewing jobs, connecting with people, and responding to recruiters. If you don't have a profile, now is the time to create one. And, if you do have a profile that you've been ignoring, update it with your current information and start engaging on the platform.
LinkedIn is constantly changing, but its role in job search is only becoming more important for most professionals. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the system or not sure where to start, companies like The Contingent Plan would be happy to help in building you an effective profile for your job search.
Don't Underestimate Your Volunteering
Volunteering is a great way to make sure that you are keeping your skills up-to-date and relevant. If you are interested in a certain company or type of work, try to find opportunities to volunteer in those arenas. It will give you a chance to explore the work, meet people in the industry, and learn new things - all while building your resume. Not to mention, it's a great way to give back and make a difference Win-win!
Refresh Your Skills
If you have been out of the workforce for a while, or if you are looking to transition into a new industry or role, it's important to make sure that your skills are up-to-date. If possible, take some classes (online or in person) to learn new things and refresh your skills. This will not only help you in your job search, but it will also give you the confidence boost that you need to succeed.
Talk to people you know in the industry or field that you are interested in. See if they have any recommendations for jobs or companies that may be a good fit. And, if they don't have any recommendations, ask if they would be willing to introduce you to someone who does. In the current market, a person with an employee referral are 4x more likely to land the job. And, in many cases, such referrals are the only way to get past the HR screening processes because of the high volume of candidates.
This means that networking is equally as important to applying to jobs. Networking can be a great way to get your foot in the door and land the job of your dreams.
Be Positive and Open
When you are job searching, it is easy to get bogged down by the process and feel like you will never find a job. This is especially true if you have been out of the workforce for a while or are transitioning into a new industry. It's important to stay positive and keep an open mind during your search.
You never know when or where the perfect opportunity will present itself. Look at ways to get yourself a foot in the door at a new company or industry. Doing so will make it easier to take the next career step and will definitely make you more marketable in the long run. So, keep your head up and don't give up!
Prepare for Interviews
If you are offered an interview, congratulations! This is a great accomplishment and means that you are one step closer to landing your dream job.
Now, it's time to prepare for the interview. This means doing your research on the company, the industry, and the role - as well as practicing your answers to common interview questions.
It's also important to remember that the interview is your chance to sell yourself and show the interviewer why you are the best candidate for the job. So, don't be afraid to toot your own horn a bit.
And, finally, don't forget to follow up after the interview with a thank you note. This is a great way to show your appreciation for the opportunity and to remind the interviewer of your interest in the role.
Follow-up on Applications
If you haven't heard back from a company after applying for a job, it's always a good idea to follow up. You can do this by circling back with the HR person, your contact, or the hiring manager. Do this follow-up professionally and it can make a big difference in your search.
A follow-up on your application can be an email, a LinkedIn message, or a call. In the message, you can reiterate your interest in the role and provide any additional information that you think may be helpful.
Following up is a great way to show that you are interested in the role and willing to go the extra mile - two things that any employer would love to see in a candidate.
There are many things stay-at-home parents can do to improve their job search efforts. Start by updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, and then reach out to your network for help. Refresh your skills and be positive and open during interviews. Finally, don't forget to follow up on applications after they've been submitted. With a little effort, you'll be back in the workforce before you know it! If you're looking for more advice or want help putting together a job search strategy, contact us for a free consultation.