How to get back into the job market

Finding a job isn’t easy these days, and If you’ve been out of one for awhile, getting back into the job market can be an even bigger challenge. In fact, the longer you’re out of the work force, the tougher it can be to get back in.

This is why it is important to act quickly if you find yourself searching for a new job. Ten years ago it was considered the norm to take a week or two off or perhaps even an extended break from one job before beginning the search for a new one. Not anymore. It’s no secret that employers tend to hire job seekers who are already employed instead of those who have been out of work for even a short period of time.

Whether it’s fair or not, there is a stigma associated with workers who are not currently in the work force that if they are out of work, they may not be entirely up to speed with the ever changing skills and technologies needed to perform the jobs for which they have applied. Time is crucial in today’s job market, and if you are not currently in the work force, it is not on your side.

However, there are some things you can do to try to minimize the down time and show potential employers that you are still marketable so you can land the job you are searching for.

First, begin your job search immediately. Do it before you leave your previous employment if possible, but if it’s not, start as soon as you walk out the door.

Maintain your list of contacts in your field and stay in communication with them if and when possible.

Build up a network of peers who are currently employed and ask them to help in your search. LinkedIn is an excellent social media tool for networking with others in your field. Use it to connect with those who are currently employed and let them know that you are seeking new opportunities.

Do everything you can to keep your job skills current. Subscribe to trade publications related to your field, read them, and keep up with all the news in your industry. Let your peers and potential employers know that you may be out of the work force, but you’re not out of the loop and you’ve still got what it takes to do the job.

Freelance whenever possible. A temporary job is still better than none at all for more than one reason. It signals that you are still active in the industry, it can help you keep up your skill set, and can also be a great way to get noticed or even in the door with another company, possibly even leading to a more permanent position of employment.

Whatever you do, don’t wait. The longer you sit on the bench, the greater the risk of not getting back to the field. The time to start your job search is now. The clock is ticking.

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