For nearly everyone, entering the workforce can be daunting. For mothers who have taken a few years “off” after having children, feeling like a viable job candidate can seem impossible. Changes in interviewing, hiring, and on-the-job technology practices have resulted in an employment landscape that hardly resembles the one of just ten years ago.
So, here are a few job finding tips for moms re-entering the workforce.
Network, Network, and Network
Despite the proliferation of online job boards and other communication tools, interpersonal connections remain a huge factor in landing an interview for your dream job. For moms who may have exited the professional loop, the prospect of “knowing the right people” may seem unlikely.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. While taking time off may have removed you from the workplace and its professional connections, friends, relatives, and fellow community members remain a powerful resource for finding the perfect job opportunity. One NYC hiring expert explains, women who have temporarily left the workforce may find that existing non-professional connections prove just as powerful as more “official” networks.
Consider reaching out to people you know from volunteer groups, school organizations, or community events. Another easy networking option is to join any number of local groups specifically focused on networking and professional connections. Developing your network connections is as simple as reaching out!
Dress For The Right Success
Even with the right connections and resume, getting a handle on current professional clothing expectations can be a challenge. In general, compared to the job environment of a decade ago, many professional industries have undergone a revolution of more causal and personalized office wear.
While this doesn’t mean that beach attire is now appropriate for the board room, it does mean you might have more options when preparing for an interview. According to the job experts at Monster, it can be extremely helpful to do some research regarding company culture before deciding what to wear. Understanding the atmosphere of a given workplace can go a long way to deciding whether to dress down or up for an interview.
Perhaps the biggest worry of moms returning to the workforce is the dreaded “gap” on a resume. Years have gone by without employment, resulting in what may seem to be a period of stagnation.
Quite simply, this is not the case. Even if you have not been employed in an official capacity, it is extremely likely that the very things you took time off for (being involved in your child’s school, activities, or community events) required many highly employable skills. Time spent volunteering or coordinating events fits right in line with the dynamic, leadership roles you may be interested in.
During an interview, don’t be afraid to refer directly to the organization, communication, and leadership skills you have gained during your professional “gap.” Employers are most concerned with what you can contribute. Let them know you have all kinds of experience!
Confidence Is Key
With your mom-credibility in mind, it is also critical to project an image of confidence!
In a recent Good Morning America segment, professional skills expert Steve Viscusi advised that moms should focus on their skills and past experiences, not their time away from employment. While you can certainly bring up skills gained during this period, don’t allow yourself to be preoccupied with worrying about any resume “gaps.”
Practice and preparation can also go a long way towards boosting your new interview swagger. Hold your head up high and rock the interview!
Get Help From An Expert
For almost all professions, the workplace has undoubtedly evolved. If you are interested in developing your interview prowess, acquiring helpful strategies, and receiving friendly feedback, consider contacting a professional skills expert.
With twenty years of experience in the corporate world, working in the fields of public relations, investor relations, corporate communication and education, Kathryn Lancioni has worked with individuals of all ages and backgrounds on understanding the nuances of presenting and speaking. Kathryn understands the anxieties that accompany any job hunt and is eager to help moms reach their full professional potential. Her company, Presenting Perfection, offers workshops that are built to develop real skills that get results.