Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tips for Returning to Workforce After Extended Absence

CHICAGO, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Returning to the workforce after an
extended absence doesn't necessarily put you at a disadvantage, a recent
survey from indicates.

Forty-five percent of workers who returned to the workforce in the last 12 months after taking at least one year off said they found a job in less than one month. One-third (33 percent) said they found a job in one to six months while only 14 percent
said their job hunt lasted more than a year.

"This goes back to the labor shortage factor in the job market today,"
said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at "Employers are struggling to find skilled labor and are
recruiting qualified employees before the competition has a chance to do
so. Even in a tighter job market, skilled workers re-entering the workforce
after a leave of absence can find good opportunities and competitive
compensation packages."

When asked about the primary motivator for taking an extended period of
time off from work, workers reported:

-- Medical reasons (17%)
-- To raise a family (15%)
-- To relax and enjoy life (13%)
-- To continue education (9%)
-- To move to a new location (9%)

When asked to identify the main challenge in finding a job when they
returned to the workforce, 37 percent of workers reported having to prove
themselves all over again while 24 percent said it was difficult to explain
the gap in employment. Twenty percent pointed to a lack of required skills
or education as the main obstacle in finding a job while 18 percent cited
the competition with younger workers. Nine percent said they perceived a
concern amongst employers that they would once again leave the workforce.

Haefner recommends the following tips to help in the transition back
into the workforce:

1) Cover your bases. Cover letters not only help to highlight skills and
accomplishments and bring more personality to your application, they
are also useful for explaining an extended absence.

2) Reach out. Chances are you know someone who knows someone who can get
your foot in the door. Talk to family, friends, neighbors, former
colleagues, etc and ask them to keep you in mind for potential

3) Take a refresher. Sign up for seminars and events and online programs
to brush up on new technologies, current trends and developments in
your desired field.

4) Stay active. The majority of employers consider volunteer work to
qualify as relevant experience. Volunteering in your local community
can help to build up your resume, show your continued drive and
establish networking contacts.

5) Make no apologies. Keep the conversation positive. Don't dwell on how
long you've been out of the workforce. Focus the discussion on your
strengths and contributions and enthusiasm for the position at hand

Career Builder Industry Trends Surveys


david santos said...

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Marcia Robinson said...

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