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Career Re-Launch: 5 Ways to Break Back Into the Workforce


career-working-motherI was honored to be featured in this Working Mother magazine article and wanted to expand on a few of the tips. Being out of the workforce for any period of time, for any reason, can negatively impact your confidence in your ability to perform again in the workplace, much less secure a new position. Talking with 2 career coaching clients, male and female, in the past week reminded me this can affect both men and women who, in this case, stayed at home with their children. For the female client Amanda in Boston, she is intimidated by the prospect of networking and explaining her skill set-and feeling at this point that she has none. Brent in Arizona has secured a job but lacks the time management skills and assertiveness he once had, in order to secure the sales he needs for his new job. If you have been out of the workforce for any reason, family reasons or otherwise, here are 5 things you need to know to conduct your job search these days. Times have changed in some ways and in others – some of the old strategies still are the best ones…

  1. Be efficient with your resume updating: You should have multiple versions of your resume, no questions asked. One master resume has everything on it, including the really old positions or volunteer work you’re unsure if will ever be relevant. You just never know. There may come a time when one of those experience may become relevant. From that resume you can select everything you need – copy and paste – for each new resume that you tailor to each position. If you’re applying for jobs in multiple industries, create master templates for each industry to make applying easier. Create folders on your computer for each industry. Keep copies of each application and resume used in those folders. Make them pretty: Use bullets on your resume, bolding, and text boxes to make it appealing and easy to read.
  2. Increase your LinkedIn potential: In your summary statement make sure you have the keywords a recruiter or employer would use to find your brand of talent. Make a list of the “hot,” relevant keywords you need to use by looking at job descriptions, and others Linkedin profiles as well. Review a minimum of 5 of each to develop your list. After you’ve updated your profile, log out and search Linkedin using those keywords. See if you come up. Get a friend to search for you as well. Hire a Linkedin professional to help you update your profile, some companies report that up to 80% of their recruiting efforts are conducted through Linkedin.
  3. Refresh your network: Personal connections are still critical. Schedule lunches with former colleagues, friends, members of your church, or family connections. Set a goal of 2-3 per week. Keep an Excel sheet or Google document of those contacts you connect with and need to stay in touch with. Keep your list updated throughout your search.
  4. Get on a panel: Participating in an industry panel can offer you great exposure and position you as an expert in your field. Identify local associations and their meetings in 2015 and pitch topic ideas as a speaker, panelist, even offer to write an article.
  5. Leverage your alma mater: Set up informational interviews through your alumni association. This is a whole new set of people to meet in your industry; warm leads who will be more likely to respond to your request for information and time.

Hallie Crawford is a certified career coach and founder of Her team of coaches helps people find their dream job and make it a reality. She is regularly featured as an expert in the media including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and US News & World Report. Visit her website at for more information about her teams career coaching services and to sign up for a complimentary consultation.

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