Getting back into the workforce doesn’t just require job skills. You also need to show employers confidence. Hiring managers want to know that you can keep your composure in tough situations and get the job done proficiently. When you are confident, employers gain confidence in you.
Demonstrating self-assurance is often easier said than done. It can be especially intimidating if you have been out of the workforce for some time. You might feel that you have lost touch with the modern workforce or that your skills are a little rusty.
The good news is that since you have most likely worked in the past, you have what it takes to successfully find work. With some refreshers on job skills and a confidence boost, you will be on your way to getting back into the workforce.
Confidence While Job Searching
How do you gain the confidence you need to land the job you want? Try these seven tips.
1. Build Your Online Presence
Before you begin to apply for jobs, check your online profiles. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date with your most recent skills and a professional photo. Make sure that all of your social media accounts exclude inappropriate content that could turn off employers.
You can include unpaid experiences that are relevant to your career goals on your LinkedIn profile. For example, let’s say you want a job in childcare and you volunteer at your church’s daycare center. Be sure to include relevant experiences like this on your online profiles.
Don’t be afraid to use your online network to connect with employers. You can also use online profiles to catch up on industry news that you may have missed while out of the workforce.
2. Retool Your Skills
It is common to worry that your skillset is not up to date after an employment gap. To gain confidence on your job search, take some time to refresh your skills. You can do this by taking on a temporary job or volunteer assignment.
You might want to take a class or attend a seminar. Your local library, Department of Job and Family Services, or community center may offer free classes and events. You can also find free or low-cost training courses online.
If you are 55 years or older and meet guidelines, consider enrolling in VANTAGE Aging’s Workforce Solutions program. If you live in one of the 38 Ohio counties we serve, you could receive paid, hands-on training, access to certificates, and an individual employment plan to help you find the job you want.
3. Update Your Look
Let’s face it – first impressions matter. No matter your skill level, you want to look the part of the job you are applying/interviewing for.
Do you have a modern, well-fitting outfit to wear to interviews? Dress for success by presenting yourself as professional, neat, and organized. Employers take notice of candidates who dress appropriately and show confidence.
When it comes to updating your look, make sure your resume also looks polished and modern. Resume structures have changed over time. Your resume’s content and presentation should be up to date.
4. Rediscover Your Passions
Re-entering the workforce changes your day-to-day life. You may need to find work fast, but it’s important to consider your interests while job hunting. Setting goals that align with your passions can help set you up for long-term success, rather than rushing into a job that affects your mental health or causes job search burnout.
During your time outside of the workplace, your passions may have changed. You might have gained new interests and lost interest in other things. Reflecting on who you are now and who you want to be can help you decide whether you want to pursue an opportunity in the same field or change careers.
Start by asking yourself a few questions:
- What do I like to do?
- Did I read or see anything new that has sparked my interests?
- What do I miss about working?
These questions can help you decide what kinds of jobs to apply for. From there, you can explain why you are pursuing certain opportunities with confidence.
5. Practice Out Loud
For many people, it is hard to talk openly about personal qualities in front of employers. Practice talking about your strengths and weaknesses out loud to a friend or family member to gain confidence during these discussions.
By having a trusted peer present, you can see when you lack confidence. Have your peer point out when you talk about insecurities that you recognize them. Then, try to shift your focus to your qualifications and positive attributes.
6. Explain Your Employment Gap
It does not take employers long to discover a person has experienced a gap in employment. You can avoid tough interview questions about employment gaps by preparing to fill in the blanks. Have an explanation ready to go so that you can answer questions with confidence.
You do not need a huge list of excuses or drawn-out explanation. A simple, straightforward, and professional clarification will work. Employers usually understand that life’s circumstances can pull us out of the workforce.
The important thing to remember is to end on a positive note that looks toward the future. While you want to recognize the reason for your employment gap, you should focus on what is next. Show employers that you have the skills and confidence necessary and are excited to return to the workforce.
7. Get Help From a Staffing Agency
A staffing agency can give you the extra push you need to confidently find work. Staffing agencies match job seekers with open positions based on their skills. Working with a staffing company provides you with a team of trained employment professionals in your corner.
Staffing agencies can connect you with the right employers for your goals. They may also offer help fine-tuning your resume strategy and finding training opportunities. Check for staffing agencies that specialize in the field you want to work in.
Encore Staffing Network specializes in connecting experienced professionals with a variety of paid opportunities in Greater Cleveland. This is the perfect opportunity for people at or near retirement age who want to switch careers, remain partially in the workforce, or return to work on their terms.
Gaining Confidence While Job Searching
Presenting yourself to employers with confidence is one of the most difficult parts of job seeking for many people re-entering the workforce.
Remember that you were in the workforce once, and you still have the skills you gained at previous jobs and in your life experiences. Use the knowledge you already have refine your skills and boost your confidence with training to get the job you want.
Need help on your job search? VANTAGE Workforce Solutions provides paid, hands-on training to help you reenter the workforce. Call us today at 1-800-554-5335 or visit our Workforce page to learn more.
*The information in this article is intended solely to provide general information on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. This article should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, medical, or other competent advisors.
This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it.