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Returners, Here's The Best Kept Secret to Landing a Job at Your Dream Company

advice Mar 15, 2018

As published in Nafe, by Tracy Saunders.

Re-entering the workplace may be difficult, but it certainly isn't impossible.

Women with children make up a majority of the labor force but if you've ever taken time off, you know that getting back in can be tough. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to find work.

Overcoming Sexism, Age, and Salary Discrimination

Women in the workforce still face challenges that include sexism, age and salary discrimination, lack of benefits and inadequate childcare, among other things.

 A recent study found that for every 10 highly qualified women who left their jobs voluntarily, ONLY 40% were able to find full-time, mainstream work.

With stats like that, just looking for a job is enough to cause overwhelm and anxiety. However, don't give up. Instead, to give yourself a job search advantage, use a recruiting agency to act as your champion, and fast track your success.

Forget work stress, just looking for a job is enough to cause overwhelm and anxiety. However, don't give up. There are many companies that want the reliability that seasoned employees offer, so DON'T discount yourself!

Get Up to Speed

Maybe you feel reluctant about reentering the workforce because you took time off and now feel out of the technological loop. And that may be true. Some employers want you to be tech savvy, with social media and Cloud experience.

To help you:

  • Look for programs to update your skills in the newer tech tools. To find out what those are, review target job descriptions to see what is required. Instead of Excel, you might need to know Airtable. Instead of Microsoft Project and Outlook, you may need to use Basecamp or Trello. (If you don't know what those are, look 'em up asap.)
  • Consider going back to school online. Audit a free class. But more importantly, reach out to those in your field and see what courses and classes have helped them.
  • Dive into YouTube for tutorials on ALL OF THE THINGS.

Finding the Right Fit

Going back to work can an arduous process, to say the least, so open the dialog with an agency recruiter. Perhaps you had a baby, went back to school, or raised kids. Be honest about your availability, and ask about remote jobs and work-from-home jobs. Your recruiter knows people like they're Hiring Mafia. They know people. They get paid to know people and make placements.

Kristen VanHousen Demirdjian, a veteran recruitment leader at Aerotek® Inc. in Chicago, recommends "when working with an agency make sure to build a relationship with your Recruiter so they understand your goals, skills, and interests."

They'll offer resume and interview tips based on the company's preferences. And if they're good, they'll know the culture, too.

And says Kristen, "Don't be afraid to say no to the first job that they offer you, make sure it's the best for you and your family. A great recruiter will keep working with you until they find what you are looking for."

Take temp roles seriously. They can lead to higher salaries and launch you into a new career.

Once you've got your foot in the door, become a proven performer. This will set you up for temp-to-perm conversion success.

Take on extra projects, cross-train, etc. Be a team player and show that you're reliable. An offer may come sooner than you expect because temp agencies fees are pricey by the hour.

Building Equity in Your Role

Talk to HR about long-term growth and available openings and complete your courses/degree requirements if you haven't done so. Remember, most businesses hire from within. Yep. That means it may only be a matter of time before the right management role opens up.

So get in there, work hard, build confidence and experience. Next thing you know you'll be popping the champagne.


For more tips on how to empower your job search, why not join our Women's Job Search Network Community


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