Cheryl Palmer, M.Ed., CPRW, is founder and career coach at Call to Career.
The job market isn’t what it used to be. Here are five ways to increase your competitiveness if you’re jumping back in.
Sometimes people contact me because they need assistance with reentering the job market. It can be challenging to get back into the game because the job market is not what it used to be, and the job search has changed as a result of technology. Here are five steps to take to increase your competitiveness.
Join and become active in a professional association. It’s likely that your network in the field has grown stale. By joining a professional association, you can get to know people in your profession who can potentially help you with your job search. You will also become current with the issues in your field.
Update your computer skills. Most fields have software programs that are associated with them. Consider taking classes online or at your local community college to bring you up to speed.
Volunteer in your field. If you do not have recent experience in your field, volunteer work can be a good way to reenter. Most employers are not as choosy when you are willing to work for free. Being able to put this experience on your resume can open doors for you.
Obtain advanced certifications. It is becoming increasingly common that certifications above and beyond a college degree are required for many fields. Earning pertinent certifications can set you apart.
Network relentlessly. It is still true that networking is the most successful job search method. Start with the people you know and ask for referrals to other people who you can network with. And make it a point to attend networking meetings.
[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "Welcome Back."]