Coming back into the workforce after being jobless for quite some time can be a difficult task to overcome, but far from impossible.  Here are six key components to help you get back on track in your work life.

Getting reacquainted with your industry:

To gain confidence in yourself, develop your groundwork before sending out resumes and applications. If you did not maintain professional relationships while you were not working you need to start networking ASAP. Whatever your field or interest, talk to as many people you can with expertise within that industry. Volunteering is also a great place to start if you are looking for new professional connections.

Brush up on key skills:

Employers will have concerns about your skills potentially being rusty or outdated. Obtaining certificates, degrees etc. is a good idea in order to catch the employer’s attention and assure them that you are in fact qualified.

Gain current experience:

If you have been unemployed for a year or more you may consider contract, temporary or volunteer work initially. This will help fill the missing piece on your resume and be the extra benefit of keeping your skills fresh.

Use a functional resume format:

A functional resume helps divert attention away from employment gaps and keys the reader in on your most marketable abilities. There is no need to put your “gaps” front and center of your resume. Placing work experience at the bottom and highlighting your achievements and skills at the top helps show the hiring manager why you would be a good candidate.

Keep it positive:

Be ready to talk about your employment gaps once you get to the interview process. No matter what situation led to your period of unemployment, make sure to keep things positive. You have to be honest but don’t need to provide every exact detail. Present information in a positive way and express how you have learned through your unemployment gap.

Be patient:

This can be a stressful process since you are eager to get back to work. Depending on your profession, re-entering the workforce can easily take some time. It will take time to re-establish your professional identity and network. Clarifying your goals and creating realistic timelines will help you create a clear time and a path to achieving success.

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