Are you ready to return to the workforce after a long absence? Are your children now in school full-time and you want to put that free time toward earning a pay check? Wondering how to compete in a market that has changed in the past decade? You can get a great job even if you’ve been unemployed for a long time. It may take more work, but you can do this. Here are some tips to help you succeed in your job search.
Get your documentation and dates in order
Think about all the things you will need to fill out job applications, create a resume and fill out paperwork for background checks. This will include your current address and your addressed for the past 10-20 years. If you’re having trouble remembering all of this, go online and order a free credit report from one of the top three reporting agencies. It’s amazing all of the information contained there, but one useful item will be a list of all the addresses you’ve used. You will also need to know your social security number and your driver’s license number and expiration date, so jot these down also.
Your employment history
You will also need a comprehensive list of all the places you’ve worked, the address (or at least city and state), the name of your supervisor, your rate of pay and your title. Also list the job duties that were required, the equipment you used, and then make some notes about the accomplishments you had in that job. For the dates of these jobs, you’ll at least want to know the month and year. If you cannot remember these and the company is still in business, try calling the Human Resources department to see how you can get your starting and ending dates.
You will then need a list of every school you’ve attended going back to high school. Make sure you compile the start and ending months and dates, the subjects you studies, any diplomas or certificates earned, any awards you earned and any honor societies you joined. If you’ve taken additional training in business-related areas such as computer programming or Web site development, make sure you make a list of these since they will be relevant to an employer.
You will also need a list of references. For professional references, you’ll need at least three people who have worked with you in the past who will give you a great recommendation as an employee. It is a courtesy to contact them first and ask permission to use them as a reference, ask them the address and phone number they prefer that you use in your job applications and then thank them later after you get a job. You may also be asked for personal references. These can be your friends, however, choose carefully the people you ask to be your personal references. You want those friends who will present you well, speak well of you and conduct themselves professionally during an quick telephone interview.
Read your credit report
Did you order that free credit report to fill in the blanks on your addresses for the past 20 years? If you didn’t, you need to order this because these days most employers will run a credit check before they hire you. Make sure there are no surprises in your report. It is not uncommon for people to find errors, so get to them first and do what it takes to get them corrected.
Now that you’ve compiled all of this information, you can create your resume. You are also ready to fill out any form presented to you, so make sure you take your notes when you go to a business and are asked to fill out forms there. Many employers now have online applications and these will now be a breeze for you. Stick to the project and remain optimistic. You can get a job even if it’s been awhile since you’ve had one.