Been Out of the Job Force for Years? Here Is How You Jump in Quickly

Posted January 16, 2018

Returning to the job market after an extended absence can be a struggle regardless of why you left, including caring for a sick loved one, starting a family, or going back to school to earn a degree.

While there are a number of factors outside of your control, your reentry into the workforce can also be negatively affected by your own actions, or lack of action. The good news is, by taking charge of the things you can control, reentering the workforce will be a breeze.

Update Your Skills

Start off your return by bringing your skills up to date. If possible, start beefing up your resume months ahead of your job search. Volunteer work, online courses, internships and certification programs are all great ways to fill a gap in your resume, reboot your career and show hiring managers you're proactive.

Use a "Functional" Resume Format

Rather than organizing your resume chronologically, compose a resume that is functional: Highlight your abilities and results as opposed to listing your jobs in chronological order. This kind of resume uses sub-headings like "Marketing Background" or "Sales Track Record" and then lists achievements under each appropriate subheading.


After you have invested time in modernizing your resume, upload it to job sites like and LinkedIn that regularly send you alerts about suitable job opportunities.

By the way, these sites no longer send you hundreds of middling options, but rather they send a few precise possibilities customized to what you want and are capable of doing.

Consider Cold Calling

You can't just upload your resume, kick back and wait for the dream job opportunities to start rolling in. If you've been out of your field for a bit, you're probably going to have to reach out to people.

Think about making courteous and targeted calls to businesses or HR departments that pique your interest. Ask about jobs you saw posted online, convey your interest and request an interview. Making a solid personal connection could help move your resume to the top of the heap.

Get Jobseeking Advice

The next step is to consult with people in your network who are gainfully employed, particularly those in your field. Have somebody you trust look at your resume, go through your cover letter, provide you with suggestions on networking and allow you to practice your interview tactics. If you feel like you need a self-esteem boost, take a good friend shopping with you to pick out an interview outfit that can make you feel stylish yet professional.

Keep an Open Mind

When you reenter the workforce after some time away, you have to be open-minded. You may need to take temporary jobs or work part-time at first. These jobs are great for gaining momentum, learning about new career possibilities, networking and padding your resume - not to mention earning a few bucks.

If you've taken some time away from your career, but now you're looking to get back into it, consider contacting Ambassador, a full-service staffing firm. Our trained professionals can readily provide you with job opportunities and point you in the right direction.