Tips to help unemployed parents brush up on their professional skills

Tips to help unemployed parents brush up on their professional skills

Alexey Rosenfeld | Getty Images

Even as the delta version of Covid-19 returns to work and school plans, many parents who are now sidelined are plotting to return to work.

According to a new survey by job search site FlexJobs, nearly 81% of parents looking for job opportunities plan to do so for financial reasons.

Top factors for those surveyed include taking time off work (39%) and expecting more flexible working arrangements (34%) after the pandemic. Other reasons he cited included the need for health care benefits, having kids in school and believing that businesses are more family friendly.

Only 18% of parents said they felt conflicted about returning to work, while 6% said they weren’t ready or not ready.

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The FlexJobs survey was conducted between July and August and included more than 500 parents who are unemployed and plan to return to work.

Specifically, 75% of respondents said it was important to find the right fit.

Other main concerns include getting an adequate salary at 49%; Explanation of the recovery interval, 40%; career change, 35%; not having been interviewed for a long time, 34%; ageism, 33%; Or those with older skills, 31%.

Still, 66% said they felt optimistic about their job search prospects over the next six months, compared with 12% who were pessimistic and 22% who were neutral.

Brie Reynolds, Career Development Manager at FlexJobs, said if you’re a parent looking to re-enter the workforce, the key is to have a strategy that can help resolve issues during the job search process. . can.

Be prepared to explain your employment gap

Covid-19 has made it not unusual to have gaps in your work history between jobs, as so many people have been excluded from the workforce, directly or indirectly, due to the pandemic.

Still, it helps to be prepared when the topic comes up in the interview.

“We generally recommend being clear about it and not trying to hide it or shy away from it,” Reynolds said.

A brief one or two sentences should suffice, she said, followed by why you’re excited to return to work and what you’re looking for in your next job.

Examples of possible explanations include: “I was part of a force reduction at my last location” or: “I had to resign from my post to be home with my children for distance education.” .

Put your employment gap on your CV

Reynolds said many job seekers don’t want to list the time between jobs on their CVs, but it can really hurt them if they don’t.

Indeed, these shortcomings are obvious to everyone, from employers to managers to recruiters. Even candidate tracking systems that analyze CVs often flag this if there is a difference.

To work around this problem, it’s helpful to add a placeholder under your work experience to indicate when you were out of the workforce and what you were doing.

“It’s going to be seen one way or another,” Reynolds said. “You can even own it and explain it and move on.”

Honestly assess your skills

When applying for jobs, pay attention to the skills required and do an honest self-assessment, suggests Reynolds.

Identify areas where your skills are weak and make a plan to work on them. It can be as easy as watching multiple YouTube videos to hone software you haven’t used for a few years. Or you can pay for professional training.

If your maintenance skills are rusty, consider enlisting the help of friends or family to run a mock maintenance. Alternatively, professional coaches can also help you hone your interview skills.

to take time

Jonathan Alcorn | Bloomberg | Getty Images

You’ve probably heard that job hunting is a full-time job.

But for parents who already take on a lot of responsibilities, it can seem like a huge commitment.

Instead, try to devote time to your job search, whether it’s one hour a day or three hours a week.

“Finding a job requires concentrated time,” Reynolds said.

Once you’ve done this job regularly, focus on the things you can control and allow yourself to take breaks.

Reynolds said, “Know you’ve been doing what you can, then move on and focus on the other things in your life, especially the things that fill you up and turn you on. “

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