Sweaty palms. Shaky voice. Blank mind. These symptoms of nervousness can seriously sabotage a job interview, no matter how prepared and qualified you are. To quell these natural responses and help you muster more confidence in anxious situations, consider these quick pre-interview confidence boosters so you can perform better right before your next job interview—no energy drinks or cheesy motivational speeches required!
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So, you've been on a career break. How long has it been? Three years, five years, more? Whether you took time off to care for your children or to travel the world, relaunching your career is a major undertaking, especially these days. Just sending out a bunch of resumes won't do the trick.
1. Get Your Story Straight<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyNzUzMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2NjU1NTk4M30.r3m2rdtpGliHkXc_nSG9YtXylbvo_Ei7Foymt7YoAyE/img.jpg?width=980" id="b592a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a9efa51c9b41eb5c7828089098cda6df" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Man gets his story straight to relaunch his career" data-width="900" data-height="600" /><p>Prospective employers are going to ask you what you've been doing for the last few years. Make sure you have the story down pat and can tell it confidently. Don't be sheepish. <strong>Taking a break from work, whatever the reason (save incarceration), was a choice you made, and you don't need to apologize for it.</strong></p><p>Everything you say should be true, of course, but you choose what the takeaway of the story is. Second, you're going to need to have a good answer for the question of why you're getting back into the workforce. Note: <em>"I have a mortgage to pay; gambling debts; or momma needs a new pair of shoes,"</em> are not good responses. You don't want to seem needy or desperate.</p><p>To come up with a good answer, think about those things you loved about your job before you took your break. Talk about the passion you had for your career, about your craving for intellectual stimulation, about your ambition.</p><p>It's also important to think of these things in context of each job you're applying for. Why do you want to work for this specific company? What problem do you want to help them solve? How do you connect with their mission and values as an organization?</p><p>Asking yourself all of these questions will help you get your <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-rewrite-career-story" target="_blank">career story</a> straight before going into your first job interviews. </p>
2. Stay Connected (Or Reconnect) To Your Career<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyNzU0OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODI2MDg4OX0.jjXKSU7Mo6QHZN-fU5uV5zZXlyqRxuQHF1WCrQJ25ms/img.jpg?width=980" id="6e2e4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9be37e1983a27fe500d88c0d84bb248f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman stays connected as she relaunches her career" data-width="900" data-height="600" /><p>When you take your break, you don't have to turn your back on your career altogether. Look for opportunities to stay connected. This can mean consulting, volunteering, or freelancing. It's a matter of keeping at least one toe in the work realm.</p><p>Kelly, for instance, worked as a graphic designer for a major newspaper until she decided to leave the daily grind to care for her young son. To stay connected to her field, Kelly began freelancing every Sunday for her former employer. She also kept her skills honed by designing a monthly newsletter for her moms club. Through these efforts, Kelly remained close to her profession and continued to build her portfolio even while on a career break.</p><p><strong>If you haven't stayed connected to your career throughout your break, it's not too late to reconnect.</strong> In fact, reconnecting should be a key part of your career relaunch strategy. Immediately start accepting projects—even if it's free work for friends or nonprofits. It will pay off in the end. Don't pass up any opportunity.</p>
3. Revise Your Resume And Get It Online<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyNzU3My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1ODgwNDQwNn0.wMxOLa3JTuWnKkuzUvTewCaoGaE7-cFk42wvvdvAkFY/img.jpg?width=980" id="123ca" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="31c3f87f2dafc8d5b98103a56093dd25" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Man reviews his resume as he tries to relaunch his career" data-width="900" data-height="600" /><p>It's time to dust off your resume. First, fill in the gaps with all that good work-related stuff you've been doing during your break. Even if it was a volunteer project, list it just as you would any other work experience (though you don't necessarily need to use the word "volunteer"). <strong>Do some research to make sure your <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/get-resume-past-ats" target="_blank">resume will get past the ATS</a>.</strong> Many experts these days, for example, recommend ditching the "objective" portion at the top of the resume and instead replace it with hard skills and keywords mentioned in the job description that you have developed in your career.</p><p>To find pertinent keywords, do a little research. Look at <a href="http://www.careerbliss.com/jobs/" target="_blank">online job postings</a> and see the kind of words that employers are using in their posts, then use these words in your resume. Once your resume is keyword-optimized, you can then focus on customizing it for each job you're applying for, to give yourself a better chance of getting an interview. </p>
4. Network<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyNzYxNC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzM4NjU1OX0.HazxlyO2tqniyzZBiNXp1sA2D3j6xlm3BbVqq3kF3Hg/img.jpg?width=980" id="cad86" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6240e6f2a3fdf10ece582f06a06e153f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman networks to try to relaunch her career" data-width="900" data-height="600" /><p>First, reconnect with your former colleagues and professional friends. Meet for coffee. Talk shop. Let them know you're looking for work. Don't be shy about telling family members, friends, and acquaintances that you're looking for new opportunities. Most people get jobs through personal connections.</p><p>Then, widen your circle. Try to attend a business networking event every week. Even a <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-network-remotely" target="_blank">remote networking</a> event can open new doors. Much has been written about how people should approach networking, and a little research on the topic may be helpful. <strong>In general, remember that your goal for networking isn't instant gratification.</strong> Many experts will tell you not to expect (and never, never, never ask for) a job at a networking event. You're there to meet people and build relationships. Eventually it will pay off.</p><p>To find networking opportunities, ask people you already know or search on the internet. A simple Google search (city + state + "networking opportunities") should turn up results. Also, try websites like <a href="https://www.meetup.com/" target="_blank">Meetup</a> and <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/" target="_blank">Eventbrite</a>.</p>
5. Use Social Media<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyNzYzNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDY5ODc3OX0.eRMpVCQTRIajarYCDa1JAay10K3uxgmMdGeKXQiX4_A/img.jpg?width=980" id="04bd0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2408f5e25054a6f697011670b72062a2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman relaunches her career by using social media" data-width="900" data-height="600" /><p>More and more job seekers are using social media websites for networking, and employers are using them to find out about job candidates. <strong>Use social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to build your <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/personal-brand-workplace" target="_blank">personal brand</a>, make new connections and further your relaunch efforts.</strong></p><p>On LinkedIn, it's important to optimize your profile and make sure it matches your resume. Also, avoid making common <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/linkedin-headline-mistakes" target="_blank">LinkedIn headline mistakes</a>. With a strong social media presence, you'll stand out to recruiters and hiring managers, and they'll see how proactive you are with trying to relaunch your career. </p>
6. Get Involved<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyNzY5Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDcwMjUxNH0.SDu4D4uYvO7Ak_HRc-8D8j1nBC_PjBVVkuF3sNns34w/img.jpg?width=980" id="d31f8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1eda6cd0d76ce21b7d93ba8c08ea347b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="A group of people talk about relaunching their careers" data-width="900" data-height="600" /><p>Look for opportunities, above and beyond attending <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/6-networking-icebreakers" target="_blank">networking events</a>, to get involved. Start a blog related to your field. Check out existing blogs and online forums and comment on posts. Share your opinion. Offer advice. Establish yourself as an active member of the community. Host a networking event, or take on a volunteer position within a networking group. Take a class. These things will supercharge your networking efforts.</p><p><strong>The more you're involved in your community and industry, the more others will view you as an expert in that field.</strong> Don't be afraid to start something new. Get out there, get involved, and make a name for yourself!</p>
7. Cast A Wide Net<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyNzcxMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2OTUyODYzMH0.Fp4LFJWJe-JcXA2Eu_kCV6SQItrPyxMWI4FZutcqPns/img.jpg?width=980" id="60450" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9d72b5620059c459424b821d3dc4ee13" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Man looks for opportunities to relaunch his career" data-width="900" data-height="600" /><p>When looking at job opportunities, think outside of the box. Don't think of yourself in terms of past work experience alone. <strong>Assess your skills, and determine how they can be applied to different jobs.</strong> These are your <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/transferable-skills-job-seekers-need" target="_blank">transferable skills</a>. They can be extremely helpful when trying to relaunch your career, especially if you're making a career change.</p><p>Know what you can do, and be ready to tell prospective employers how your skills can benefit them—even in a position you've never held before. Think about what jobs have the best potential for <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/career-happiness" target="_blank">career happiness</a>.</p>
8. Don't Pass Up Opportunities<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyNzc0OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NjY2NTE3OX0.CtQT2aX4jkp6iW0RP7xtWldxA9uis3oTh57g1vu6iHE/img.jpg?width=980" id="20bc2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="70ef1b6022ab0d18b503c305a52ebb9c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman gets a new job to relaunch her career" data-width="900" data-height="600" /><p>Sure, you're looking for full-time work. <strong>But as you relaunch your career, don't pass up part-time, contract, or freelance opportunities, as long as they move your relaunch efforts forward.</strong> (Part-time at the local mini-mart, for instance, wouldn't do much good.)</p><p>A contract position could lead to a <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/questions-to-ask-before-accepting-job-offer" target="_blank">job offer</a>, and in the meantime you're gaining new experience, building relationships, and adding to your resume.</p>
9. Prepare For The Interview<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyNzc5NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMzI5MjA2OH0.KYrhzDx0RE92br7KwVXJ0AqjOONcgEbsl_JFDXXnyM0/img.jpg?width=980" id="48651" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a4a64469180dc650a1b4b27e7a412e05" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Man trying to relaunch his career interviews for a job" data-width="900" data-height="600" /><p>Eventually, the day will come: a prospective employer will want to meet with you.</p><p>A job interview can be particularly daunting to someone who's been on a career break. <strong>The best remedy for a case of interview-related nerves is preparation.</strong></p><p>Think about what questions will be asked, and how you will answer (remember tip number one?). <a href="http://www.careerbliss.com/company-reviews/" target="_blank">Research the company</a> online. Formulate some smart <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/questions-to-ask-job-interview" target="_blank">interview questions to ask</a> in return. Have a friend help you practice with a <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/mock-interview-tips" target="_blank">mock interview</a>. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be.</p>
10. Keep At It<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyNzczNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1Mjk4MzAyNn0.R8RyzPCtJ9k7ekJ2Div-dfjhn4Qxg6qwzcSx6NYP0Go/img.jpg?width=980" id="d63e6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="61b3ababff8be27027f95a30e928d97c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman tries to relaunch her career" data-width="900" data-height="601" /><p><strong>The best advice for relaunching your career? Don't give up.</strong> You didn't get to where you were before your career break without hard work and perseverance. And it will take those qualities to get back to where you want to be.</p>
If you’re not using the best, most effective methods of following up after a job interview, you’re missing out on the chance to score some easy points that just could push you over the top and out of the unemployment line. Related: The Best Interview Follow Up Checklist Make sure you’re going above and beyond to impress interviewers and secure the job. Here are some guidelines for the perfect interview follow-up strategy.
A cover letter can be the first step of a new career journey. Or, it can be a dead end that dooms your attempts to get a job. It all has to do with how you write it. Have you made any of these cover letter blunders? Download: FREE Cover Letter Tutorial & Template We collected some real-life examples of dead-end cover letters to serve as examples of what not to do the next time you’re making first contact with a prospective employer.
Quitting a job – quitting well, at least – can be hard work. There are plenty of missteps you can make that can end up hurting your career in the long term. QUIZ: Should You Quit Your Job? Check out our list of things to avoid when breaking up with your boss.
Like children, dogs, and nomads, minds tend to wander. And they often decide to wander at inopportune times – such as during that 4:30 meeting on the Friday before a long weekend. Related: Overworked? 5 Ways To Avoid Job Burnout There you are in your Aloha shirt standing over a grill full of sizzling beef patties, hand wrapped around an icy bottle (or whatever your long weekend fantasy might be)… And then, BOOM, you hear your name, then a question – and your wandering mind is yanked through space and time back to the present. Back to the conference room. They’re all looking at you. And they want an answer. You’ve been caught daydreaming at work. So, what do you do?
At first glance, accepting a management job can seem like a no-brainer – you have the inside track on what’s going on at the office, you get to delegate tasks and, hopefully, your paycheck gets fatter. Related: 6 Ways To Prepare For A Management Job But before taking over that corner office, ponder these five questions about other matters that go along with assuming a higher title.
For job seekers, the high unemployment rate means it takes more than just the seamless resume and sufficient experience to secure a job. So, how can you increase your chances of landing a job in this tough economy? Answer: Master your job. Related: #1 Thing You Can Do To Become A Better Employee Hiring managers are looking for candidates that have mastered their job or established an area of expertise. In addition to the resume and experience, go above and beyond by showing employers that you are dedicated to advancing in your industry by mastering your niche. By demonstrating your mastership, employers can more easily see your worth, and you can even potentially make a stronger case when negotiating your salary.