We wanted to share a personal blog today, contrary to the usual, and address some questions and concerns from recent clients about how to best handle the challenges of blending your job search and celebrating the holidays, guilt free.
- If I have been out of the job market for a short while (6mo – 2 yrs) what is the best approach to re-enter? Does this lapse in work history make me less hireable?
Lately, many of our mid to late career clients have at least a small gap in their employment, so this is not uncommon to see on a resume anymore. There are so many reasons as to why you stepped out… family illness, childbirth, adoption, health, or just wanting a break from it all. Regardless, with the extensive and frequent communication we keep with clients, we cannot report an increase in trouble landing interviews & jobs. This is good news! In fact, a good sign that employers are more open to understanding, circumstances, and life all together. Things happen, right?
However, if you’re an entry-level/recent grad who has 1 to 2 years of employment history on your resume (perhaps your only jobs) and then a big gap of 2-3 years again, this would be questionable to some. When you’re in your early to mid twenties, you are probably expected to work, or go to school, one or the other, so a large gap would need to be addressed. I would suggest using a chronological resume to clearly show that those 2 years without work were filled with degree-earning activities and education. If you were not in school, and have no other reason besides not wanting to work, then you may have to start at a very entry-level position and work your way back up. But hey, everyone has to start somewhere, and we have all been there. Be strong. Be committed. Be professional.
- If I am currently employed, but looking for a new company, when is the best time to start my job search?
We have found that companies tend to interview and hire less frequently than in the start of a year, or even mid-year. Our busiest times of the year are Jan and July, which tell you more people are actively looking for change during these times, and tend to land more interviews, faster, than at other times of the year. Plus, who wants to miss out on holiday bonuses?
- What is the most professional dress code during an interview?
What to wear for an interview? That really depends on where you are at in your career. Are you applying for a leadership position (manager/supervisor/director)? Then you’ll want to portray that image. I always say “dress as if you already got the job”. Act as if you are the one so that you become the one. Be confident. Professional dress is 100% necessary and can be a determining factor to hire someone, especially if you are majorly underdressed.
If you’re stepping into a more hands-on role, like Laboratory Technician, Mechanic, Laborer, etc, then jeans and a collared shirt may be acceptable, it really depends on the feel and tone of the interviewer. It is better to overprepare than to underprepare.
Remember, it is OK and ACCEPTABLE to ask. When that person calls you to schedule an interview, ask him/her! That way, there are no surprises.
Thanks again for all the questions!
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