Comeback Moms: How to Leave Work, Raise Children, and Restart Your Career Even If You Haven’t Had a Job in Years by Monica Samuels and J.C. Conklin offers useful practical tips and general advice for women who want to re-enter the work force after a career break.
Here are some highlights:
- “Your first job won’t be your big job. Sorry to disappoint you. It’ll probably be a step to the next-better job. Take that pressure off yourself and focus on getting any job that will look good on your resume or put money in your pocket.”
- Plan to spend several months to a year looking.
- Update your skills. One employer quoted in the book says she sifts through hundreds of resumes and specifically looks for people who have taken a class in new digital technology.
- If your computer skills are poor, work on those.
- Leave dates off your resume, “because dates draw the focus to how long you haven’t been working instead of to your achievements.” But, if asked, be honest about how long you’ve been out of the workforce and why.
- Prep for the interview by going to the mall to see what clothes the stores are displaying. You don’t want to look outdated.
- Go on as many interviews as possible because it’s good practice.
- Internships and apprenticeships are great if you’re thinking about a career switch.
The last chapter of the book is about entrepreneurs. Many women choose to start their own businesses because they want to be their own boss and set their own hours. They offer concrete advice on financing, setting-up and marketing your business. And they include a list of common mistakes entrepreneurs make such as overusing an attorney and not researching the market.
My next post will deal more with the advice to leave dates off of resumes.