Did your last job cause you to re-evaluate your career direction? Whether it was a toxic work environment, declining industry, raise a family, whatever the circumstances, you decided to take a break. And now you are ready to re-enter the workforce.

Returning to work after an absence has many job seekers fearful that they will not be considered for employment because their skills may be outdated, or experience no longer relevant. These three tips may be of some help.

1. Keep up-to-date with knowledge and skills. Employers are much more willing to hire people who stay current with industry milestones, technologies related to expertise, and people active in a professional network. It’s not that hard to do with workshops, virtual conferences, industry news feeds, blogs, and media sites that anyone can access. It will also make your learning curve easier when returning to work because you are aware of new developments and required skills.

2. Continue to network. Unless you decided to become a hermit during your career break, you more than likely socialized with people you know, came in contact with former co-workers or bosses, and maybe even made a few new connections personal and/or professional. Just because you aren’t working, doesn’t mean you don’t need to network. Professional associations, college alumni groups, LinkedIn groups all have value in staying in touch with people who may have helpful tips and knowledge of where there are potential job opportunities.

3. Volunteer. Learn new job skills and keep current with skills you have used in past positions by volunteering. Not only is this good experience that you may want to use on your resume, it gives you the chance to “test drive” different companies or industries and may sway you to make career changes in the future. Sometimes volunteer opportunities can turn into a paid position and a new career direction.

Job search can be daunting. It takes a lot of time and effort, and some say looking for a job is a full time job. I agree. A professional resume writer and coach can be very beneficial to help you get back on track. What’s most important is to commit to a job search plan and make it work for you.

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Chapman is a certified professional resume writer whose career is deep-rooted in the careers industry. As a visible member of her profession, she has been involved with numerous industry organizations. Professional credentials include recognition as a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Authorized Behavioral Strategist (DISC Behavioral Assessment), Certified Professional Resume Writer Credentialing Authority, and career/resume book contributor.