Author Topic: SAHM Returning To Work Advice Please  (Read 2372 times)

HairyUpperLip

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SAHM Returning To Work Advice Please
« on: July 02, 2015, 07:05:39 AM »
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen.

My wife stopped working about 20 months ago due to our daughter being born.

My wife is ready to return to the workforce and has been applying for jobs the past 2 months with ZERO traction.

She typically gets an automated response letting her know she lacks current experience or she just doesn't get a response at all.

Her background has been in HR/Payroll/Finance/IT.

Any advice or tips on how she should go about on rejoining the work force would be greatly appreciated?

Let me know if there is any specific questions to help answer this as well.

Thanks in advance! :-)


zhelud

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Re: SAHM Returning To Work Advice Please
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 07:48:25 AM »
My 2 cents- every good job I have ever been hired for I got because I networked.  And I'm not even an extrovert. (One time I got a job because I went to a party and I was hanging out in a corner with another shy person. We started talking and he mentioned that one of his colleagues was looking to hire someone like me.)

So my advice is- make sure that everyone you know knows that you are looking for a job. Call old colleagues. Tell your neighbors. Email old college roommates. Tell people who you meet at parties (including neighborhood potlucks!)  Chances are, at least one person will say "my company isn't hiring right now but I have a friend at another company who mentioned that she needs..." 

little_brown_dog

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Re: SAHM Returning To Work Advice Please
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2015, 08:22:38 AM »
+1 to networking. many times the online job postings are not even really still available- as a hiring manager, i have posted a few positions in my time where we already had a candidate or two lined up but needed to officially post the position online before we could hire them. we did look at the other resumes that came in to be fair, but it never changed our mind about the person we selected. it is also extremely common for resumes/apps to just get lost in the black hole of HR and never even make it to a hiring manager for consideration (hence no response).

if your wife has colleagues she is still in touch with and left her old position on good terms, she should reach out to these people to see if there is anything available. they will be able to funnel her resume directly to the appropriate manager or recruiter and bypass the 2 traps i mentioned above. same goes for friends in the area who are working at companies she might be interested in.

expectopatronum

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Re: SAHM Returning To Work Advice Please
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 12:03:29 PM »
+2. This is so, so true at our company and in our industry. I would definitely contact her old manager, old peers, maybe they know someone and can vouch for you if they themselves aren't hiring. Our company is small and a TON of the people here have come here because of a personal connection + being a qualified candidate.

Some other good advice:
http://www.askamanager.org/2013/02/job-searching-after-being-a-stay-at-home-mom.html
http://www.askamanager.org/2011/12/how-can-i-manage-an-impending-gap-in-my-resume-due-to-caring-for-my-kids.html

Her biggest tip is basically to maintain connections (when you leave the workforce) and/or to tap them when you try to reenter.

When we're hiring, I admit it's really hard to overlook a long resume gap, but also hard to get to the source of it without sounding like I'm discriminating. I don't know all the HR rules/laws, so don't take my word for gold, but I personally am more prone to overlook gap(s) if the person offers a real reason. There's a fine line between the ambiguous "personal time off" and too much detail, but I generally need more than "I took some personal time" to want to take a chance on someone. Is she prepared to explain the gap, and/or has she addressed it in cover letters? Does her resume show that she has done something (volunteering, maintaining other skills?) in the meantime? Her resume DOES leave off SAHM as an actual job, right?

catccc

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Re: SAHM Returning To Work Advice Please
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2015, 12:30:20 PM »
A different perspective from networking...  I'm in the accounting field and spent about 15 months at home after our first was born.  I started looking for a job in late 2009/early 2010.  If you recall, it was not a good time to look for a job.  But I did okay.

Here is what I suggest- leverage placement firms (aka recruiters) and be willing to take temp/contract work.  Robert Half is a big one, and depending on the type of work your wife does, she might have better luck in their Accountemps division.  Kforce, Solomon Edwards, Ranstad... there are a lot of them.  I know of more but they may be regional.  The contract work may pay a little less, but the idea is you take the temporary work, continue to look for a permanent position, and when she interviews she says something along the lines of "I took off to stay home for a while, but I knew I wanted to go back, so I have been doing some contract work to keep my skills current."

I know of several people that have taken contract work only to be hired on permanently down the road.  I also know people that end up liking the contract work (often the postions are laid out so you are a w-2 employee for the staffing firm- no tax headache of actual contract work...) and just like to go from contract to contract, trying out different organizations for 6 months at a time.  Benefits working for a staffing firm suck, but it's something, and it shows potential permanent hiring managers that you are suitable for work.

Online, have her answer ads that look generic as well as those that disclose a lot- she probably could get in touch with some recruiters this way.  I really like working with recruiters, you tell them exactly what you want and they are out there trying to make a match for you.  The employers often get crap resumes through the usual avenues (monster, career builder, etc), and they end up relying on a recruiter.  Sure, it comes with a hefty price tag for the employer (about 20% of your salary typically), but that is coming out of their pocket, not yours.

Good luck to her!