Tips for women re-entering the workforce

Posted by Amanda Augustine

June 1, 2012

Women@Work's employer mentors offer three tips for parents reentering the job market.

womenworkI had the privilege of participating in an event called Straight from the Source: Employer Representatives Mentor Women, hosted by Women@Work in Westport, Connecticut, yesterday.

Women@Work, co-founded by Eliza Shanley, is a great organization that is “dedicated to Keeping Women at Work Through All of Life's Ages and Stages.” They offer a wide range of services which help mid- to senior-level women professionals advance their careers and find jobs. Often times these women took time off to raise their families and are now faced with reentering the workforce in a tight job market.

Every month or so, Women@Work holds an event where they ask individuals from various corporations to meet with its members to discuss two major topics: where they see opportunity in the marketplace, and what key advice they’d give professionals looking to reenter the job market.

I was very excited to attend this event because I could offer a unique perspective – not only could I talk about how I see the job market in the internet space, but I could discuss what job trends TheLadders sees across multiple industries and functions, as well as provide some practical tips to make every person at the event a more effective job seeker.

Eliza opened the event by moderating a short panel discussion with me and representatives from home furnishings retailer Pottery Barn and financial services firm Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

Although we all came from very different industries and company cultures, a few themes seemed universal:

A positive attitude goes a long way.

When you’re going in for an interview or even an initial phone screen, you need to be in a good mood and show the interviewers that you want the job. No one wants to work with a Negative Nancy!

Research is key. 

Employers want to know you took the time to read their website, recent news articles about the organization, etc., and that you have a good understanding of how they work and what’s going on in their world. Prove in your cover letter and during the interview that you’ve done your homework. Whenever possible, find someone you know who works at the company and grab a cup of coffee with them to learn more about the organization and its culture.

It’s more than just skill set.

When a hiring manager gets a job requisition approved, they want someone who can not only do the job, but also fit in with the company and team culture. Assume that a portion of every screening and interview is devoted to determining how well you will fit in with the company’s culture and the make-up of your specific team.

After the panel discussion, we broke out into smaller groups where the attendees could sit with each panelist and ask and every question they had about the job market and the search. A lot of this time was devoted to going over the dos and don’ts of resume writing and networking.

This was a really great event. The attendees were very enthusiastic and each speaker brought something different to the table.  Thanks again to Eliza Shanley and Women@Work for putting together such a polished event! I look forward to working with this group again.

AmandaAugustine_JobSearchExpert_TheLadders_1Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

Topics: In the News