How to prepare yourself to rejoin the workforce after being unemployed

Find time outside of your job search to pursue personal interests. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Here are some tips from a Workforce Singapore career coach:

1. Be clear about what you are looking for

Gain career clarity. Figure out what you want to get out of a job by understanding who you are and knowing the work environment - then link the two. This can help you narrow your career choices and find a fulfilling job.

This may also be a good time to take stock of your career values and whether they are still in line with what you are doing.

Values are important guiding principles that help you set priorities in your career and life.

Once you are clear about your career interests, values, strengths and skills, make a list of jobs or industries that match them.

2. Acknowledge your emotions

Some job seekers may not be aware of how they are bringing negative mindsets and emotions into their job search.

These emotions can affect one's body language and energy levels. Hiring managers can pick these up easily during both face-to-face and phone interviews.

If necessary, speak with a career coach who can double as a cheerleader to guide you in better managing your emotions.

Find time outside of your job search to pursue personal interests. That should help you recharge and rejuvenate your spirits. It is important to stay motivated to ride out the current storm.

3. Understand the job landscape

Once you have narrowed your focus to certain sectors or roles, take note of the latest technology - if any - involved in these roles and whether you have the skills to manage it.

If there is a skills gap, take some time to expand your skills repertoire - your prospective employers will appreciate your initiative to learn and adapt.

Also, understand current hiring criteria and try to match your competencies, skills and experience and attributes to these criteria in your resume and interview.

Attending networking sessions and career workshops can give you a sense of what hiring managers and employers look for these days.

4. Prepare for interviews

Preparation and practice are key to acing any job interview.

Research the company, its culture and the people who will be interviewing you.

This will help you gear your responses to the vision and mission of the company, as well as the experience and background of the panellists.

You will also know if these people are going to be your colleagues, peers or boss, and their interaction can give you a sense of the firm's culture and work environment. Knowing who you are meeting will help you feel more confident and relaxed during the interview.

Practice makes perfect. Have a loved one, friend or career coach role-play interviews with you. Think of possible questions and draft answers.

It is crucial that you do enough research and thinking to ensure that you do not give one-size-fits-all type of answers that interviewers have heard before.

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