A senior-level job seeker asks us about re-entering the workforce after an extended break:
In 2003 I was a top Telecom Executive. At that point, for personal reasons, I decided to step away from corporate life and do other things which would allow me to deal with my young family’s needs. I myself was fairly young (early 40s) and had risen very quickly in what was a dynamic market place and industry.
Since then I have continued to be successful doing my own entrepreneurial initiatives while allowing me to deal with the health of my family. I am well past that issue and I am considering re-entering the market place. Is this viable? How should I go about it?
We asked Senior Recruitment Consultant Sally Banek for her input on the issue. Specializing in recruitment for senior accounting, finance and procurement professionals, Sally understands the challenges related to senior level job hunting –
Re-entering the corporate world after running your own business can appear to have its challenges. But as with any job search, it’s all about being smart in your search.
Your Resume is Your Marketing Tool
If you’ve been running your own business, the skills you’ve developed are far beyond those your previous corporate roles likely entailed. Consider these skills an asset! Entrepreneurial spirit, with developed talents in strategy / financing / innovation / business development / change management . . . skills that are invaluable in senior-level roles. Highlight these skills on your resume in a manner that is relatable to the corporate world. Tips on writing a great resume can be found here.
Your Linkedin Profile is the Face of Your Brand
Take the time to polish your profile as much as you would polish your resume. A professional photo, a well-written headline, summary and experience will serve you well. LinkedIn is an excellent passive networking tool, but you can make it as active as you choose. Join groups and engage with like-minded professionals. Click here for the rules of etiquette on LinkedIn.
Network, Network, Network
Reach back to your old contacts. They will likely be thrilled to hear from you, and more than happy to assist however they can. Coffee or lunch, a face-to-face meeting will be worth your time. Seek out networking events that match your interests. Make genuine connections; networking is about give and take – but with a purpose. Remember to make it known that you are actively seeking a career change.
Be Productively Busy
While it is tempting to apply to every job that appears to be in your wheelhouse, it’s not wise. Pay attention to the job ad – does it excite you? Research the company. Do they share your values? “Spamming” your resume across town will not be of benefit to you. While you may be busy applying and interviewing, you won’t be productively busy unless the opportunity is truly of interest to you.
Hone Your Interviewing Skills
Be prepared for the inevitable question about why you want to re-enter the corporate world. Do you miss the camaraderie of the bigger team? Are you eager to bring your newly-developed entrepreneurial skills to a larger organization? Is the company one that particularly piques your interest?
Be prepared, as well, to be able to describe your responsibilities and your accomplishments in a way that translates to the corporate setting. “I took my company from zero to $10M in revenue” is a worthy accomplishment. Add to that by explaining what you learned along the way about team development, change management, strategic direction or other areas that relate to the opportunity you’re discussing.
Find a Career that FITS
At The Headhunters, we specialize in looking beyond the technical skills and background of the people we meet with. We want to know you as a person, and help you take the next challenging and rewarding career step. Most importantly, we’ll help you find the FIT you are looking for when it comes to your values and the kind of team culture you’re looking for.