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Returning To Work

Returning To Work by Annette J Dunlea

As the economy slowly recovers the long-term unemployed apply again for work. It is highly competitive so be organised, prepare a cover letter and cv, write these in longhand and then have them professionally typed.Register with Fas and the commercial employment recruitment agencies. Go to the library and research the jobs you are applying for. Read the company's website, annual reports, find out their mission statement and key documents. Acquire as much information as you can about the job and company.You will also need to sort out your tax and personal lifestyle by becoming more fit, eating healthier and preparing to rise at seven or eight in the morning and going to bed earlier at night, its all just practice.

Update your cv and write a letter of application stating your: last position, the industry sector, your significant strengths and unique selling points.The process of creating an outstanding cover letter begins with research, and lots of it. You will need to examine the following elements as they relate to your target occupation:  industry subject matter and terminology,technical and business practice innovations,recent events and their societal impact and current recruitment trends and salary scales.The background details accumulated from this research will form the bedrock of your cover letter, the firm foundation on which your application will be laid. With this initial groundwork out of the way, you must now discover as much as you can about the employer to whom your cover letter will be sent. Find out: the nature of the organisation's business,its most high-profile customers and clients, recent developments and past history and staff requirements and mission statement.The more you understand about your selected occupation as a whole and your chosen organisation in particular the stronger your cover letter will be. If at all possible, try to address your cover letter to an individual within the organisation, rather than the organisation itself. Phone the organisation, then ask the receptionist for human resources, recruiting or personnel. One of these departments will provide you with the name of the person responsible for job applications.If you know someone who works in the organisation, mention them by name in your cover letter, and send them a copy of your job application. You aren't the only person who wants this vacancy, and in the battle of wits between your rivals and you, such contacts will make for some powerful ammunition.

Writing your CV,Whether you are a recent graduate or have many years of work experience, your CV can be the doorway to a more fulfilling career. When a recruiter looks at your CV and decides whether to invite you for an interview, the "first appearances" rule applies. You only have a few seconds to make a good impression and set yourself apart from other candidates. Following the guidelines will make it easier to write your CV and help you to succeed in gaining an interview.Be brief. If you have one to five years' experience, one page is sufficient. One or two pages are appropriate for a candidate with more than five years' experience. If you are emailing or faxing your CV, never go beyond two pages.Use standard CV structure. List your experience and education in chronological order with the most recent first. When listing specific tasks or accomplishments within a job summary, use bullet points whenever possible. Make it easy for the reader to follow the format.Presentation is critical! If you're emailing your CV or giving one out at your interview, it should be on white or off-white paper. Type in an easy-to-read font such as Times Roman, Arial or Helvetica, and in an easy-to-read size. Don't make the mistake of using attention-grabbing colored paper, artistic borders or pictures. Don't cram in too much information - white space can be very effective as well as making it easier for the reader to absorb content.

Always put your education before your work experience because it tells the prospective employer more about your current qualifications. List your education in reverse chronological order including: degree level, subject, institution and year. Add honours and awards you have won and relevant courses, projects or activities that are applicable to your stated career path.Once you have been working in industry for more than 2 years, this section needs to be moved to below your Employment History section.State your employment history: list dates (month/year), title, company and location for each job held, beginning with the most recent. Give a one-sentence summary about the company if it's not an immediately recognisable name such as "£1 billon pharmaceutical R&D Company." Briefly summarise duties and accomplishments in each position held. Use action words to define activities and responsibilities.Additional Skills should be your next section, this is the section in which you can place skills and abilities that aren't immediately obvious by your degree(s) or positions held, such as familiarity with software programmes or knowledge of foreign languages.Professional Accreditations shoould be added.If you are a member of a professional association, list it, along with any committee position you hold with the association or awards you have won from the association.Do not list references on your CV. The simple line: "References available upon request" is appropriate, but optional. When asked to submit references, do so on a separate sheet of paper and make sure you check with the people you name first.

Even if you're going back to the same career, you'll be quite surprised by some of the changes that have taken place during your absence. If you've used your time at home wisely, you've kept up with the changes in your field. If not, it may be time for some cramming. To bone up on what's been going on read up on industry news and start talking to people in your network.Read the professional journals and study the company's website.

Contact your local tax office and sort out your entitlments.If you have not sorted out your tax position by the time you start work your employer will have to deduct tax on an "emergency tax" basis.Providing your employer with your PPS No. will allow your social welfare contributions to be recorded along with any contributions you paid in previous periods of employment.

If you have failed to get a job you could always upskill do a fas course or go back to college.Fas can help you if you need to do a course in cv writing and interview technique. They run courses in specialist areas: hairdressing, engineering, computers to motor mechanics. They have many courses. They run a specialist : Return to Work (RTW)program.This programme is specifically for persons wishing to return to employment after long periods out of the workforce. It is certified on the National Framework of Qualifications at levels 3 and 4 and facilitates entry to employment or progression to higher level programmes such as FÁS Specific Skills Training or Traineeship programmes.To discuss your training options with an Employment Services Officer, please contact your local FÁS Employment Services Office or Training Centre.Carrigaline's local Fas office is located on The Main Crosshaven Road.The Fas website is online at http://www.fas.ie/en/. As the National Training and Employment Authority, FÁS anticipates the needs of, and responds to, a constantly changing labour market which employs over 2 million people.Through a regional network of 66 offices and 20 training centres, FÁS operates training and employment programmes; provides a recruitment service to jobseekers and employers, an advisory service for industry, and supports community-based enterprises.

Returning to work after being unemployed long-term can be a shock to the system. Although you are happy to be earning a paycheck, it takes adjustment to ease back into the work routine.Many people are finding that it takes more time to find a job today once they have become unemployed. When you have been unemployed for a long time you lose touch with the working world and often your personal habits become lax. You may get accustomed to sleeping late or staying up too late at night. Although you are actively seeking work, your time is your own and you do become spoiled.Before your new job starts, get yourself into a work routine again. Start going to bed earlier and rising in plenty of time to take care of yourself. Eat a good breakfast and find time to exercise. Exercise and eating right will help you.Returning to work after long-term unemployment is a big adjustment but it is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. Hopefully, your new job turns out to be the one you have always wanted.

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