HOW TO GET A RE­TURN­SHIP

Working Mother - - Work Forus -

Over­all, a re­turn­ship seems like a worth­while ex­pe­ri­ence—if you can get one. Carol Fish­man Co­hen of re-en­try firm iRe­launch says there are hun­dreds

(or in some cases, more than 1,000) ap­pli­cants for about 20 to 25 spots in each of the more-es­tab­lished Wall Street pro­grams. At PayPal, 900 peo­ple ap­plied for nine spots. Yikes.

Still, there are things you can do to in­crease your chances:

• Fill skill gaps with a good train­ing pro­gram.

•“Get feed­back on your re­sume and cover let­ter from some­one you trust to be kind but also truth­ful,” says Tami For­man of re-en­try non­profit Path For­ward.

• Net­work as much as you can. “Even with returnships, hav­ing a per­sonal con­nec­tion into the com­pany can be very help­ful,” says For­man.

• “Read rel­e­vant jour­nals, pe­ri­od­i­cals and books, and fol­low ex­perts in your par­tic­u­lar field,” says Co­hen.

•“Make clear you were vol­un­tar­ily out of the work­force to ac­com­mo­date care­giv­ing,” says For­man.

• List free­lance work, com­mu­nity ser­vice and any train­ing pro­grams on your re­sume—and be spe­cific about how it trans­lates into the needs of the

busi­ness to beef up your ap­pli­ca­tion.

• Be­lieve in your­self. “If you’ve taken time off, you are in a dif­fer­ent place than you were when you were in your ca­reer be­fore,” says Ad­die Swartz of job-place­ment firm ReacHIRE. “But if you’re smart, you’re al­ways smart. The ques­tion is how to re­de­ploy your tal­ents.”

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