Landing the Interview and the Job

Carol Fishman Cohen, co-author of “Back On the Career Track” and co-founder of offers tips on jumping back into the job market.

1. Cohen suggests first figuring out what you want to do. Think of your prior work or volunteer experiences and identify which of those you liked doing and did well. Otherwise, try using a career assessment tool from your alma mater’s career services center, if available.

2. Try finding job openings through online job postings or network with people from your past or in your community. Start talking!

“World of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to find out if an employer is looking for someone with your skills,” Cohen says.

3. If you find a job posting online that suits you, see if you know someone working at the company. Establish a personal connection with the hiring manager, if possible. Solely applying for the job online is not enough—companies like to hire through personal recommendations.

4. Did you nab the interview? Cohen gives pointers on how to do your best.

  • Do not apologize for a career break.
  • Also, do not dwell on it—you want to acknowledge it and move on to why you’re the best person for the job.
  • Speak about past work experiences as if they happened yesterday, even if they were 10 years ago.
  • If the hiring manager is concerned about your career break, suggest she hires you for a short-term assignment. Consider it a “trial run.”
  • Research the company beyond its website. Dig into social media: Does the company have a Facebook page or Twitter account? If so, make sure you look at it.
  • Search for recent press about the company and find out if any major officers have personal blogs. If so, read them and post comments relevant to their posts. If the company is small, someone will probably notice your comments. Try to incorporate this into your job application, explaining you follow their blogs and social media accounts, commented, applied for a job and are excited for the process to begin.

For more information about how to revamp your job search, visit

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