Are you ready to re-enter the workforce after months of collecting employment benefits? You are not alone. Millions of Canadians applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit during the pandemic. Many people did it out of necessity because they lost their job or were unable to work for other reasons. In total, There were more than 8.7 unique applicants to the program. More than 3.5 million applicants came from Ontario alone.

If you were one of the people who were on employment benefits or are just coming off them, it is difficult to know where to start your job search. A lot has changed since the beginning of the pandemic.

how to re-enter the workforce after a long time

Being out of the workforce for an extended period of time for any reason can be challenging to overcome. The pandemic and the resulting changes to how companies hire and how people work only make things more complicated.

Now you, as well as many others, need to re-enter the workforce. Below, our recruiters offer up some advice for how to re-enter the workforce after being off for an extended period:


Reach out to previous employers

If you are on good terms with a previous employer, you may have an opportunity to return to the company. Perhaps the company was forced to close during the pandemic because of the government mandate. Or you had to leave because you needed to care for your family or you are close to someone who is immuno-compromised. This is a good starting point.

Let your professional network know you are looking to work again

Connect with your peers on LinkedIn and via email. Let them know that you are looking to get back to work and are looking for opportunities. They may be able to provide you with leads within their company or industry. Even family, friends or other acquaintances could be able to help you with your search. Reach out to anyone you think could help.

Refresh your resume

Before you start applying for positions, you will need to update your resume. Here are some things you will want to refresh:

  • Address the reason for your career gap
  • Update any new skills you have gained during your time off
  • Update your career focus and objectives
  • Make it relevant to the post-pandemic workforce

Be open to flexible work opportunities

Flexibility is important. Be willing to start out in freelance, contract or part-time positions. You should also consider remote jobs. Employers are still ramping up coming out of the pandemic and with some uncertainty still looming, they may be hesitant to add full-time permanent employees.

Get More Job Search Tips From Our Expert Recruiters

Don’t Let a Break Break You: Why Career Gaps Can Be a Source of Strength Rather Than Weakness

Was Being Laid Off a Blessing in Disguise? 4 Tips to Improve Your Resume

X vs. Y vs. Z. 4 Secrets to Hiring and Managing Different Generations



IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Nadia Novello

Nadia Novello is a recruitment consultant on the Marketing Services team.  Prior to beginning her journey in recruitment, Nadia spent 15+ years in the Marketing, Advertising, and Agency space.  During that time, she has helped many clients explore strategies to help drive consumer engagement and influence purchase decisions for some top global brands. Nadia’s industry experience in both traditional and digital marketing makes her a valuable extension to the IQ Partners team.

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