Five Ways to Connect and Grow Your Network Virtually

The official Path Forward networking motto is, “who you know is what you know.” Networking is a key part not just to landing a new job, but figuring out what job you’d like to do in the first place. Talking with friends, old colleagues, classmates, and acquaintances can broaden your perspective on what the job market looks like, what skills are in demand, and the different roles that exist in…

Think your skills are outdated? Why COBOL programmers are suddenly in demand

One thing we hear, pretty frequently, is the idea that someone out of the workforce for many years must be “outdated” in terms of their skills. We hear this from returnees themselves. And we hear it, usually formed as a question, from some recruiters. This is especially true because of how many tech companies we work with, many of whom are focused on hiring engineers. If you haven’t worked in…

Path Forward’s 7 Tips for a Successful Video Interview

Video interviews were around long before the COVID-19 era, but for now nearly all companies are relying on phone and video to talk to job applicants. For individuals trying to rejoin the workforce after years away, video conferencing may be unfamiliar, adding stress to an already stressful situation. With that in mind, here is our advice for how to put your best (virtual) foot forward: 1) Find your space and…

Thank You Notes Are Not Optional (And Other Advice for Job Follow Up)

Path Forward is frequently asked about interview follow up — usually something along the lines of “How often is too often to check in?” or “How long can I / should I wait before following up on a job application?” Mostly, candidates seem concerned about being too aggressive in contacting recruiters or hiring managers. But my conversations with recruiters and hiring managers, including my own experiences, that a lack of…

How to Network without feeling icky.

How To Network Without Feeling ‘Icky’

I recently presented a webinar for the American Geological Union on restarting a career in the sciences. We included a poll asking the attendees which part of the job search process they most dreaded — networking, resumes, interviews or “all of it.” The winner, by a pretty wide margin, was networking. I’m not surprised. To most people networking feels smarmy and, well, icky. I think it’s because we fundamentally misunderstand…

Master Behavioral Interview Questions with the STAR Method

During an interview, you’ll likely be asked a few questions that start with “tell me about a time when…” or “give me an example of…” These are called behavioral interview questions, and their aim is to show the interviewer how you handle common challenges and situations on the job. They often touch on topics like leadership, teamwork, project management, problem solving, and conflict resolution. How you choose to answer these…

Conducing an Interview Post Mortem

The Importance of Doing an Interview Post-Mortem

When it comes to job interviews, there are a lot of reasons why you might be out of practice. Some people are fortunate enough to have held a job for years, and haven’t had a need to interview. But for many of our readers, taking a career break to care for loved ones might mean it’s been awhile since you’ve have an interview. Regardless of the circumstances around why you’ve…

How to Find Professional References Without Work Experience

How to Find Professional References If You Don’t Have Recent Work Experience

You’ve embarked on job hunt armed with a personal arsenal of job application resources, like an updated resume, tailored cover letter, and stellar interview tactics, but there’s one crucial component of the job search process that’s often overlooked: professional references. Companies rely on professional references to verify your skill set and to get an outsider’s opinion of how you perform in a workplace environment. These recommendations can also create an…

Successful Interviews: What to Do Before, After, and During an Interview

Job interviews are tough for most people, and it can feel especially daunting to go on an interview after you’ve taken a break from the workforce. Depending on the length of your career break, and how long you were working before you stepped away, it has probably been a long time since you’ve been the subject of a job interview.   The good news is there are specific steps you…