11.06.2013

Back to Work Blog Series: 4 Easy Steps to Master Your Industry's Buzz

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Welcome back to the Amy Mac Blog Series Back to Work: Everything You Need to Know to Get Back in Business — a playbook of strategies to dust off your skills, your resume and your moxie as you change careers, launch a business, or head from the mom force to the work force. Catch up on previous posts here.

In the last post we talked about closing the gap in your resume ... an essential step when you've been away from the work force for an extended time. But you can't stop at closing that gap on paper. To prove in an interview or at a networking function you aren't completely out-of-touch with your industry, you need to master the buzz of your biz.

What's that exactly? It means if it’s trending in your industry you can talk knowledgeably on the subject. You can spout statistics, give your opinion, and talk about how a national trend affects the local market. Thanks to a number of easy-to-access resources, no additional training, certifications or degrees are needed to get up to speed on the leading trends, industry buzzwords and current challenges the industry is facing.

Incorporate these 4 resources into your daily or weekly routine whenever possible, and you'll find yourself in-the-know in no time:

Read the local paper. Search for articles applicable to your industry several times a week. This keeps you in touch with important happenings, and how they translate to your local market — and might just give you job leads down the road.

Subscribe to trade publications. Let’s face it: not all trade publications are created equal. I recommend finding the leading trades in your industry and taking out a short-term subscription. While you’re judging how relevant the content is for your needs, you’re gaining knowledge that will provide conversation starters as you network.

Read top blogs for your industry. A quick internet search with the terms “top blogs + [your industry]” will turn up several sites that rank blogs by subscribers and other tools like Alexa ratings. Find national and local blogs for your industry, and read them frequently.

Set up informational interviews with professionals in the industry. Staying in touch with industry news consistently for several months before you jump back into the workforce not only prepares you for potential interview questions, it also shows you any gaps in experience you need to fill while giving you an excuse to reach out to leaders in the industry. If they hear of a job opening, it’s likely they’ll keep you in mind.

Next up in the Back to Work Blog Series: Becoming a Social Media Powerhouse.

Thanks for reading! (and please ... if you have any questions related to going back to work, send them my way!)
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