Rebuilding Your Career After Abuse

Welcome to Right-On with HFG Happy Families Support Network Inc. (HFG)

HFG is a not-for-profit support group that provides ongoing support to women and children who have experienced abuse

HFG is a free support group for women and children who have experienced abuse, run by women who have experienced abuse

The topic for today is – Rebuilding Your Career After Abuse

Building your career is a very important step in recovering from abuse and regaining your independence

You are in the process of rebuilding your self-confidence and social network, now let’s start rebuilding your career

There are few steps involved in preparing yourself for the working world

Step 1: Resume

Preparing your resume is a very essential step in putting yourself out there in the job market

Your resume contains key information about you, your work and volunteer experience

Start by making a list of your skills, training, education & employment history with accurate names, addresses, & dates

Don’t forget to show your personality by including your hobbies and activities on your resume

All good resumes make the person reading them want to meet the applicant in person

You can find several sites with resume templates online. Just google – resume templates or resume samples

Customize your resume to match the position you are applying for. Include key words from the position in your resume

Use bullet points throughout your resume. Each point should emphasize your qualifications & for the position

Remember to use action words when describing your achievements on your resume, keep each point short and direct

Resume action words to incorporate in your bullet points:

  1. analyzed, quantified, planned, programmed, designed, created, built, taught and trained describing skill
  2. increased, reduced, redesigned, upgraded, initiated, implemented, reformulated, generated and produced describing results
  3. honored, awarded, promoted, selected, lauded for, received a bonus for, recognized, chosen & credited describing recognition

Step 2: Cover Letter

Your cover letter should have a basic introduction about yourself and highlight your skills that are related to the position

Please remember to put all the key word in the job description in your cover letter

Let’s look at the parts of the cover letter:

  1. Salutation: start letter with Dear Mr./Ms. Jones, Hiring/Human Resources Manager, Sir/Madam, To Whom It May Concern
  2. First paragraph: say why your are writing, mention position and where position was advertised
  3. Second paragraph: why are you the best candidate? Connect your qualifications to position requirements
  4. Third paragraph: say thank you for considering you for the position and let them know you will follow up
  5. Closing: be professional – Sincerely, Regards, Yours truly…followed by comma, space, then name & contact information

REMEMBER customize qualifications to match position requirements

A good cover letter makes a big difference in our competitive world, it’s your 1 chance to make your best first impression

Step 3: Networking

Now is the time to look at your connections. Who do you know? Are you using LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media?

Reach out and reconnect with your network, let everyone know you are looking for a job, don’t be shy

Usually, connecting & finding jobs in this economy is about who knows you, knows of your skills & that you’re job hunting

Step 4: References

Contact your references and ask permission to use them before giving their names to prospective employers

Make sure your references are able to speak about your skills and accomplishments

REMEMBER to thank your references as they agree speak on your behalf, and thank them again when you land that job

References can be past managers, co-workers, from places you’ve volunteered, friends, pastor, teacher, etc.

Step 5: Practice Interviews

Interview preparation is very essential in landing a job. If you are prepared you’ll be more comfortable and confident

List possible interview questions & write answers down. Link to article with 62 Interview questions:

Memorize your resume and practice with someone by going over the keys points and major achievements

RESEARCH THE COMPANY. This is important in your preparation, it’s to see if the company is a good fit for you

Remember you’re also interviewing the interviewer, so prepare questions, things you want to know about the company

Google is a great tool for researching companies. Be creative in your search

If you can’t find anything on google, use the company website, and ask your network if they know anything about the company

How you dress for your interview is very important. Your dress also depends on the type of job you’re interviewing for

Be professional. Make it simple. If you’re not sure, ask someone to help you choose clothes for your interview

Try on different outfits, remember you need to be comfortable at your interview, so make sure your outfits are comfortable

Get a good night’s sleep. You’ve prepared, and you can do this!!

REMEMBER, sometimes it takes more than one interview to get a job. Don’t be disappointed

The more interviews you go on the more confidence you will gain

Once you’re hired, remember the people who helped you, call & say THANKS and let them know where you are

Good luck with rebuilding your career. YOU CAN DO THIS!

Thanks for joining Right-On with HFG

We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday October 1 for our weekly Right-On conversation

The topic for next week is – Parenting After Abuse

Please email your questions and comments to

If you would like more information on the HFG support group please email

Have a great day! HFG Hugs!!

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