By Jennifer McDougall
If you are an individual who is in recovery from addiction, employment may be one of your biggest concerns. Many people in early recovery are worried about how they will survive financially and how they can continue to make money while working through their substance abuse issues. Luckily, many resources are available to help individuals with a history of substance abuse secure jobs after rehab or a treatment program. This article will show how newly sober individuals can find employment successfully.
Networking is key.
The best way to find a job is through networking. Networking is simply meeting people and building relationships, but there are specific ways that can help you find employment. The first step to successful networking is being proactive by creating an online presence and participating on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities will go a long way when looking for work after rehab; networking isn’t just about finding a new job—it helps build confidence! Finally, being friendly with everyone at every level will open up opportunities faster.
Start with a summary.
Start with a summary of your actions, not what you want. Employers are looking for individuals who can help them achieve their goals. Therefore, keep your resume focused on how you can help your potential employer. For example, if a company is looking for someone who knows Excel, show examples of spreadsheets you created in the past or how quickly and efficiently you have learned new programs like Excel or other software.
There are many ways that people in recovery can apply their skills to land jobs after rehab:
- First, create a resume that highlights relevant work experience and education.
- Research companies online; look at their websites and social media pages (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram) to get an idea of what they do and what they need right now (i.e., more salespeople). You can also use LinkedIn or Indeed as job search engines to find available positions directly from companies.
Include relevant experience.
If you have relevant experience, it’s essential to include that in your resume. This can be anything from volunteer work to skills learned in treatment. If you’ve been saving up for a long time, consider working at a restaurant or retail store until you’re ready to apply for positions that require higher-level skills.
Try starting with something low-key, so you don’t overwhelm yourself too quickly. You’ll eventually get to where you want to be—take your time to ensure you’re not neglecting your mental health.
List any skills you’ve learned while in treatment.
You probably learned many skills while in treatment, so put them to good use and don’t be afraid to show them off. Some examples include:
- Communication skills, both verbal and written
- Organization skills
- Customer service/relationship-building abilities
- Performance under pressure (e.g., being able to meet deadlines)
Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to accept a job that doesn’t fit your career goals or align with your values. But if you’re honest about your experience, you’ll get more opportunities and can focus on moving up from there.
Many great entry-level jobs are available for people looking for employment after rehab. Most of these positions require basic skills, so even if you’ve never held a job, there’s a good chance you can land one in the field where you want to work.
If all else fails, consider taking temporary work until something better comes along. The most important thing is getting back into the workforce and building your skills again—you can always move up from there.
Don’t limit yourself geographically.
If you’re looking for a job and recovering from addiction, don’t be afraid to move across town or the country. Do it if it’s what it takes to get back on your feet. This could be an excellent opportunity to meet new people and experience various fun and exciting things that you may not have done if you had stayed where you are now.
A new job after rehab can help you build your new life in sobriety.
You may be thinking about what kind of career you want to pursue. First, it’s essential to consider how you can use the skills and knowledge you gained from your treatment program.
You may know what kind of work would suit your interests or strengths. However, it might be helpful to research industries that hire people with the same level of experience and education as yourself—this way; it’s easier for employers to see how someone like yourself could fit into their company culture.
How to Build a Resume That Stands Out
A résumé is often the first opportunity for an employer to get a sense of who you are as a professional and what you can bring to their organization. To do this effectively, your resume must stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips on how to write an effective résumé:
Make sure your resume has a focus.
You need to make sure your resume has a direction.
A resume with no focus is like a car without an engine—it doesn’t go anywhere. When you’re writing your resume, it’s essential to remember what the employer wants, not what you want. It’s tempting to put all the main points of your career at the beginning of the document because they’re easy and convenient (and they are). But employers don’t care about those things as much as they do about finding out whether or not you have the skills and experience to help them achieve their goals.
Make sure your resume clearly states how you can accomplish goals and tasks for an employer. For example, are you applying for jobs in one specific field? If so, be sure your work history reflects this focus by highlighting projects and activities related only to that field—don’t mix personal interests with professional ones unless there was some way through which both were able to help advance your career toward its overall goal (e.g., if one organization had been founded on the principles of animal rights activism).
Editing is essential and the final step to making your resume stand out. You can take a look at the examples below for inspiration on how you can edit your resume:
- Delete unnecessary words. Don’t use a word when synonyms suffice! For example, “I am” instead of “I’m” or “myself” instead of “me.”
- Delete unnecessary sections. If your experience doesn’t fit into any of the categories we recommend, create a new section with another heading like “Additional Experience” or “Interests & Skills” and add those items under it in bullet point format (you may want to include personal interests here if they’re related). Make sure all entries are relevant, though. Write about things that align with the job description!
- Delete unnecessary bullet points, formatting, graphics, photos, etc. If there’s anything else besides what’s needed in an entry-level position (like multiple photos), remove it, so readers aren’t distracted by irrelevant information when they look at your resume during an interview; this includes hyperlinks too!
Be consistent with how you present dates and numbers.
For instance, when listing the years you attended a particular school or program, always use two digits for the year—for example, 2005-2009—and never abbreviate it to “2005-09.” If you’re listing multiple jobs in one row, ensure that all of your dates are written in the same format. For example, if one job lasted from August 2014 to March 2016 while another lasted from April 2015 to February 2017, write both of those as follows:
- Employer 1 (Aug 2014–Mar 2016)
- Employer 2 (Apr 2015– Feb 2017)
Make sure your language is active, not passive.
In the active voice, the subject directly performs the action. For example, in “I ate my lunch” (active), it is clear that I am doing the eating. In contrast, in “My lunch was eaten by me” (passive), whomever or whatever performed the eating is not specified. The passive voice often emphasizes that someone or something other than a human agent did something. For example, “The house was built in 2006 by Frank Williams and Associates.”
Passive constructions are common in academic writing because they avoid personal pronouns and make statements less confrontational; they also help avoid responsibility for actions that might not be considered desirable or acceptable by their authors (such as building houses). Passive constructions are also common in formal and scientific writing because they’re considered more objective and less biased than sentences written with an active voice.
Do not include personal information.
- You do not need to include anything that would identify you, such as age, religion, or marital status.
- Do not include personal information unrelated to the job you are applying for.
- Focus solely on your skills and achievements
Include achievements that are specific to the job description or company.
You can tailor your resume to the position by listing achievements relevant to the job description. There are also some things not to include on your resume: achievements that don’t apply directly or indirectly; achievements that sound generic; overly vague statements; personal information; obscure tasks or experiences that have nothing to do with or are related to what an employer is looking for in this position.
List your skills at the top of your resume.
If you have an awe-inspiring skill, such as fluency in a foreign language or proficiency with Excel, list it at the top of your resume. This makes it easier for employers to see what you can do immediately and prevents them from reading through pages of information before they find out what makes you stand out. Highlight your skills and think deeper than the basics.
Use search engine optimization if you’re distributing your resume online.
- Suppose a recruiter is looking for candidates with specific skill sets. In that case, they will likely search for those keywords in job descriptions to find suitable applicants. By using these terms in the resume itself (and making sure they are relevant), you can increase its visibility to potential employers who might otherwise overlook it.
Ask a friend you trust to proofread your resume for you.
Getting a second opinion on your resume is essential, especially if you apply for jobs in different industries or fields. Someone not involved in your job search will be able to see things that might be confusing or unclear on a first read-through. You should also ask someone familiar with the industry you are applying for, or at least familiar with your industry (if not). This person will be able to point out any jargon, terms, or phrases that may be confusing or unfamiliar to readers who don’t work in the same field as you.
An effective résumé can help you get called in for an interview, but it won’t get you a job on its own.
A well-written résumé can help you get called in for an interview, but it won’t get you a job on its own. The key is to use your résumé as part of the job search process. You need to prepare for interviews and be able to talk about what you do well. A good résumé can help, but it’s only one part of a successful application process. The rest is entirely up to you when you go in for the interview. Have faith that no matter what happens, it will be for your benefit, and eventually, you will land the perfect job that is right for you.
Also read: Goals You Should Set in Addiction Recovery