Advice for Returner Candidates

In the final of our series of posts about our Return with Resilience programme we wanted to share some of our learning and tips for returning to work after a career break.

Depending on the reasons for your break and the length of time you have been out of the workforce it can be a daunting time, so we hope these tips are helpful:

  • Be Clear

Spend some time thinking about what you are trying to achieve.  Do you want a similar role to the one you left?  Something different? A different sector? Full time, part time, working from home?  What skills do you want to use?

  • Be Flexible

Once you have created an outline of what you are looking for, think about how flexible you can be in order to keep as many options open as possible.  For example, if you want to work part-time what flexibility can you offer regarding the particular hours you work?

  • Identify your Skills

It is important to know what transferable skills you have and to be able to “sell” them to a potential employer.  Think about the skills you used in previous roles, the strengths that you naturally have and any new skills you have gained during your career break.  Make sure these are clear and evidenced on your CV.

  • Spend your time wisely

Many returners fall into the trap of focusing their job search entirely on job boards when in reality many jobs are never advertised and are filled through direct connections and networking.  Think about how you will connect with others and be visible.  Creating a strong LinkedIn profile and being an active, regular participant are key.

  • Do your research

Which companies are you interested in?  What sectors are booming?  What companies are in the news and are therefore likely to be recruiting?  Which companies offer in-house returner programmes?

  • Get support

It’s ok to ask for help.  Think about the support networks you have around you and how they can help you e.g., by sharing your details on LinkedIn to reach a wider audience, or by practicing interview answers with you or reading over your CV. 

Finally, be open minded, returning after a break is a great opportunity to get involved with something new and exciting!  Good luck!