. I took a 5 year career break from my job as a computer programmer and now almost 10 years later I still haven’t returned to work! I’m out of practice at interviews, my skills are probably out of date and my confidence a little lacking.
Job search website Adzuna have just launched Career Tips to help job seekers with everything from writing a CV to acing the interview. Here we give some top tips for how mums (and dads) can make the move back to work.
Update your CV
Before you even start looking for jobs, update your CV – you don’t want the last sign of life stretching back to the turn of the decade.
Updating your CV is also the perfect time to think about what you want to do next – do you want to pick up where you left off, or head in a new direction?
Remember to explain any career breaks you might have had – it’s much better to state that you’ve taken time off to raise a family instead of letting a potential employer think the worst.
Set realistic salary expectations
Depending on how long you’ve been out of work, the amount you can expect to earn given your experience and skills could have changed quite considerably – for better or worse.
If you’re having difficulty assessing just how much your skills and experience are worth to an employer, a tool like ValueMyCV is just what you need. It scans your education, skills and work experience to give you an idea of what kind of salary range you should be targetting during your job search.
Be a smart job seeker
Get in touch with old contacts to see if they know of any vacancies, chat to other mums or dads that have returned to work, and start looking at industry websites and blogs to keep up to date with developments that may affect your search. Setting up email alerts is a good way to ensure you don’t miss out on any relevant job opportunities, and will let you spend less time searching and more time applying.
Make it work for you
Employers need to have a good reason to not consider allowing their employees flexible working arrangements, while good employers are keen to let prospective candidates know they’re flexible in order to attract the best of the best.
If you need flexibility – or simply want flexibility – don’t be afraid about letting a potential employer know that you’ll still be able to do a great job and bring value to their company even if you are working from home occasionally or making up hours to leave early on a Thursday.
Finding a job can be a tough task for anyone, and it’s likely that you’ll get a few knockbacks before you find success – the important thing is to keep your chin up.
It might be easy to make excuses about how employers don’t want someone returning from a break or that it’s more difficult for you than a young graduate – but the truth is that job seeking presents unique challenges whatever your situation. Don’t waste energy on getting upset, or you might miss an excellent opportunity waiting around the corner.