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One to One - Returning to work?

How to land that perfect job when returning to work after a career break?

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The thought of going back to work after a lengthy career break would send a shiver down the spine of most self respecting adults. Time moves on, the workforce seems to get younger and technology is moving faster than we can comprehend. Its no wonder many returners to work (RTW’s) don’t have the confidence to land a job when the world around them has changed so much.

So how do you make that so important positive impression that will put you head and shoulders above the competition?

  • Firstly, have confidence in yourself. You might have been out of the market for some time but your life experience and tool box of staple skills that have taken you years to develop just need the rust brushed off. Technology may have moved on, but everything is so much easier to use nowadays. There is nothing to be afraid of; most modern technology takes a fraction of the time to learn compared to older technology.
  • Focus on those transferable skills and highlight them; make them known to prospective employers.
  • Know about the company you are applying to. Do your home work and find out as much as you can about them. There is a surprising amount of information on the web; knowledge is power and it will fill you with confidence.
  • Make sure your CV is up to date and focus on your transferable skills. There are plenty of cv templates you can download, try: http://www.onetoonepersonnel.co.uk/advice/example-cvs.asp
  • Be different...Don’t just send your CV with a standard covering letter and wait for the response that will never come. Pick up the phone and ask to speak to the hiring manager to check and make sure that your application has been received. You will be surprised how much of an affect this has. People who call the hiring manager get remembered and your CV has already gone to the top of the pile!
  • Make sure you tell the hirer about your skills and be honest, there is no shame in being an RTW, you have skills, life experience and are far less likely to move around, making you a far better investment to the business.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a meeting. It means interview in real terms but lands a lot more softly and more often than not will be accepted.
  • Finally, never give up. If you can’t get through on the phone, keep trying until you do. Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. I’m not saying you should harass your potential future employer to this extent but if you take a leaf from Edison’s book you will eventually succeed.