Had a career break and want to return to work? 6 ways to instantly boost your employability

By Fiona Clark, founder of Inspired Mums

With more than 770,000 high earners now working part-time, employers are becoming increasingly open to using job shares in more senior roles. According to the flexible working group Timewise, the number of part-time employees on salaries over £40,00 has grown by 5.7% in the past year. This increase in flexibility is encouraging news if you are a mum wanting to return to work after a career break.

As a career coach and founder of www.inspiredmums.co.uk, I’ve worked with hundreds of mums helping them find flexible and fulfilling work that allows them to reach their full potential. Based on my years of coaching experience, here are my top tips on how to boost your employability after a career break so you can land one of these seemingly elusive flexible roles!

6 Ways To Boost Your Employability

  1. Plug any skills gaps

First things first, identify any gaps in your skillset and then sign up for courses to boost your knowledge and skills in the relevant areas. I say relevant because it’s important to make sure you are clear on your career direction and the particular skills you need. Otherwise, you risk wasting time and/or money doing unnecessary workshops or qualifications.

  1. Be confident

Remind yourself of the skills and strengths you had when you were working. Next focus on the extra skills you have gained since becoming a parent, such as problem solving skills, time management and prioritisation. Write them down to boost your self-belief so you feel confident about selling yourself on paper and in person.

  1. Demonstrate you are up-to-date

When you have had a career break it’s essential that you appear job-ready and up to speed with the latest technology. Completing your LinkedIn profile is a great place to start; interviewers will often check you out on LinkedIn so it is essential you make a good first impression by having an impressive profile. Take the time to build a strong profile with professional head-shot that helps you stand out from the crowd. Don’t forget to ask managers, clients and ex-colleagues to endorse you on LinkedIn by writing a recommendation.

  1. Undertake a creative job search

With 70% of jobs not advertised, being creative about finding a role is essential. So remember to use the network of people who know you and your skills to help kick-start your job search. Begin by making a list of your best six contacts and reconnect with them and don’t be afraid to be specific and let them know what you are looking for.

  1. Take care of your personal brand

In job-hunting first impressions really do count! So you need to switch back into work mode and make sure you look and act the part. This might involve investing in a new work wardrobe if you have been out of the workplace for a while. Don’t forget to make sure your on-line persona (on Facebook/ Twitter) is aligned with the professional image you want to create. Employers have been known to check social media before hiring candidates.

  1. Demonstrate a positive attitude

The ability to communicate your passion and drive is what sets people apart at interview. These days, interviews are often competency based – where they are looking for detailed evidence of your skill-set and abilities. However, it’s still true that many recruitment decisions will be made on ‘gut feel’ – whether you clicked with the interviewer and demonstrated there is something special about you. So never underestimate the power of enthusiasm and commitment – this can often counteract any gaps in your C.V.

If you would like a free consultation with Fiona to talk about how she can help you re-enter the workplace confidently and find a fulfilling and family friendly role, then contact fiona@inspiredmums.co.uk or 07789 597209.

Looking for more career & confidence advice? Download Inspired Mums’ free e-book,  “For mums stuck in a career rut – 8 steps to finding work you love” on www.inspiredmums.co.uk.

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