10 steps to getting work ready after a career break

Starting your job hunt after a career break can feel daunting. To help you get off to a flying start, read 10 steps to getting work ready.

No one knows more about the challenges mums face getting back into work after a career break than flexible recruitment experts Ten2Two.

Since 2007, they’ve worked with employers and talented mums to help shape and fill family-friendly roles with experienced professionals. Today they’re recognised as pioneers in flexible working and professional part-time recruitment.

10 tips to getting work ready after a career break

To help you relaunch your career with confidence (and success!) Emma Cleary from Ten2Two Sussex shares her top 10 tips for getting work ready after a career break – with links to articles you’ll find on our site that can help.

1) Get your CV up to speed

Before you can even think of applying for jobs, you need to make sure your CV is up to speed. If you need help, read 10 common mistakes to avoid, six HR tips to get your CV noticed, and find out how you can tidy your CV up in just half an hour.

Don’t be afraid of your career gap. List it proudly on your CV, and if asked about it make sure you highlight all the new skills and career-enhancing personal strengths you’ve gained as a mum.

2) Adopt a positive mental attitude

How you feel about yourself and your potential is as important as how you present yourself on your CV. So make sure you adopt a positive mental attitude towards your job hunt.

You can read why confidence is so important when looking for a job here, and learn how to identify and eliminate any fears that may be holding you back in your new job hunt here.

3) Perfect your LinkedIn profile

A LinkedIn profile is a must for career mums. (Not convinced? Read eight reasons why you can’t afford to ignore it.) So does yours showcase you in the best possible light? Check you’re not missing any important tricks by following seven simple rules for a perfect LinkedIn profile.

4) Get in touch with old contacts

Spread the word that you’re on the lookout for a new job by getting in touch with your old contacts. Email or call anyone you’re still in touch with, and seek out older contacts, clients and colleagues through LinkedIn.

Ask what they’re up to now, and ask if they’d mind referring you to anyone who needs someone with your skills and experience.

5) Get childcare sorted

Before you can interview for a position, you need to be confident that you have childcare covered. So make sure you have a foolproof plan in place – and don’t forget to take into account holiday cover and emergency backup.

You can read advice on finding the right childcare for your family here, and how to plan for emergency childcare here.

6) Get interview practice

If you’re feeling nervous about the prospect of a job interview, get some practice. Ask family, friends or old colleagues to mock interview you, and make sure you’re prepared with some planned answers to common questions you may be asked. (You can read more about preparing for an interview here.)

7) Invest in coaching or mentoring

If you’re really struggling with confidence, don’t be afraid to invest in coaching or mentoring. A good coach or mentor will help you learn coping mechanisms for situations you find difficult, and bring out your strengths and fantastic qualities. (Learn how to find the perfect coach for you.)

8) Revamp your style (if you need to!)

If you’ve spent months (or longer) out of an office, you may feel you’ve lost touch with your old work self. And maybe your old work wardrobe no longer fits or is even still in style!

To get your work style mojo back, think about the image you want to present, what’s appropriate for the type of roles you’re going for, and what an interviewer might expect you to look like, and review your wardrobe with this in mind.

If you need more advice, read what not to wear in the office, learn what message each colour sends out, and find out how not to dress like a mum.

9) Start your search

Once you’re ready, it’s time to start your search! Before you can get going, we recommend putting together a job hunting strategy (find out how to create your own here). Make sure you register with flexible recruitment companies like Ten2Two and start putting the word out.

When you send out application letters, take the time to get it right – you only have one chance to impress! (Find out how to write the perfect application letter or email here.)

10) Ace your interviews

Make sure you’re prepared for a brilliant interview by doing your research (read five things you need to research). And once you’re in, make sure you talk your way into the job – read tips on doing it here.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a job immediately. If you can, always ask for feedback if you’re turned down for a role and then act on it. And if you feel that your job hunt is starting to stall, don’t lose faith – find out how to get it back on track.

Ten2Two is a recruitment company specialising in flexible and part-time working. Find out more about how they can help you find a family-friendly role and register with them on their website