Hints and Tips

Returning to work after having kids or after a career break can be daunting. You may feel that things have moved on since you stepped foot in an office. Or you may be wondering how you can juggle your other commitments whilst maintaining a professional image. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We can help you get ready to get back into the workplace with practical and useful advice.

Preparing your CV is the first step

So if you’re looking for your ideal part-time or flexible job, the first step is to get your CV ready with our useful CV writing tips. Here are some useful tips for CV writing– but don’t forget, we also offer FREE workshops through your local Ten2Two office. We’ve covered a range of flexible working topics and back to work issues, so look out for our future workshops on CV writing, presentation, confidence boosting, interview techniques and more.

There’s a huge amount of practical and inspirational advice online too, no matter what your circumstances might be. Take a look at these useful hints and tips:

You can also look at our TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook page to learn more about the latest job hunting news and views.

Writing a cover letter or supporting statement

When you’re applying for something, remember that you’re being judged from the moment someone opens up your CV – and your covering letter or email is so important to get your reader to this point. Always think about your audience when you’re composing an application. Don’t just write, “Please put me forward for this role” and leave it at that. You need to sell yourself from the word go.

If you’re not asked for a supporting statement, give a brief one anyway – it shows you’re really interested in the role rather than applying for everything that’s going. Our top tip is to try and to get across your enthusiasm for the role, which will energise the recruiter, e.g. “I was very excited when I saw the role advertised as it’s such a close match for my skills”.

We can’t stress how important brevity can be. A covering email or letter needs to be short and sweet, otherwise your key messages could well be lost. Remember the reader! They will have lots of CVs on their desk, possibly just like yours.

Start your opening paragraph with a short introduction about yourself but always be thinking, ‘how does this make me sound like the best candidate for the role in question’? For example, “I’m a designer with over twenty years’ experience” is fine. But “I’m a designer with over twenty years’ experience, largely in the telecommunications industry” is far better if you’re applying for a job with a mobile company. Or if the job is in the retail industry, talk about the transferable skills you’ve developed in previous career roles.

If you’ve completed a project in a similar field to the job specification you’re applying for, make sure you include this briefly in your covering letter. This is your chance to shine, so make sure you give the reader information that will really stand out.

It’s also a chance to show that you’ve done your homework on the role in question. Yes, you could show off some facts you’ve learned about the company you’re looking to join, but make sure you tie them into some relevant experience that you possess – and thereby help the reader to answer the question ‘why you?’. We also recommend that you balance your references to ‘I’ and ‘me’ with ‘you’, ‘your company’, ‘your organisation’. Naturally you have to talk about yourself, but again, check that each sentence puts the emphasis on the role and the company in question.

Sometimes your application will be one of hundreds that end up on a recruiter’s desktop, so you need to do everything you can to be chosen as one of the best.

Find out more about writing the perfect covering letter here.

Frequently Asked Questions

We work as a flexible recruitment agency, helping our members on all different types of roles from Senior Administrator positions to Finance Managers, Marketing Managers, Non-Exec Directors and everything in between. Unfortunately we can’t help with health workers, drivers or catering staff.
Absolutely not. There are many different working patterns and we work with our clients and members to explore what might suit them the best. We find that part-days or part-weeks are the most popular flexible working formats. Read more here to see what other formats might work for you, like working from home or job shares.
In general, term time only roles tend to only be available in the education sector. So occasionally roles might come up, but most commercial businesses require support all year round. If you’re worried about covering the school holidays, we find that this is generally possible with a combination of holiday allowance, your own family holiday and some organised childcare.
We only send your details to clients with your express permission. We’ll contact you about possible flexible or part-time roles and make sure that you are interested before discussing you and your skills with our clients.
There is more information here about how we work.
If you are returning to work, it can sometimes be challenging to know what to do. We often talk to professionals who have held senior positions in the past, but who are seeking something with more balance. Give us a call if this sounds like you – we have lots of ideas to help you find the ideal flexible working formats and more. For example, we know some talented career coaches.
Yes, one of our most popular development workshops is creating the best CV you can. Your CV is very personal and is your ‘shop window’, so we won’t write it for you but we can give you some pointers to make you stand out from the crowd.
Of course. We’re happy to work with any professionals seeking more flexibility in their working lives. We are a flexible and part-time recruitment agency, so we have a number of male members together with carers of elderly parents and horse and dog lovers too.
Our work seeking services is free, together with our member development workshops. Occasionally, a small charge might be made for an exceptional flexible working development event but this would be made very clear at the time.