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:
- Great CV Writing: CV WritingTips
- Interview Hints and Tips: Interview Preparation
- Returning to Work after a Break: Returning to Work Hints and Tips
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.