Your complete guide to returning to work
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Find a role that fits, brush up your interview skills and embrace an exciting new start
If you’ve taken a break from working or been a stay-at-home parent, getting a new job can be daunting. But it needn’t be! We’ve got all the advice you need to give you back your confidence.
Recognise your existing skills
If you’ve been at home for a while, it can feel like you’ve put learning on hold. However, you’ve probably gained more skills than you think, such as creative problem-solving, multi-tasking, time management and good communication.
Once you write those down, plus all the things you’ve learned previously in jobs and education, you’ll feel much more confident going back to work.
Update your CV
Start a new CV from scratch, and highlight your achievements in previous roles. If you can’t remember much about past work, dig out performance reviews or contact former colleagues.
Include volunteering, community work, courses or studying, or any other ways you’ve gained skills, such as a small business or freelance work.
Don’t try to hide your career gap – mentioning how long your break was will avoid confusion. To finish, check for grammatical and spelling mistakes and ask a friend to do the same.
Find a role to suit you
The best way to find the right job is to work out what you want from it – for example, does it need to have flexible hours?
Look for jobs in a range of places, not just online, and apply for full-time positions as well as part-time – companies may be open to adjusting hours once you’ve convinced them you’re right for the job.
Alternatively, look for companies that already offer flexible working and opportunities, such as McDonald’s. It also provides training and career development, as well as a variety of roles, so you’re sure to find a position that fits.
Write your covering letter
Every application needs a new cover letter. Keep it succinct and try to tick off the top four to six requirements from the advert.
Mention your break factually (e.g. ‘Following an eight-year planned career break…’) and why you are keen to work for their company. Send your application from a personal email address based on your name – not a family or a funny one.
Talk yourself up
Preparation is key, so rehearse answers for potential questions, focus on your achievements and imagine yourself succeeding to help calm nerves.
Aim to connect with your interviewer and tell them what you have to offer. Speak slowly and relax – you’re the same capable person you were before, just out of practice.
Feeling inspired? Find out more
Working at McDonald’s is more than just a job. Whatever you want to get out of your career, McDonald’s can provide it for you. For more info visit people.mcdonalds.co.uk
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