Many Mums (and Dads too) re-evaluate their career path once they become parents. From a focus to promotion to crafting their own business opportunities, the common theme is identifying the skills that you have and demonstrating how these can be applied.
If you are looking to return to work after a career break, it is not unexpected that you may be feeling unsure on how to present the wealth of experience in a new light. So many parents I coach about this concentrate on their perceived gap, not considering everything they have achieved whilst raising a family. Also, the experience, achievements and skills gained in their career still exist; gaining confidence in these just takes time to get used to flexing this mental muscles again.
The world of recruitment is constantly evolving; online application, social recruitment and LinkedIn profiles are all equally useful when searching for a job. If you have decided to be proactive in your job search, or wanting to enter a new sector, a standard CV may not quite cut the mustard.
One way of really showing off your talents and experience when looking for a role after a career break, is through a skills based CV. This gives you the chance to highlight your capabilities, talents and experience.
Here are my Top Tips to craft your Skills based CV!
TIP NUMBER ONE: Tell them why you are suitable
Include a paragraph detailing what type of role you are looking for and the key skills and experience you have that makes you suitable to their job or to their company. Think RELEVANCE and EVIDENCE. Everything you include here must be expanded in other areas of your CV.
TIP NUMBER TWO: Evidence, and more evidence!
For each of your skills and experience, include an example of you have used this skill / knowledge making sure you show how you made an impact. Employers love to see measurement: numbers such as profit / finance, reduction is time, increase in efficiency, sales – are all useful to use. You can also use feedback from colleagues or clients too as evidence!
TIP NUMBER THREE: Be an S.T.A.R.
The STAR method is useful to generate your evidence. It stands for:
- Situation (background /set the scene)
- Task (what, when, where, who)
- Action (what you did, what skills you used or behaviour it is demonstrating)
- Result (what happened / outcome / measure of success or lesson learnt)
TIP NUMBER FOUR: Show you full personality
Work experience is not the only evidence that you can use to show your skills, knowledge and personal attributes. Things like your further education and the direction of your studies can demonstrate your passion for an industry: interests, volunteering or hobbies can also show skills and knowledge that is RELEVANT to the job you are applying for.
TIP NUMBER FIVE: Include your LinkedIn Profile
Everything you have created has to be added into your LinkedIn profile. Many recruiters and employers look at LinkedIn to find out more about potential employees; if you have testimonials about your work and roles from colleagues and clients it will help build your credibility. Here is mine if you fancy connecting!
TIP NUMBER SIX: You can reuse and tweak
If you find a role that has an application form, use your CV and the STAR method to expand your examples to show your suitability. You can also use the job adverts to tweak your CV; are the skills and experience asked for shown on your CV?
Six simple tips to craft a CV that shows your potential from your history! Let me know how you get on via the Facebook Page.
Clara Wilcox is a Return to work, Career and Balance Coach for parents; offering one-to-one coaching packages and group workshops.