Returning to work after a maternity break.... - Signet Resources

Candidates - 1st April 2014

Flexible working

Returning to work after an extended break can be daunting, certainly when I came back to work after a couple of years off with my children I felt overwhelmed by the process.

Getting started

My approach was simple, firstly I re did my CV – which served as a reminder of the skills that I had.  I wanted it to be eye catching and I didn’t want the first thing a future employer to see was an extended period off work.

Blank lined notebook page with pen

So I began my CV with a clear objective of what I was looking for in my next move with some ‘selling points’ about me.

Determined, passionate recruitment consultant with excellent business development skills is looking to secure a new role in a dynamic business where I can utilise my lead generation abilities and provide an outstanding service to my client base.

I then moved on to writing about my skills, so ‘selling’ myself again.

Key Skills

Proven recruiter with over a decade of experience

Proven track record in exceeding targets

Etc. Etc…

This approach was all designed to entice a future employer at first glance.  Then as I progressed down the CV I merely explained my absence from the workplace as maternity leave, and then concentrated on explaining what I had done well in previous roles.

Applying for the job

I was looking to find a flexible employer who could offer part time hours, I found that the phrase ‘part-time’ seemed to be a turn off for a lot of applications.  Instead, in my cover letter I explained I was looking to really add value to a business but wanted to work with a company who could offer a a flexible solution to working hours.

This style seemed to lead to more phone calls, which in turn gave me better opportunities to showcase what I could do for a future employer.

returning to work

I visited sites that specialise in flexible roles, such as, but I also applied for full time roles.  It made sense to try and maximise my options as much as possible.

Plus, I amended my CV and cover letter for every role I applied for, making sure it was as relevant as possible.

Preparing for the interview

When I interviewed for my current role, it had been almost seven years since I last sat on that side of the desk.  Nervous didn’t quite describe it.

I prepared by doing lots of research using LinkedIn predominantly, and I looked up competency based interviews and ensured I had some good examples.

I also made sure I had the finer points sorted, I knew what hours I could work with childcare, so I could offer a concise solution to the client.  I also explained what I was prepared to put in from home so my potential boss could see what I was happy to give back in return for a flexible solution.

The Truth

In my opinion it is much harder finding a job which offers flexible working hours, but not impossible.  Sometimes you need to be the instigator of that idea to a potential business, they may not have considered that option.

Plus you need to keep focused and not lose heart.  I spoke to several people who told me I would never find a part time role in the recruitment industry because the need to work long hours was too strong.  I like to think I am just as successful in my role part time as I was full time, I just juggle a bit more and ensure my concentration is always on in the office.

You may also want to consider looking at interim roles as a short term fix – this can help to build your confidence and to add greater value to your CV.

If you have any questions about working flexible hours or job hunting, please leave them below and we will come back to you asap.  Also if you are looking to work in recruitment with flexible hours, please drop me a line.


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