Getting back into work after a career break - find out which skills could boost your job prospects

731     0
The thought of restarting your career can be daunting, but many come back stronger than ever (Image: MoMo Prod.)
The thought of restarting your career can be daunting, but many come back stronger than ever (Image: MoMo Prod.)

Whether you’ve had a career break to care for someone or are thinking about “unretiring”, there are plenty of ways to get back into work.

Here, Anne - a 50+ Champion at Jobcentre Plus - explains how you can make all your existing skills count.

I've applied for loads of jobs. Do employers really want me?

Anne says: "Definitely! Employers really value people who are over 50 because you’ve got great life skills. However, there are a lot of people applying for jobs, so they don’t always give you a reply - but don't worry that’s a really common experience, whatever your age.

"Don't lose heart, keep moving on to the next job application. And there's plenty of help available; visit the JobHelp website for tips to tailor your CV to the job and make your skills really stand out, as well as ensure you're aware of the latest requirements of a CV.

"The main thing is to keep positive because your time will come."

Millions 'will feel like they're living in a recession' even if UK avoids one rriddqixxiqezinvMillions 'will feel like they're living in a recession' even if UK avoids one

What should I put on my CV about being unemployed?

Anne says: "Be honest about the gap, but don’t focus on it – concentrate on the skills you can bring to the job instead. Think about the valuable skills that you gained in your previous roles, that you could transfer to a new job.

"Also, state how you’re eager to get back into work and do some background research on the company so you can talk about it in your interview.

"I recently had a customer who'd been out of work for over 10 years whilst they raised their three children. They then got a job by showing how they'd acquired incredible organisational skills by being in charge of running the household."

In an interview, how do I answer when employers ask why I've been out of work so long?

Anne says: "Focus on the fact that you’re ready to get back into work – and all the positives you can bring to the job.

"We all have things going on in our lives, but there are more than a million jobs out there - it's just about finding the one that's right for you - so you’ve got more chances than ever to get back into the workplace."

Getting back into work after a career break - find out which skills could boost your job prospectsAnne helps people aged 50+ get back into work (Paul David Drabble)

I've lost my confidence. How can I prepare myself for getting back into work?

Anne says: "It’s not unusual to lose a little bit of confidence, particularly if you’re not getting replies to job applications. Remember that searching for a job can take time, but the more you keep at it, the more likely you are to succeed.

"Write a list of all your skills and remember that employers will value them. Get up and start the day as if you’re going to work, and consider going out and meeting people if you can. This can help you be prepared and feel good about yourself.

"Do small steps daily, learn something new and you’ll soon rebuild your confidence."

How can I show that my time out of work has been valuable?

Anne says: "Think of what you've done in your personal life and how you can turn these into positives.

"For example, you might have done some IT training recently. We know many jobs need computer skills, which wasn't something many of us were taught in our school days. However, we’ve since learned how to use smartphones, and it’s not a big step up from that to develop and apply your skills to a computer.

Ex-NFL player Stanley Wilson Jr dies at 40 after collapsing at mental hospitalEx-NFL player Stanley Wilson Jr dies at 40 after collapsing at mental hospital

"Perhaps you’ve joined a social group, become more resilient as a person during lockdown, or have greater empathy after caring for someone.

"Also focus on skills such as timekeeping and reliability - these are hugely important for employers, and sometimes we don’t realise we already have them."

How might volunteering help?

Anne says: "Volunteering is a great way of building your confidence, plus you’re meeting new people and learning new skills.

"Some volunteering organisations will put you through qualifications such as NVQs and they’ll also give you an up-to-date reference for employers."

What training might help boost my job prospects?

Anne says: "Look at free, quick and easy courses from Skills for Life, which cover subjects like maths or IT, that can help you upskill and get going again with no long-term commitment.

"There are also 16-week Skills Bootcamps, in subjects such as HGV driving, with a guaranteed interview at the end of it, which is fantastic. Visit the website to find out more."

To find out more, visit gov.uk/jobhelp

Hannah Verdier

Print page

Comments:

comments powered by Disqus