At our 2019 Women Returners ‘Back to Your Future’ Conference, Claire Cohen, Women’s Editor of The Telegraph, interviewed five of our employer sponsors who have experience of running successful returner programmes: Bloomberg, Credit Suisse, FDM Group, Fidelity International and O2.
Read some of the highlights on CV and interview advice from the panel’s responses below (and see our previous post on recognising your value too).
How can you write a great CV for a returner programme? “Make sure you bring out your career break on your CV – the experience that you’ve had and what you’ve done, the skills that you’ve learned. Some people leave this out and just put the dates in instead of explaining what they’ve done during that period.”
“Most people have amazing backgrounds. Demonstrate the skills you want the employer to see, bring those out with some real-life examples on your CV.”
“What I really look for is experience – make sure this is fully explained on your CV and at the interview as well, because the experience you bring is so different from other candidates and that’s what really sets you apart.”
“Put your career break front and centre of your CV. There’s no point in trying to hide it – why should you? It’s absolutely part of who you are and the experience you’re bringing to the role so draw that out at the beginning.”
“If you want an employer to give your CV time, to give you time, you need to put the time in yourself. Before you press the send button read it a second, third time and just make sure that it makes sense.”
How can you present yourself well during an interview?
“It’s very important to come to the table with what you are bringing to the organisation and not to focus on what you may not have, such as technical/digital skills.”
“Be prepared. When you go to that interview know your CV, know your skills and don’t dismiss the soft skills.”
“Articulate what your top strengths are – this can be powerful in an interview.” (see What’s your Unique Strengths Combination)
“Don’t define yourself by what you’ve done before. Think about transferable skills. Break down what you’ve done into elements that will help an employer understand what you bring to the table.”
“Try to be succinct. Articulate exactly what skills you bring.”
“Don’t undersell what you’ve been doing – a lot of people undersell what they’ve done during their supposed ‘time out’.”