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Returning to Work? These Are The Five Things You Must Do

2 Dec 2016
Sarah Ferguson

Return To Work

Have you recently taken a break from employment? Perhaps you've been on maternity/paternity leave; maybe you've taken time off to travel the world or you've gone back into full time education. Whatever the reason, getting back into work can be a daunting prospect. We know as we have helped a number of candidates in this situation get back into work. 

There are lots of questions but most candidates ask;

  • What if I have lost all of my skills or can’t remember?
  • How can I rebuild my confidence?
  • I’ve lost touch with my connections/the market, how do I start to rebuild this?

So there are a few things I tend to advise candidates which always seem to help in this situation; 

Update your CV

No matter the reason or how long you have been out of work, review, update and clearly explain the time out of work on your CV. Honesty is the best policy. Don’t just concentrate on updating your information on your CV though. Things may have changed since your last CV. Look at the format/layout and consider if a revamp might also help.

There is a lot of advice on the internet regarding CV’s. How to format/style them, how much or little information to add in, it's all relevant and can have an impact. Eden Scott in fact have a great blog on how to format your CV; 


We also have a CV template to help you along the way if you are going for a full revamp;


Get back in touch with those work colleagues/friends you have lost touch with and find out what is happening in their world of work. You never know what little bits of useful information you might pick up regarding job opportunities on the market.

Get in touch with recruitment firms, they have their finger on the pulse regarding the latest jobs in the industry. So whether you are reconnecting or establishing a new relationship, do your research on reputable firms and get out there to meet consultants. They will offer you support in a number of areas including;

  • Advice on your CV/situation and what the job market is like
  • Highlighting current opportunities
  • Suggestions on interview preparation 
  • Some temporary work that maybe the best option short term as a confidence booster, helping you get back into the working environment


If you don’t have a LinkedIn page, make one. If you do but haven’t used it for a while, update it. LinkedIn will enhance your personal online brand. Make sure there is a professional photo with a clear breakdown on your career history. Some things that may help;

  • Connect with people you know – previous colleagues, managers etc.
  • Request recommendations from those you have worked with 
  • Follow companies so that you will see up to date information and opportunities that they advertise

Having a LinkedIn page is a great tool for you but will also allow recruiters and employers to reach out to you if they are searching for suitable candidates for their opportunities. Make sure you use keys words that relate to your experience as many people do searches on specific words. For example if you are a Legal Secretary, you may want to ensure the words in the description of your roles includes “track changing” “audio typing” etc.

Get those Skills Back up to Speed

It is normal to feel like your time out of the market may have an effect on your skills. There are ways to get back up to speed so that you feel confident when applying for role. 

  • Training courses are available on line, whether that is how to use the latest version of excel or to get your typing speed back up to scratch. Websites such as or Pitman training can help


Not everyone is comfortable networking but there are many events out there that you can attend that aren’t so intimidating. Recruitment firms often host regular networking evenings and this will give you the chance to meet people in the industry again.  

Eden Scott offer the opportunity to join the monthly #AskEdenScott Webinar where you can ask questions anonymously and our consultants will be on hand to offer advice and guidance on any aspects of your career/situation

If you are ready to take that step and you would like assistance, do get in touch with Eden Scott and a consultant will meet with you to discuss your options.

You are in charge of your own destiny but a little helping hand along the way is useful.



Sarah Ferguson
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