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Blog: Tips to Return to Work P.II

5 min read: Need to some get back to work tips?


Here's the second part of our series to help you find your way back to the workplace in the most effective way possible.  And if you missed the first part, just head here!


Tip #6 – Write a CV that sells

Make sure your contact details are correct and your referees are briefed about your upcoming job search. Ensure there are no unexplained gaps in your work history. Your resume should be achievement focused and easy to read. It should tell your story succinctly. Explain your career break appropriately, but don’t apologise for it. Focus on the positives and your accomplishments. An achievement does not need to be extraordinary. Think about your most recent few positions (paid or unpaid) and what you have done during your career break. Where did you add value? Perhaps you volunteered on a school committee, introduced cost savings or procedural change at work, successfully acted in a senior role, or created a popular window display to attract sales. Think action verbs and evidence.

Tip #7 – Update your job search strategy 

Investigate online job boards including specialist employment sites aimed at flexible work arrangements. Contact specialist recruiters and don’t be afraid to approach organisations directly. Some organisations have well-structured return to work programs for eligible.  

For those in Asia, recently Singapore’s government acknowledged the increasing trend of flexible work arrangements to help women stay in the workforce and hence announced as part of IWD S$70 Mn to a scheme aimed at making such work practices more pervasive.Further, the budget for the Work-Life Grant, which started in 2013, will be increased to S$100 Mn, up from the current S$30 Mn. 

Tip #8 – Be open to taking on contract work options
Factors such as your length of absence from the workforce and current job market conditions will affect your chances of securing a job when you are ready to pursue any employment opportunities again. If you are unable to find any permanent work options, perhaps you could consider contract work? Treat this as a chance to help ease yourself back into the workforce while you acquire valuable experience and skills that could come in handy when you pursue a permanent role in future.

Singapore’s tuition industry is worth over $1 billion for a reason. Good tutors charge very high hourly rates, and parents are willing to pay them if it means an improvement in their offspring’s grades. Degree holders can easily earn $40 to $50 an hour teaching upper secondary students, and $60 an hour for JC students or those in the final two years of a 6-year through-train or IB programme. MOE-trained teachers can easily make 20% to 30% more.

Tip #9 – Brand YOU – social media

Google yourself. Are you comfortable with your prospective employer seeing the posts/photos/tweets on your social media accounts? For many occupations, professional networking sites are becoming increasingly important for job searching, growing your professional connections and being found by recruiters. If you have a LinkedIn profile or similar on other professional networking platforms, update your profile and photo, compare yours to others. Be positive about what you have to offer, review the many jobs posted and avoid writing ‘looking for opportunities’ in your title. A few strong professional recommendations will strengthen your LinkedIn profile. If you are new to LinkedIn, enrolling in a basic introductory course is a great move. This need not delay your job search.

Tip #10 – Manage expectations  It can take time to re-enter the employment market, especially if you are seeking to immediately return to a comparable position at the same level to that at which you left. Much depends on your qualifications and expertise, industry, length of absence, networks, what additional skills you acquired on your career break and to what extent your knowledge is current. As an applicant, ask for feedback and reassess the situation if need be.

Consider getting a career coach if you need support with your direction and next steps, sign up with us for regular blogs, Live career coaching sessions and initiatives/events to help you on your quest, as well as women-friendly roles posted weekly! 

Good luck!

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