Are you wondering what on earth you could possibly do?
Are you really keen to help but just don’t know how?
If you know a woman who’s taken a career break to bring up her children and now she’s looking to go back to work, there is lots you can do to help.
Today I’m sharing 7 fabulously practical ideas to help a mum going back to work after a career break.
1 – Review her CV
When you’ve taken a career break, the likelihood is that your CV could do with a little polishing. It may be that the industry jargon has changed or moved on.
Read her CV and give feedback on how it reads, what it says about her skills and strengths and whether she needs to update any of the terminology.
Does it focus too much on junior roles? Does it demonstrate quantifiable achievements? Does it truly reflect her expertise?
2 – LinkedIn profile
If her CV needed updating, then so will her LinkedIn profile.
Three key things to review: photo, headline and summary.
The photo needs to be current and reflect her in the workplace. No babies, no puppies, no fluffy kittens.
The headline needs to reflect who she is and what she does (or wants to do), not what she used to do, and for goodness sake, don’t let her write “Actively seeking opportunities”. Think about the headline from the recruiter perspective and what they are looking for.
And the same for the summary. Make sure she uses every one of those 2000 characters. This is where she can name drop prestigious organisations and brilliant achievements.
3 – Recommendations and testimonials
If you have worked with her, either in corporate or in a volunteering capacity, one of the best things you can do is to write a recommendation on LinkedIn.
Or if she’s starting a business, and you’ve used her services, write a glowing testimonial.
Focus on what she wants to be known for. Think about the results that you got from working with her.
4 – Interview practice
When you step off the career ladder, there’s no denying that stepping back on is hard and daunting. One of the toughest challenges is the interview.
Few of us relish the thought of an interview.
Practice typical interview questions with her.
Practice asking her easy questions and the more challenging questions too.
Get her to tell you stories about her achievements so she has examples in mind when she gets asked “Tell me about a time when …”
Practice asking her “what did you do during your career break?”.
5 – Openings at work
This one is a no brainer.
Ask around at work (or where you used to work) – which departments have got positions available or will have in the near future?
Tell others about her. Post on LinkedIn that you know a fabulous woman with abc experience and xyz skills. Don’t do it just once. Rinse and repeat.
6 – Introductions
The power of social proof and recommendation is incredible.
Who could you introduce her to? Who do you either through work or outside that could be a useful contact?
Check through your contacts. Look at your LinkedIn connections.
Make introductions. Online and offline.
7 – Give a gift
There’s nothing so good as giving. Give her a gift that will get her back to work.
Give her the gift of time – offer to babysit or take her children out to the park so she can work on her CV or LinkedIn profile.
She’ll love you for it and you’ll feel amazing for having helped a friend.
7 fabulously practical ideas to help a mum after a career break
Those are my 7 fabulously practical ideas: review her CV and LinkedIn profile, write a recommendation, practice interview skills, find out about openings at work, make introductions and give her a gift.
It’s simple when you know how.
Or just tell her about this website where she can sign up to get weekly career & confidence tips straight into her Inbox.