At our annual ‘Back to your Future’ conference in May 2023, Upasna Bhadhal facilitated an insightful Employer Panel on ‘The Value Returners Bring and Top Tips for Success’, chatting to Esme Heaps from Workday, Claire Hodson from J.P. Morgan, Muniba Khan from Edinburgh Napier University and Alexander Trusty from Moody’s Corporation. We’ve selected below some of their comments on why they are targeting returner candidates and how attitudes have evolved towards candidates with career breaks, together with their top tips for returners.
What value do returners bring to your organisation?
- “We value our programmes because we have seen the positive impact on our organisation … returners have such great skills and experience”
- “Returners bring fresh ideas and perspective and a rich source of talent. They demonstrate their value through their contribution and now in turn as alumni are recruiting their own returners”
- “Returners bring cognitive diversity and more value than they realise – the career gap is a CV gift!”
- “We value diversity of thought and opinion. When businesses bring in experienced returners and get it right it’s a ‘magic combination’. Returners bring huge value and experience – they just need support to brush up their skills.”
- “Returners enables us to diversity our workforce and enables those with huge talent to get back into the game”
Employer Tips for Success
- “Own your career gap”. Don’t try and hide it.
- “Don’t shy away from your career break, celebrate it!” Have a top summary paragraph on your CV with an overview, show what you’ve gained – tell your story!
- “Do your research”. Look at the job advert to see what skills are required for a role. Then draw on your own experiences and make sure your relevant skills stand out in your application. Be specific about what you bring to the table.
- “The returners who are curious are the most successful as it takes them further, they learn more and expand their networks.”
- “Reach out and connect”. Shout loud and proud about your achievements.
- “Use your support network, ask questions”. Once in the role, don’t get overwhelmed, reach out and seek support, and your skills and confidence will grow.