Skip to content

Conference 2024: Top Tips for your Return from our Employer Panellists

Day 2 of our Back to Your Future Conference is all about ‘Preparing for your Job Search’. We were joined by a fantastic group of forward-thinking employers for our Employer Panel who shared their experiences of running returner programmes in their organisations. Upasna Bhadhal facilitated an insightful discussion on ‘The Value Returners Bring and Top Tips for Success’, chatting to Alexander Trusty from Moody’s, Gee Foottit from St. James’s Place, Lorraine Toole from Workday, Tace Heuston from J.P. Morgan and Sarah Mavius from FDM Group.

We’ve shared some of their top tips and comments on why they are targeting returners and how attitudes have evolved towards candidates with career breaks.

What value do returners bring to your organisation?

  • “Having returners join our programmes helps to diversify our workforce and foster a more inclusive culture”
  • “Returners bring many years of experience and so much value – fantastic leadership and mentoring skills as well as expertise in their field”
  • “Returners are such a fantastic pool of talent – the knowledge and value that you bring to our firms is invaluable!”
  • “Diversity of background and experience, and transferable skills that can lead into other areas”
  • “Your CV gaps are your career gifts!”

How are returners perceived within your organisation?

  • “Perceptions are changing on career breaks – mindsets are very different now to what they were 10 years ago”
  • “Returners’ life skills and life experience are valued”
  • “Managers are actively seeking returners to join their teams due to the high quality of candidates”
  • “Past returners are now hiring new returners to join their teams – great ‘pay it forward’”

Employer tips for success

  • “Ambition is important, skills can be taught. Think widely in terms of transferable skills and know that if there is a gap it can be taught!”
  • “Don’t hide away from the excellent work you’ve done. Really important to showcase your experience built up over the years. Look at the job description and think about what you have done and the transferable skills you can demonstrate. Make sure this is clear in your CV.”
  • “Make your CV clear and concise! Employers want to be able to understand why you are a match. Explain (or avoid) acronyms.”
  • “Have a play about with AI for CVs and cover letters, see how it can help you. Important to tweak and adapt so that it feels authentic and appropriate for you and have someone else check it over too.”
  • “Do ask lots of questions, understand the working norms and culture of organisations. There is a level of informal flexibility that exists now that can help you to manage your return to work successfully.”
  • “Returner interviews – find out who will be at your interview, what to expect and the competencies being assessed. Get well prepared!”
  • “Be easy on yourself – it’s a really big process and you don’t need to know everything straight away.”