Natalie – Returning to Work After Redundancy and Maternity

Natalie (29) from the Sunderland area joined Making a Difference to get back into work after being unemployed for two years following redundancy and maternity. She felt out of touch with the labour market and wanted support with her application, CV and interview skills.

Natalie’s main goal was to develop her soft employability skills. She did not feel pressure to return to work straight away and was open to training in different sectors to boost her application. In short, Natalie was ready to start this next chapter in her career journey!

How Did We Help?

Natalie met with Caitlin, an Employment Coach at Making a Difference. In their first meeting, they worked on Natalie’s CV which had not been updated for 11 years. Even at this early stage of the programme, Natalie soon found a suitable vacancy for a Project Administrative role with Education Development Trust.

Caitlin helped Natalie to tailor her CV to this vacancy, taking extra care in highlighting her many skills and how they related to the job description.

We always recommend referring to the person specifications of a vacancy and listing proof of your experience regarding this skill set. This not only shows employers that you are a great match for the role but it also testaments to you taking the time to read and understand the information provided about the job.

Getting Back Into a Career After Redundancy

The following week, Natalie had her first success when she received an interview invite following her application. Together with Caitlin, she began preparing for her interview in their next appointment.

They researched common interview questions used for this sector and the Project Administrator role. Natalie also practised using the STAR method, which is a very effective technique for answering competency-based interview questions.

Already, Natalie could see her confidence increasing with every appointment. She said:

“Before I started the course my confidence was at an all-time low. I felt like I wasn’t good enough to do an interview. But the support from Caitlin made me believe in myself again.”

Natalie’s interview was set to take place via Microsoft Teams. Online interviews are much more common since the pandemic. But just like an in-person interview, we advise you practise in advance to avoid any malfunctions and additional stress.

Natalie rehearsed with Caitlin by scheduling a test call and played through the available functions of the application. This helped to make her feel more at ease going into her interview.

Soon after, Natalie received a response from the charity saying she had gotten the job and had secured the Project Administrator role at Education Development Trust!

Natalie herself is over the moon with this positive news:

“I found the support I received on Making a Difference was amazing! Caitlin went above and beyond to help me with my CV, interview preparation and most of all my confidence building after redundancy.

If you are thinking of joining the programme, honestly go for it! You will receive all the help and support you need to get yourself back into work. You are not alone, and you will be back into work in no time.”

Career Guidance To Get You Where You Want To Be

Making a Difference is an initiative match-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). We help people of all ages find their way into work or training by providing tailored one-to-one guidance and support. Whether you are returning to work after a career break, considering working for the first time or simply want to try something new. We can help you figure out the next step for you.

Contact our friendly team to learn more and start your journey today!

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