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  1. Be clear about what type of work / job you are looking for.  
  To begin your job search you need to know what type of employment you are looking for. Brainstorm and consider your ideal job (the responsibilities, working arrangements, the skills you would like to use etc). Determine all the possible job options that you find interesting, consider and explore these further. Create a short-list of the best options.

E.g. is it an option to return to a previous employer you have worked for with alternative working arrangements? If you are looking for a new job/employer, what type of work would you like to do and how could it positively meet the needs of you and your family?

Make a list of all the positives and negatives. Think about what you’re willing to compromise on - after all it’s important to be realistic. Click on the links below for more information:

  Find a new career  
  Return to work checklist  
  Contact a career consultant  
  2. Ensure you have the necessary skills and experience required.  
  It stands to reason that you are more likely to be successful at securing a job that you have the relevant skills and experience for. Therefore, if you would like to ‘break into’ a new job field you need to research what additional skills or qualifications you might need. Make a list of all your skills and all your experience, compare this to the job requirements of other jobs you might like to pursue and identify any gaps in knowledge etc. Visit the Job Outlook site that can provide you detail of what skills and qualifications are required for all different types of job.  
  Job Outlook  
  Consider contacting the following groups to find out more on career advice and short courses  
  Professional or industry associations  
  Visit a TAFE website. For example, look up basic refresher courses for computer skills.  
Canberra Institute of Technology
  Private colleges, online education companies, universities  
  If you are registered with Centrelink, you can be referred to a Job Network Agency that specialises in assisting women to return to the workplace  
  3. Job hunting takes time.  
  There has never been a better time to look for work with the national skill shortage crisis, but be aware that it can take time to job search, apply, be interviewed and start a new job (often 3 months or longer) Don’t be disheartened if it takes longer, the reality is that you will receive more rejections than job offers but most job seekers are in the same boat, regardless if they have children or not. Make sure your resume is up to date and that you re-evaluate your job requirements as you go. Don’t forget to gain feedback from interviews.  
  4. Update your resume.  
  Refresh your resume by giving it a makeover. Make sure it’s in a reader-friendly format; that it outlines your skills and experience clearly on the first page; that it explains your parental leave absence and is tailored for the job you are applying for.  
  Top 5 Resume Tips  
  5. Register with recruitment providers that specialise finding parents flexible work.  
  To search for flexible jobs we recommend:  
  6. Contact your past employers and proactively contact employers who you would like to work for.  
  Rather than waiting for the right job to land in your lap, contact your previous employers and colleagues to ask what vacancies they may know of. Let them know you’re returning to work and what type of work you are ideally looking for. Ask for any tips they may have to offer you during your job search.  
  7. Follow up applications.  
  Many applicants never bother to telephone an employer directly, so stand out of the crowd and pick up the phone.Often employers have many applicants for the one position so they may not have read yours, therefore follow up. Contact the employer to make sure they received your resume within 2-3 days if you haven’t received a response. Ask the employer about the short-listing process. Take the opportunity to ask if the employer has 2 minutes to discuss the position with you and briefly explain your skills and experience.  
  8. Network with other mums who have returned to work.  
  If you know other mums who have returned to work, ask them for any tips and advice they have to offer eg: how did they do it? Let your friends know you are looking at going back to work and get them to keep you in mind for any jobs they may hear of that would suit you.  
  9. Prepare for interviews.  
  Brush up your interview skills by preparing how you will respond to common interview questions so you don’t feel ‘put on the spot’. If you are particularly nervous at interviews, being prepared will help you to stay calm. Being upfront with the interviewer about your nerves can help “this is my first interview in some time, I just wanted to let you know upfront that I’m feeling a little nervous”.  
  Top 5 Interview tips  
  10. Be prepared to negotiate with employers.  
  In an ideal world we would love the find the perfect job; however ask yourself what are you prepared to trade-off in return for other benefits? Eg: are you prepared to lessen your responsibilities in return for working reduced hours? Discuss realistic working arrangements with your employer - think about both of your needs and how it could work to your mutual advantage. Ask your employer to ‘trail’ a flexible working arrangement for a period of time to see how things go; revise as required.  
  How to negotiate with employer tips  
  11. Keep refining your job search to ensure you  
  Remain focused on searching for what you want  
  Decide what you are willing to trade off for other benefits  

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