If you’ve been out of work for a while after becoming a parent, trying to re-enter today’s job market can seem overwhelming. We’ve put together a guide of job application tips for returning parents to make the transition back into the workforce as smooth as possible.

With an ever-changing job market, it’s more necessary than ever for employees and candidates to adapt. And with an increasing number of experienced professionals re-entering the job market every year, competition for job vacancies is high across the board.

Nevertheless, with a skills shortage currently affecting the UK, employers are struggling to fill a wide variety of job vacancies. Therefore, there’s no time like the present to get yourself prepared to rejoin the workforce.

Tips for Rejoining the Workforce as a Parent

Here are our tops tips for anyone returning to work as a parent:


Due to the skills gap across the UK, one of the most significant decisions you can make when going back to work is to retrain. Nowadays, there are more ways than ever to retrain, such as Adult Apprenticeships, Internships, the Open University and many more.

What’s more, the government has modernised apprenticeships in recent years, meaning you can get high-quality training whilst earning a full wage. For parents, this can make all the difference when working around your existing commitments. Employers will often allow more flexibility with apprenticeships, such that you could extend the apprenticeship to make it part-time.

Transferable Skills

Parents understand more than anyone the amount of work that goes into raising a child. Unfortunately, this work can sometimes be overlooked by prospective employers as ‘time off’. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to emphasise the transferable skills you have gained during parenthood. In fact, many of these transferable skills are more developed in parents than in people who don’t have children.

For instance, parents who have spent a lot of time looking after children tend to be more effective at multitasking and prioritising their workload. On top of that, they can be more hard-working and have greater communication skills, particularly those related to listening, patience, and empathy.

Flexible Work

Going back to work as a parent can be extremely overwhelming for some. Not only must you work up to 40 hours per week, but you’re also spending time away from your children and family. Your routine will no doubt be turned on its head, so it’s important to look for employers who understand your situation.

Finding inclusive employers, like those listed in our directory, will allow you to return to flexible work that could mean an easing back into the workplace. If the role allows it, you could request flexi-time. This is a contractual agreement to work a certain number of hours but you can fulfil them at a time that suits you.

Remote Work

With a massive shift in the labour market towards remote working, now is an excellent time to apply for a job that allows you to work from home. You can strike a better work/life balance and spend more time with your family by cutting out the work commute. You’ll also be able to save money on transport and other costs associated with working outside the home.

Check out our dedicated guide for more information on the benefits of switching to working from home.

Develop Your CV

Getting your CV up to date is an essential step towards finding the right role for you. The likelihood is that you’ve not written a CV in a significant length of time. Therefore, it can be difficult to remain confident in your abilities. What’s more, dealing with CV gaps can make things even more difficult. Therefore, we have compiled a list of CV writing tips dedicated to parents returning to work.

Key Takeaways: Job Application Tips For Returning Parents

Returning to work as a parent involves a seismic shift in everything that’s become normal and routine. Of course, for some, it can be a welcome change. But, for others, the process can be overwhelming. By following these job application tips for parents returning to work, you can help make the transition as pain-free as possible.

Once you’re ready to rejoin the workforce as a parent, Refreshing a Career’s jobs board can help you find your dream job. Take a look at our jobs for single mothers. We’re here to help with our tailor-made Support and Resources section for parents. If you can’t find the answer to any of your questions, feel free to contact our team who’ll be more than happy to lend a hand.

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