Finding employment as a single parent is often a difficult task.
The tips below aim to give you the best possible chance of finding an appropriate job, applying, and doing well at interview.
With the advice given below you should be well on your way to landing that new job.
Keeping your eyes open is the first and most important tip you can get when looking for a job. Don’t stop looking until you find something perfect for you, and make sure to have a CV and cover letter prepared in advance for those jobs requiring a quick response. If you have young children at home, a working on an oil rig for six months may not be a wise choice.
There’s nothing wrong with putting an advertisement on your Facebook or Twitter page, and scouting pages for vacancies. Make sure your Facebook doesn’t contain any inappropriate photos or statuses before messaging a company or recruitment agency, though.
Having a well presented CV and covering letter is essential to finding employment. Word processing these items in an appropriate font and design can work wonders. Make sure your credentials, skills and goals are laid out in Times New Roman or Arial font, no greater than size 12, and with all text in black. To highlight headings etc. use bold, underlined or italicised text. Most importantly, never lie on your CV!
Finding child care can make or break even the most perfect job. Finding a job with flexible hours, or finding a cheap baby sitter who can take care of your child full time, is they key to keeping a job while your young children require care. Make sure to budget out the cost of this when you apply for your new job, though. Getting a great job is no good if the childcare costs more than your day’s pay! If your kids are at school, it will be much easier to find a job, although bear in mind that you may have to provide them with a house key if your job runs after school hours.
When attending an interview, make sure to be smartly dressed. A clean shirt and tie, neatly presented hair, a clean shave for the men, and shiny shoes go a long way to convincing an employer of your value to their company.
It’s important to remember that the point of an interview is to assess your suitability for the job. Recruitment personnel want to know that you are passionate about the job advertised, and dedicated enough not to let childcare get in the way of responsibilities at work while still being a caring parent.
Make sure to be polite and speak slowly and clearly. Demonstrate good communication skills, punctuality, and dress smartly for the interview. Focus on your skills and positive points, and try to downplay negative points. If asked about previous employment, be sure to emphasise the skills gained from that particular job, and don’t focus on your reasons for leaving. Remember that you only get to make one first impression, so make sure it’s a good one!
It is important to realise that not every application you send will result in an interview, and not every interview you attend will result in a job. Treat each application as an opportunity to improve upon your CV and your interview skills, making sure to ask for feedback along the way. Apply for jobs you are enthusiastic about, and let your enthusiasm shine through in both your application letter and your interview.