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Case study: Catherine’s journey back to work

The scene

Catherine (not her real name) was out of the workforce for over 2 years while undergoing treatment for cancer.

Before her double mastectomy and aggressive chemo and radiation regime, Catherine was a senior Bank Manager, leveraging her tertiary education. She led a strong team in a fast-paced environment demanding the need to think strategically and implement with precision.

Eventually, Catherine was strong enough health-wise to re-enter the workforce. She wanted an inspiring role with an employer who would consider a hybrid model, enabling her to work part-time in the office and part-time at home.

Catherine began her search in earnest but didn’t land a role. After some months, she approached face2face for professional recruitment support. With her self-confidence low, Catherine also felt her morale slipping and believed it best to approach experts on top of relevant workforce changes and contemporary trends employers are targeting.

How we helped

face2face invited Catherine in for an introductory interview, to uncover her unique story. We explained the recruitment process in detail and confirmed that our services are free to candidates of all levels and across all industries.

We could tell from Catherine’s resume that she was highly educated, highly qualified and highly experienced. We drew out the attributes an increasing number of employers are looking for in candidates, including cultural fit and both hard and soft skills.

face2face recruiters assessed that Catherine would fit many Australian Government roles in the finance arena. Our Talent Manager supported Catherine to pinpoint her transferable skills (which many candidates find difficult to do on their own) and helped her pitch them in her resume in terms the APS could relate too. We also worked alongside Catherine to highlight her achievements and how she could transform these into STARR interview stories.

We pointed Catherine to expert articles on the face2face website so she could start reading up on resume writing, interview techniques and the latest trends employers are looking for in today’s competitive job market.

With transferable skills, we drew out that in her role as a senior Bank Manager, Catherine had well-developed:

  • leadership qualities
  • expertise in complying with regulation
  • strategic capabilities
  • customer focus and retention rates
  • abilities to triage priorities in fast-paced, relentless environments.

Once Catherine’s resume and LinkedIn profile were polished and up to date, our expert recruiters searched for possibilities.

We were upfront and explained to Catherine that landing a job in today’s highly competitive market takes time and patience. We encouraged her to not lose faith if she didn’t immediately win a position.

The result

face2face placed Catherine in a full-time contract role (equivalent to an APS 6) in an Australian Government department finance area. Her employer was flexible, and Catherine worked under a hybrid model.

As with all contractors, face2face kept in touch with Catherine at set periods to make sure her placement continued to travel well. After a few months, Catherine had earned the confidence of her employer and team – so much so she began applying for permanent positions in the same department.

 Lessons learned

Catherine learned that looking for work on her own, without the professional support of a recruitment agency, was more challenging than she thought. She realised, after connecting with face2face, the value of being backed by recruiters immersed in the job market who think laterally and creatively about possibilities. She also learned how a recruitment agency can help take some of the load off and get candidates back on track–at no cost to them.

Last, but not least, Catherine also learned that many of the roles that recruiters have on their books are never advertised because they are filled so fast. Without registering with a recruitment agency, Catherine was truly missing out on valuable opportunities.

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Whether it’s your first job, a new job, a career change, a promotion or re-entering the workforce after a break, we’re here. face2face will help you create a winning resume, boost your interview skills, and support you to find your perfect position.

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