“She turns heads with all her clothes on…imagine that”
Getting your CV up to date and finding a potential job that ticks all the boxes is a challenge in itself but when you are offered an interview, you find that all you have are jeans with obligatory crawling on the floor holes and a couple of shirts you wore pre-children.
Recruit for Spouses understand that looking and feeling great at interview stage is essential for you to truly take control of the situation and portray yourself as a worthy contender in any job situation. That’s why we are a referral partner for the fabulous charity, Smart Works. And we are in good company since The Duchess of Sussex is one of their patrons and was recently photographed in one of Smart Works national offices as part of her role as editor for Vogue.
Smart Works provides a two-hour dressing and coaching service for our spouses who are currently unemployed but have confirmed job interviews – think Gok Wan but without the spray tan. On arrival at one of the national Smart Works offices, you will have a short chat before a personalised styling session with two of Smart Works volunteer stylists. Dressing you head to foot in brand new clothes (including Burberry, Jigsaw, Hobbs, M&S and more) they will then offer an hour interview coaching with an HR professional to get your killer answers tailored to perfection.
One of our spouses to have benefitted from Smart Works is Helene Hadley. Helene was struggling with her confidence after having a career break and becoming a mum. Smart Works were on hand to offer her the vital support she needed; “Smart Works were really incredible. Having not worked since having my daughter, my work wardrobe no longer fit the bill. Since my shape had changed, I was struggling with my confidence and was unsure what style of clothes would best compliment me.
The ladies at Smart Works were great in helping me find some clothes that I felt good in. I tried things that I probably wouldn’t have picked of the rack myself and I loved my new outfit.
I was also given some interview coaching which was really brilliant. A career break and being mum for so long, I felt I had nothing new to offer since my last position. Smart Works helped me see that through this new life stage I had developed so much more as a person and had so many new skills to offer an employer.”
Helene went on to get the job and is now a valued member of Recruit for Spouses’ Liquid Workforce.
When you walk out with your new interview outfit and get offered the job (60% of the women that visit Smart Works do get the job), you can return to their office for a Second Dressing and pick out a further 5 items. This means you can start your new role with the perfect capsule wardrobe.
You are also invited to join the Smart Works Network, a membership of women who have recently returned to work. They meet on a monthly basis to further their personal and professional development.
Jessica Lomax, Reading branch Operations Manager has worked with Recruit for Spouses for a while now and sees first hand, the impact these sessions can have: “Women come to see us in various stages of their lives, often after something has happened to them which may have deviated their journey through employment, including caring for children or elderly relatives, redundancy or relocation.
Women often put themselves at the bottom of their own priority list, which can have a huge negative impact on feelings of self-belief and self-esteem.
Smart Works exists to help women regain their lost confidence and remind them of how brilliant and strong they were all along – even though, for a while, they might not have been able to see it themselves.
The best part of working at Smart Works is seeing the transformational change in a woman who has benefited from a session with us. She’ll go from arriving nervously unsure about her session, the interview and about what the future holds, to leaving with her head held high, shoulders back, ready to face her interview and move on to the next chapter of her life with confidence.”
There is no catch with this service. It is absolutely free to our spouses. Just speak to your Recruit for Spouse contact and see about getting referred to this amazing service.
For more information, visit www.smartworks.org.uk