Good connections lead to a brighter future with Esure

At the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, Gill Swindlehurst, like many others began working from home and later, as the pandemic continued, was furloughed.  Having only been in her insurance role since January, with the ongoing disruptions to daily life, she took the short-term decision to become the primary carer and home-schooler for her two young children and in May 2020 left her job.

Following a fortuitous introduction to outplacement specialists Career Evolution, via one of her husband’s HR networking groups, Gill started working with Sue Thomas, Director at Career Evolution. Sue helped her update her CV and advised her on the best approach to securing her next role.

Highlighting achievements

Gill explains: “Sue spent invaluable time, over Zoom, talking to me about what I wanted from my next role and looking at how I could develop my CV to position myself in the best possible way.  Sue got me to think about what I had already achieved in my professional life, with a focus on the most recent role I had held, and how that had contributed to the business’ bottom line.”

Star performance

Working in this collaborative way, Gill developed and revised her CV to make it punchy and to the point, using the STAR technique – looking at Situation, Task, Action, Results – to highlight competency examples. She also ensured that she was sending consistent messages through her LinkedIn profile and other online platforms, and that she was easy to find and contact.  The other fundamental piece of advice Sue shared, was for Gill to reach out to her professional network and make sure that they knew that she was looking for a new opportunity.

Gill continued: “The positive response I received from my network was amazing and an ex-colleague of mine put me in touch with the Claims Manager at Esure. I sent him my CV, and he contacted me, and we arranged to have a coffee via Zoom.  The benefit of having invested time on my CV, ensured that I was comfortable talking about my previous successes and that I had a strong framework to refer to during our call.”

Gill’s ‘interview’ and her CV ensured that she stood out. Gill was offered a newly created position as Claims Delivery Manager, responsible for change and improvements within the Esure Claims team.  Starting in November 2020, the position was originally a six-month placement, which has since been extended to May 2022.

Network strength

Talking about her experience of job hunting during a pandemic, Gill commented: “The advice Sue gave me made such a difference.  From updating my CV and personal statement, through to examining what I actually wanted from my next role, all had a huge impact on my approach and confidence.  However, possibly key was contacting my professional network, and the strength of the response from them was overwhelming.”