You may have spent the last few years being a stay-at-home parent and are looking to get back to the workforce after a while out. Kicking off your search for a new job is a challenge you have to embrace and be ready for, but more than anything, the first thing to do is to refresh your resume.
Although you have been off a paying position for a while, and there’s been a gap since you last worked in an organization, you still want to ensure the hiring manager doesn’t skip your resume.
So, how do you create a resume that qualifies you as an ideal candidate for an organization even though you’ve had a career break to take care of your children? Here are a few tips for stay-at-home moms to create their resumes.
- Use a different resume format.
If you ask professional cv writers to write your resume from scratch, there’s a high chance that they’ll list your work experience in reverse chronological order. This is ideal in many situations, especially if you have a traditional career trajectory with each position involving more responsibilities and pay.
Also, a chronological resume format may emphasize the time gap since your last formal position as a stay-at-home parent. However, you can use a functional resume format to emphasize your skills instead of your work history.
You can also add optional sections such as a summary statement or objective in your resume to highlight your qualifications. Hiring managers don’t spend more than a few seconds on an individual resume, regardless of the format. So, highlighting your abilities allows them to see your skill and qualifications for the role quickly and increases your chances of being selected.
- Include your volunteer positions
It’s common for stay-at-home parents to spend some of their time working as volunteers for different positions and organizations. In some cases, your volunteer roles may relate to the position you’re applying for. Therefore, including your positions and responsibilities in your resume will show your experience level.
Ensure to describe your volunteer work with the exact action words used for paid jobs. Describe it the same way you’ll describe a paid job, listing your goals and accomplishments. You shouldn’t tone down on your role or achievements because it’s a volunteer position and is unpaid. Instead, show how you impacted the organization’s mission and project in active terms.
- Add freelance work
Some stay-at-home moms didn’t stop working, even though they took a break from work to be with their kids. They still worked as freelancers and continued making money. If you’re one of such parents that worked as a freelancer on a contract or temporary basis while being a stay-at-home mom, then you have relevant information to add to your resume. This also adds to your work experience, so it shouldn’t be left out of your resume.
- Include your stay at home experience
This appears to be divisive, even among professionals offering resume services. Some people argue that stay-at-home parents should add the experience and skill gathered during this period to their resume.
This set of debaters says that stay-at-home parents build skills such as home management and organization skills, which may be crucial for their position in an organization. On the other hand, some others believe that staying at home to take care of the kids isn’t a job or work position and shouldn’t be regarded as one.
In reality, whether or not you can add this to your resume depends on the organization you’re applying to and the role you’re applying for. Your duties as a stay-at-home mom may translate into the job you’re applying for. You may include this in your cover letter and use it to explain the employment gap in your resume.
In many cases, though, hiring managers would prefer not to include your stay-at-home parenting experience as a job title on your resume. It may sound cute and maybe tempting to include a title like “Chief Home Officer” in your resume and describe your responsibilities with work terms.
However, many employers recommend against it. Unless the job you’re applying to directly translates to your experience as a stay-at-home mom, like teaching or working with young kids, you shouldn’t bring it up in your resume.
After taking time off for parenting, getting a job doesn’t have to be difficult. One thing you need, though, is a winning resume, and your chances of getting back in a job increase massively.