Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mama's Going Back to Work: 4 Tips to Update Your Resume

Resumes are hard, especially when you have been out of the work force for almost 6 years. That is a lot of time to forget what all needs to be on a resume. I wasn't sure if I should explain the gap on my resume by including my stay at home mom experience or leave just it blank. So I turned to the Internet. What I found was not, I repeat not, pleasant. Apparently, there is a ton of hostility concerning sahms who wish to return to work. Who knew it was such a heated debate? I had to weed through name calling and insults but eventually I was successful, finding some fairly reasonable pieces of advice from sites such as and

  1. First and foremost, the number one piece of advice was simply to be honest! The question concerning your time gap will most likely come up. Instead of dancing around it, advisers recommended being upfront and telling the truth. Raising your children, regardless of circumstances, is nothing to be ashamed of. Many employers are becoming more accepting, recognizing the work that goes into childrearing.
  2. That being said, don't just state the blunt truth. While your job title may read "Stay at Home Mother," your skills can't be so simple. It’s a weird balance you have to achieve between stating the facts in a fancy, professional way without over exaggerating your time away from the traditional workforce. Instead of saying, “I can get a toddler to eat vegetables,” maybe try, “excellent negotiating skills.”  Or change, “always have a change of kid clothes and bandaids available” to “emergency preparedness.” Not only does this professionalize your experience but it could save space which is important in keeping a potential employer’s attention.
  3. Keep it to a minimum. There is still a bit of taboo about adding the job title “stay at home mom” so in my personal resume, I am keeping the focus on that area short. I have listed the more major skills such as creative problem solving and organizing budgets, but I saved my more elaborate job details, the details the potential employer is really looking for, for my previous paid work experience.
  4. The last, more helpful and less judgy, piece of advice I came across was to do what works for you. If you are getting call backs and interviews then something in your resume is obviously working. However, if you aren't getting any feedback, it may be time to switch things up and try something new.
My resume is still a work in progress and I am sure I will be editing again and again as I receive (or don't) feedback. I will be sure to update what ends up being my golden resume formula!

Have you recently returned to work or switched jobs? What resume advice would you offer to some one experiencing a large gap whether due to stay at home motherhood or simply unable to find work for a bit?

No comments: