As a stay-at-home mom, you’ve been dedicated to raising your children and tending to the needs of your family, and you’ve mastered the art of juggling multiple responsibilities. Now it’s time to bring that experience to the workplace.
Polishing up your resume is one of the first things you need to tackle when you make the decision to return to work. If your break has been relatively short, this shouldn’t be too difficult. However, the process can feel a bit more daunting if you have been out of the workforce for a number of years. How do you compile a resume if you’ve been a stay-at-home mom? What do you list as your experience? How do you showcase your strengths while downplaying the work gap? What format should you use?
Read on for WBW’s tips on composing a standout, stay-at-home mom resume:
List all Volunteer Work
As a stay-at-home mom, there’s a good chance you’ve spent some time volunteering. It could be with the PTA for your child’s school, fundraising for a cause, or helping at the local animal shelter. Whatever it is, be sure to list and describe all volunteer roles you held during your time away from the corporate world. You might think that only “traditional” work counts, but volunteering shows that you haven’t been idle and have been using your skills. It’s important to remember that ALL experience has value.
Functional vs Chronological Format
Which one is better? Well that depends. Do you have current volunteer work that you can add? And have you been consistently volunteering through your hiatus? Then choose the chronological format. If you have a long gap in your resume, however, you might want to go with a combination of the functional and chronological formats. This version will highlight your skills, while downplaying the gap in your resume. (For more details, take a look at our post on resume formatting)
Upskilling to Boost Your Resume
Consider taking one of the many courses available online to add to your repertoire of skills and add this to your resume. Udemy, Coursera and Lynda are just some of the companies that offer a wide variety of online professional courses and certificates for free or for a nominal fee. This can highlight a commitment to learning and staying current. If you have already been actively taking courses that are relevant to the job you are applying for, don’t forget to add them to your resume.
Highlight Transferrable Skills
As a busy mom, you have likely gathered innumerable skills that would be deemed valuable in the workplace. The fact that you didn’t get a paycheck for your duties doesn’t make your experience any less important. Presenting them properly on your resume is the key.
Consider all the skills you have acquired fulfilling one of life’s most difficult roles; multitasking, communication, conflict resolution, people management, managing finances, organization, and active listening are all skills that can be marketed. Make sure you give them an honorable mention in your resume, keeping in focus their applicability to the jobs you are applyng for.
Customization is Key
You might be inclined to believe that your work is done once you have a completed resume. And you are partially correct. The difficult work is finished. But before you start applying for jobs, you will want to customize your resume.
When you find a job you are interested in, pull keywords from the job description and put them in your resume. For example, are you a marketing professional applying for a Digital Marketing Manager role? Be sure to tweak you resume to emphasize your digital marketing experience and de-emphasize your traditional marketing experience. This approach ensures your resume will be scored as a match by the companies Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and will be found in the company’s database when recruiters perform their searches.
Now that we have covered a few resume tips, let’s take a look at a few examples of stay-at-home mom resumes that might help inspire you to write your own.
(Read our complete Job Search Guide for Women Returning to the Workforce)