Oct 30, 2017

Re-entering the Workforce: 5 Resume Writing Tips for Stay at Home Moms

According to Pew Research Center data, three out of ten American moms with children younger than 18 are stay at home moms. It's a tough job, to take care of a brand new person through their earliest and most fragile years. It's also a job that can't go on forever.

Your kids can start going to kindergarten, or school, or even college, and they might not need you as much as they did before. Or you can decide that juggling a career and childcare is something you might try. Or you might have financial troubles that will nudge you towards giving up full-time childcare.

There are many reasons why stay at home mothers might consider reentering the workforce after a long absence. Regardless of the reasons, moms re-entering the workforce will find that they can do a lot of the re-entry work online, from applying to jobs to using LinkedIn for networking. They'll also find that writing a reentering the workforce resume has its challenges, which is why we're sharing these resume writing tips for stay at home moms.

Brush Up on General Resume Writing

Writing a resume for a homemaker returning to workforce has its difficulties. But writing a resume, in general, isn't easy. Before you sit down and take stock of your skills, activities, and experience, brush up on the general rules of resume writing.

There are a couple of things you should pay special attention to. Bullet points are your friends on a resume, and you should know how to use them effectively. Today, recruitment relies heavily on applicant tracking systems, which means you'll have to learn a thing or two about using keywords in your resume. And it wouldn't hurt to check a list of common resume mistakes.

Choose the Right Format

There are three types of resume formats. A chronological resume is used to emphasize work history by listing employment, in chronological order, from the most recent. A functional resume focuses on your skills and abilities, and it's mostly used by people who have gaps in employment. And there's also a combination resume, which is used to outline skills and also provide a well-documented work history.

You probably shouldn't write a resume for mom returning to workforce in a chronological format. Instead, you should consider either a functional or a combination resume because the two will make your employment gap less striking.

Include the Work You've Done at Home or in the Community

Stay at home moms can do a lot of things besides taking care of the kids. They can get involved with their community, or with the school, and do a lot of unpaid work in those functions. They can also freelance or do some other type of work from home as a side job to their full-time childcare work.

The work and the activities you did while you were a stay at home count. Make sure that you include them, as long as they're relevant to the position you're applying for. Include your accomplishments as well, and write about them in the same way you would if you were writing about employment experience — with strong words and action verbs.

Include the Skills You've Developed During Your Absence from the Workforce

Just like you're including the work you've done while being a stay at home mom in your reentering the workforce resume, you should also include the skills you've developed.

There is a lot you can learn while freelancing, or doing community work, or helping the school organize and run events. And the fact that you developed those skills while freelancing or volunteering has nothing to do with how useful they could be in your new workplace. Everything from event planning to time management and personal finance can be a relevant skill, and if it is, you shouldn't leave it out.

Carefully Consider How and Whether to Include Childcare Activities and Skills

One of the most important resume tips for stay at home moms is to avoid giving your child care duties a title. So no "upbringing manager" or "household CEO". If you really want to include the years you've spent as a stay at home mom as an item on your resume, you should just say that you were a stay at home mom.

The childcare skills you have developed can be useful in your resume if you're applying for a position that will require you to work with children. If that is the case, list them like you would any other skills that are relevant to the job. Between cutesy and professional, always pick professional.

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