Updating your Resume after Being a Stay at Home Mom
Reentering the workforce after being a stay at home mom can be daunting for many reasons. Often, updating a resume after such an absence from the professional world proves to be one of the biggest hurdles in restarting a career. If mothers returning to work know how to compensate for the gaps in their work history in the savviest way possible, however, this hurdle can be surmounted.
Take a Refresher Course
One of the best ways to demonstrate that you are committed to reentering the job market—and to catching up after a period of time away from the office—is to take a class in your particular field of work. For example, if you were an accountant before you were a stay-at-home mom, you might consider enrolling in an online course that will act as a “refresher” while also introducing you to any new technologies or trends in the field.
Highlight Personal Projects
It’s also important not to overlook the personal projects you’ve pursued or volunteer positions you’ve held while staying at home and raising your children. For example, if you were involved in your child’s education as the President of the PTA or in another authoritative capacity, such involvement can certainly be listed on your resume as legitimate work experience. That listing might look like the following:
Emerson Middle School, Chicago, IL
PTA President, 2010-2103
•Managed PTA budget and handled all financial transactions
•Delegated tasks to members of PTA
•Organized fundraising events
•Directed board meetings
Be a Self-Starter
If you haven’t pursed any personal projects or volunteer positions, it isn’t too late to start. Before drafting your resume, consider which pursuits might help you hone and demonstrate the skills that would be required from a potential employer. Are you looking for a job in the IT sector, in sales, or as a copywriter? Starting a for-profit website or online business can be a great way to demonstrate that you know your way around the web, and that you are an independently motivated worker. Best of all, these smaller businesses don’t require a huge financial investment.
Revise the Traditional Format
Traditionally, resumes are organized chronologically. If you have been away from the workforce for a significant period of time, however, a chronological structure may simply serve to highlight that gap. Instead, organize your work experience by relevance or function. This means listing jobs first that would be most pertinent to the kind of position you are seeking. A functionality-based resume for someone seeking a web-based position might look like the following:
XYZ Web Company, Chicago, IL
Content Manager, 2000-2003
•Oversaw and edited all contributions
•Created new content for site updates
•Addressed and resolved IT issues
Monthly Content Contributor, 2008-2010
•Wrote original content for webzine
•Proofed and submitted articles on a monthly basis
The important thing to remember when diving back into the job market after a significant absence is that confidence and preparation are the tickets to success. It’s important to brush up on your rustier skills, but it’s also important to acknowledge that you do have an existing skill set and previous experience that can work in your favor.