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Are you a stay at home mom looking for new career opportunities? You may feel anxious about applying for jobs after a few months or years off because of parenting full-time.
But just because you have taken time off work outside of the family, doesn’t mean that your experience parenting will ruin your job outlook.
Parenting full-time can be as demanding as any job. Any parent knows taking care of children can easily be a full-time job. And with daycare expenses skyrocketing, it can actually be cheaper for one parent to stay home with the kids than to work and use a daycare service.
You are probably nodding to yourself– yes, staying at home with the kids was a great experience, but also very time and energy-consuming. You might even consider going back to work as a break.
Maybe your kids are grown, ready to go to elementary school, or if you’ve homeschooled them, college. You’ve been not only a full-time parent but also a full-time teacher. You’ve been a coach, a social organizer, a best friend.
No matter the reason, you’re likely reading this because you are ready to head back into the workforce. But one thing is in your way and you are not sure what to do about it: your resume.
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of how to make a stay at home mom (or dad) resume, here are some of the major points to keep in mind:
Now that you know what to keep in mind, let’s take a look at what exactly you need to write a stellar stay at home mom resume.
If you are a stay at home parent, you likely weren’t doing the same job now at home as you were before you left your last job.
One of the hardest things to figure out for a stay at home mom resume is how to translate “mommy” skills to workforce woman skills.
You may even think that there is no way you can have transferable skills from your parenting experience to the industry you are applying for, but just wait… we bet you will be pleasantly surprised.
Staying at home as a parent is a complex role: you are a person who has to wear many hats on the daily. You aren’t just mom. You are the family’s most ultimate manager. And those skills can definitely be transferable to most jobs.
If you homeschooled your kids, you are in luck. You added yet another experience that is extremely valuable: coaching, organizing, and teaching.
If you homeschooled your kids, you have skills researching curriculum, organizing lesson plans and extracurricular activities, mentoring children, all while learning how to be flexible, a good communicator, and most importantly (to the kids), fun.
By now, you are probably thinking, yes! I have all of these skills.
Now you just have to translate them into resume-speak so that potential employers will also know how awesome you are at them.
You can describe your time as a stay at home parent in two places on a resume: under your career summary and/or under your work experience.
When writing your career summary, it is probably better that you do not mention specifically that you are a stay at home mom. Instead, think about the roles you played as a parent and the skills you mastered that compliment your previous work experience.
For example: If you were a teacher for five years before homeschooling your children for three years, you could write something like this:
A skilled educator with eight years of teaching experience. Ability to teach in diverse settings with ease, create engaging lesson plans, and present material to children in varying learning environments.
Then, you can detail out both your homeschooling experience and previous work experience in the work history section of your resume.
If you didn’t homeschool your children, don’t worry. There are many ways you can utilize your experience to make you a strong candidate.
Here is another example for a stay at home mom:
Then, you can describe your management and leadership experience as a stay at home mom and as a career-woman.
After you have crafted your career summary, you will want to include your time as a stay at home mom in your work experience section.
This section is where you have to be very conscientious about what you write. Writing a good work summary and work experience section for a stay at home mom is all about framing.
Some employers may think that staying at home to parent is a lapse in job experience, but if framed correctly, they will see what you see: staying at home to parent is a valuable, full-time job experience.
When thinking about what to write in your stay at home section, be honest, but highlight what you have done versus focus on a gap in employment.
So to prevent recruiters and potential employers from picturing you sweeping up cookie crumbs, try and avoid using “domestic” words unless you are applying for a childcare, teaching, or cleaning position.
The next thing you have to keep in mind is that these days, most resumes are first sorted through a computer program that is looking for specific keywords.
You want to emphasize the skills you use as a stay at home parent. Some skills include: management, delegating, financial planning skills, organization, time management, and multitasking.
Utilize these keywords when describing your experience as a stay at home parent and it will help your resume be picked up by resume software.
Now that you have a billion things to keep in mind when writing your new resume, what does a mom resume look like?
As we’ve said before, applying for a job with a stay at home mom history is all about framing.
Here are some examples of how you can frame your experience as a mom to show transferable skills recruiters are desperately looking for:
As you can see, detailing what you did as a stay at home mom can show that you possess many career-oriented job skills. Think about your deliverables: what did you accomplish as a stay at home mom? Now think about how those skills are similar to what you would need in a workplace and highlight those.
Applying for a job after a period of time out of the working world can seem daunting, but don’t think that staying at home to be with your kids will automatically hurt your job chances.
Staying at home to parent full-time can be a very rewarding experience. It not only allows you to connect with your children more, but it also gives you a very diverse skill set. You know how to deal with small kids and you know how to interact with parents from every background.
You know how to get someone to do work effectively (remember doing those most-hated chores as a kid?) and you know how to provide feedback to workers (remember those good parental praises?).
You’ve got what it takes to land the job– you just have to think about what the experience of parenting means in terms of the industry you are applying in.
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