Stay-At-Home Moms (SAHMs) need to think about their resume differently.
You have a large work gap that while you can proudly explain is still a work gap. This is a challenge for many SAHMs who either want or need to go back to work. Since being a SAHM is not a paying job it is not looked at the same way by many people (not all but many).
That is why when it comes to looking for a new job that you should write your resume to show off the work skills you had before you became a SAHM and those that you have gained when you became a mother. As a mom, you have had to learn a lot of new skills.
I mean in all the types of jobs I have ever done, being a mom is hard neverending work. Even if you love every moment of it, it takes a lot of energy and focuses to be a mom. I mean think about that first year of raising your child. You had no idea what you were doing, but you figured out. And those are skills you can bring with you when looking for a new job.
What kind of challenges do Stay-At-Home Moms face when looking for a job?
If you want to return to the workforce, then know right off the bat that it has the potential to be very difficult. Parents who chose to stay home with their kids were penalized for their decision.
Studies found that stay at home mom’s had a 4.9% of getting called back compared to unemployed moms (9.7%) and moms that currently had jobs (15.3%). That is a decent difference in percentage. There is a perception that women who chose to be stay-at-home moms are less reliable and less committed to work.
A lot of businesses want their employees to dedicate themselves to their work. This means putting their work first and everything in their lives is to come after. It is not my favorite philosophy, but one we all, unfortunately, have to live with at the moment. At least until people are willing to change that perception.
With those obstacles in mind, it doesn’t mean SAHM’s are out of the race yet. There are some simple things you can do to help make your resume stand out in the best light. It is no guarantee, BUT having your resume show the strengths you have developed when working the hardest job ever (because staying home with kids is hard) is how you can get noticed by potential employers.
5 Resume Tips for the Stay-At-Home Mom
Tip #1: Choose the correct resume format.
The three main types of resume formats are chronological, functional, and combination. Chronological is the most common and is used to focus on a person’s work experience. Functional is for those who want their skills to be the main focus. The combination format is as the name suggests. It combines the format of the focus on skills and work history.
The best option, especially for those with a larger work gap experience, is to use the functional format. But the combination format is still a great option and should not be discounted. Click this link to take a look at the differences of each format and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Tip #2: Make a list of all your skills, knowledge, and abilities.
Do this before you start writing your resume. This will help you visualize what you can offer to the position you are applying for. Write down every skill you have, even if initially it sounds ridiculous. It could be something as simple as having patience in volatile situations.
You know those situations I am talking about. It is the ones where your toddler decides to have a loud tantrum in the middle of the store and there is no husband to help you out. Oh, and you have a baby with you too.
Another type of experience to consider is managing schedules. You do this every day with your kids as you figure out activities to help keep them entertained and planning healthy meals.
Use this simple list of skills to help you brainstorm some ideas for your resume:
- Managing schedules (multiple schedules if you have more than one kid)
- Researching various activities
- Creating your own activities
- Budgeting your household income
- Able to handle multiple tasks at once
Once you have your list set aside it will make writing your resume so much easier. Because from that point you can look at the keywords in the job application and compare them to your list.
Make sure as you write your resume that you include keywords from the job application. This is a simple way for hiring managers to identify resumes that they will want to look at more from those that go into the trash. Remember that there are a lot of people applying for the job you are applying for and hiring managers are wanting to make the most of their time. To do that they will only look at your resume for 10 seconds or less (that is not a lot of time), so make sure you stand out any way possible.
Tip #3: Identify any volunteer work you have done.
This is important and could be an easy way for you to reduce your work experience gap. Is there a place that you take the kids to do charity work monthly or weekly, like going to a shelter to walk dogs.
Another potential option is to think of any work you might have done for your family or friends to help them out but you did not get paid. This could be like helping with office paperwork, maybe reviewing proposals or bookkeeping. Any type of work that you have done, even if you didn’t get paid, is an experience you can bring to the jobs you are applying for.
Don’t know if you have done anything that can be added to your resume? Check out this list below for ideas that you can add:
- Helped at your child’s school (like a bake sale or field trip)
- Assisted in your child’s extracurricular programs (like Girl Scout or soccer)
- Family business
- Volunteer work
Tip #4: List any classes that you have taken.
I am not talking about classes that you took while you were in college, but maybe you decided to take one of the free classes on Hubspot or a paid class where you develop your Microsoft Office skills. These are great things to add to your resume that will help you stand out.
Tip #5: Create a LinkedIn Resume.
This is another way to showcase you’re serious about re-entering the workforce. LinkedIn is a very well known online resource for many companies to view potential employees. By not having a completed LinkedIn, you are setting yourself to be dismissed. LinkedIn provides you the opportunity to showcase your skills and knowledge to be viewed in another format.
Plus you never know if someone will request a resume from you. There are companies that look for potential employees by viewing profiles on LinkedIn.
Tip #6: Adjust your resume for every job application.
This is probably one of the most important things you can do when applying for jobs and this tip goes to every person who is applying. It doesn’t matter if you are re-entering the workforce or you have been working for the past 10 years.
Each job listing will have different keywords that you can use to adjust your resume. Hiring managers are most likely looking at hundreds of resumes a day, so they don’t have the time to do an intense in-depth look. So having an easy to read a resume with job listing keywords is a simple and effective way for you to stand out.
The job description and qualifications are the best places to find the keywords you need. Create a resume template that you can make a copy of and then adjust by adding those keywords into it.
Also, be prepared to adjust what skills or experience you want to showcase before submitting the application. Skills you would list for an administration job are different compared to those for a marketing position.
Don’t let fear stop you from re-entering the workforce.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to convince everyone, even with a strong resume that shows your capabilities. People will make up their mind about you as soon as they know you are a SAHM. And that’s okay. You don’t want to work for them anyway.
It is better for you and your family that you find a job with a company that appreciates the time you took to raise your child(ren) and be a part of their lives.
Whether this is something you want or have to do, don’t let fear ruin this experience. Applying for jobs can be both stressful and exhausting, but eventually, you will get a job. I hope it is a job that you want so badly or one that you get and didn’t know you would love. Be open and embrace new experiences.
Did these tips help you write your resume? Tell me about it in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this article, then check out these related posts:
- A Beginner’s Guide for Working Moms
- 9 Details That Make or Break Your Cover Letter
- 5 Sections You Need to Have on Your Resume
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Hi, I'm CaitieJ!
Welcome to Blogging Through Life. I am a lifestyle mom blogger who writes to help the busy modern mom. Being a mom is no easy task, so let me help whether it is in motherhood or building your career!
A little about me: I am married to the love of my life and together we have two amazing little boys. I love to travel, anything Disney, enjoy a rainy day and drink a soothing cup of tea. Click my picture if you want to read more about who I am and what my blog is about.