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How Stay-at-Home Moms Can Create Perfect Resumes
How Stay-at-Home Moms Can Create Perfect Resumes

By: Amanda Winstead

It’s estimated that stay at home moms can work upwards of 98 hours a week. If they were paid for their services and everything they do, their salary would ring in somewhere over $178,000 each year. 

Most SAHMs, however, get paid in whatever scraps of chicken nuggets and Goldfish crackers their child didn’t finish for lunch. 

Mothers who choose to stay at home to raise their children have seen fluctuations of support over the years. Ultimately, it’s a personal decision, and if you’ve been able to stay at home with your kids, you probably wouldn’t trade a single second of it. 

But, whether your children are older now, or you’re just ready to head back to the workforce, you might be wondering how to jump back in. It starts with having a great resume that will attract the attention of a potential employer. But, if you’ve been staying at home for years, how can you make your resume stand out? 

Be Open and Honest

According to data from 2019, over 11 million people are stay-at-home parents, and the majority are women. If you’re crafting a resume to go back to work, don’t be ashamed of your history as a SAHM. Don’t try to hide it or make it sound like something it wasn’t. Rather, use it as your platform. 

The average employer only looks at a resume for a few seconds before deciding whether to move on to the next one. If you have a compelling cover letter explaining your situation and why you should be hired, that could be enough to capture their attention. Things to include on your resume/cover letter include: 

  • Why you took a career pause
  • How you spent that time
  • What skills you gained as a SAHM
  • How those skills can transfer to the job you’re looking for

Keep in mind that writing a resume isn’t designed to get you a job – it’s meant to land you an interview. It’s during the interview process that you can fully explain what you’ve been doing and how the skills you’ve gained can give you an advantage in the position you’re applying to. You can even briefly touch on any struggles or guilt you might have over the idea of going back to work if it helps to explain a long gap. 

When it comes to your resume and cover letter, keep things sharp and professional. Personalize the letter for each company you’re applying to and express why you’re interested. The skills you learned as a parent can include anything from stronger communication to being highly organized. With a little creativity and truly thinking about your transferable skills, you can make yourself more appealing with a few simple words. 

Craft Your Resume Rightly

Once you recognize how the skills you’ve gained can be transferable to the job you want, it’s important to know how to convey that on a resume. It’s not enough to use a standard template that lists your education, work history, and a few simple skills. If you truly want to stand out, there are a few things you can (and should) do. 

First, know the three types of skills employers are looking for: hard skills, soft skills, and transferable skills. 

As a SAHM, you might struggle the most with hard skills. These are technical skills that often require specific training, like computer coding. If you have previous experience from past jobs or your education, be sure to put those down. 

While hard skills are important, many employers are putting more focus on soft skills nowadays to establish better workplace environments. Some examples of soft skills include: 

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Organization
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork

As a parent, those should all sound familiar. You shouldn’t have a problem listing your soft skills or transferrable skills, since most of the things you’ve done as a mother (including staying organized and multitasking) can transfer over into the working world in some way. 

So, while you shouldn’t ignore hard skills, even if you developed them years ago, make sure a potential employer knows how strong your soft skills are and how they can prove you’re the perfect fit for a specific job. 

Go Back to School

If you have a specific career goal in mind, you may not be able to quickly put together a resume and expect to get hired right away. Certain career paths take time and extra effort. In some cases, that requires furthering your education. 

Thankfully, going to school and being a SAHM is easier than ever thanks to online course options. You can even take courses to get your MBA, which can open up job opportunities like:

  • Marketing manager
  • Health services manager
  • Project manager
  • Management consultant
  • Financial manager

Think about how your skills as a parent could also contribute to any one of those career paths. From having to know how to budget to looking after your children’s health, there might be a specific career opportunity that really speaks to you. Finding flexible courses to get a degree can turn that passion into a lucrative reality. 

No matter how long you’ve been out of the working world, it’s never too late to jump back in. Take the time to craft your perfect resume, don’t be ashamed of the time you’ve taken to raise your kids, and take pride in knowing you’ve gained skills as a stay-at-home mom that can make you stronger and more productive in almost any workplace.