Resume of a Stay-at-Home Mom
Let’s face it: Having a baby change everything. It shifts your priorities. And it also upends your way of life. It changes your perspective. Suddenly, a night of peek-a-boo is top-tier entertainment, and cold mac and cheese eaten right out of the pot is fine dining.
Yes, being a Mom is perhaps the greatest and most transformative adventure life has to offer, and you wouldn’t trade those precious years spent at home with your new baby for the world. But now your little one is getting older. They’re going off to school. They’re gaining their independence and don’t need you quite as much as before.
Though this may sting a little, it can also excite you, because now you’re ready to rejoin the workforce, to return to the career you once loved, or perhaps even to launch your professional life anew. Nevertheless, the question remains: when you’re a stay-at-home mom preparing to return to work, how can you explain those career gaps in your resume?
Resume of a Stay-at-Home Mom
Say It Loud, Say It Proud
When you’re getting yourself ready physically, mentally, and emotionally to reenter the traditional workforce after time spent as a stay-at-home mom, one of the first and most important things you must do is embrace the proper mindset.
All too often, our culture stigmatizes mothers who make the difficult decision to leave their jobs to care for their children. Worse, we often stigmatize ourselves. Not only is that grossly unjust, but it’s also unproductive.
Instead, if you adopt the mindset that those years spent as a stay-at-home mom were not something to be ashamed of or explained away, at least in regard to your professional life, then recruiters will pick up on that and believe you. After all, no one knows you better than you know yourself.
That’s why, rather than downplaying or explaining away those years, you should underscore them both on your resume and in your job interviews. Indeed, it can be both empowering and highly beneficial to list “At Home Mom” In your resume and then detail the relevant skills you routinely employed in this role, from multitasking to time management to crisis prevention to critical thinking.
This can instigate an important discussion between you and your recruiter which will enable them to see your stay-at-home mom experience as a true asset, as a reason to hire you because of this experience — not in spite of it.
Prepping for Interviews
When you’re getting ready to dive back into the workforce, chances are you’ll use a lot of different approaches to connect with potential employers, such as job fairs, employment agencies, and job ads.
This means that you may be connecting with recruiters cold, presenting them your resume for the first time during your face-to-face encounter, or you may be interviewing with them after an initial screening of your resume. No matter which it is, though, the way you present yourself to your recruiter will play a significant role in how they contextualize and interpret your stay-at-home years.
That’s why it’s imperative to go into your interview looking polished and professional. You may have been out of the traditional workforce for a while, but, as an at-home mom knows, that in no way means you haven’t been working. So, ensure that when you meet your recruiter, your appearance telegraphs the truth that you have in no way lost your professional mojo.
You’ll also want to be highly prepared for your meeting, so have a set of talking points ready to help guide the interview in the right direction. Use the time to illuminate, for instance, how managing life as an at-home mom helped you to hone essential leadership skills that you can deploy for the benefit of the company, skills such as effective communication and creative problem-solving.
Above all, though, don’t just tell your interviewer that you’ve learned leadership from being a mom — instead, show them. Model great speaking skills as well as the aptitude for active listening. Let them see how managing your home with care, compassion, and competence will translate just as successfully into managing a career and bringing value to a company.
There’s no greater job title than that of “mom”. But when it’s time to reenter the workforce, it’s important to know how to market the skills you developed during this period to prospective employers. Indeed, being a stay-at-home mom can be a tremendous asset both while on the hunt for a new job and after you’ve landed your dream role. The key is to help recruiters see how your at-home mom experience can be put to use for their company.