Getting back into the work force after taking time away to care for your family can leave you feeling lost: What skills can I list? How do I deal with this gap on my resume? Should I list work experience that is years old?
Stay-at-home mom Renee asked us on Facebook:
“I am a stay at home mom that is returning to the workforce. Any suggestions to help my resume look better? I have been volunteering for our town and the elementary school. I have that under community service. Should it be placed under the employment section of my resume?”
You’re off to a great start! Volunteering keeps your experience relevant, shows you are proactive, and gives you a lot of contacts that can provide references and networking opportunities. It’s great that you already have volunteer experience. On your resume I’d call it “Relevant experience” instead of “Employment”, then list your volunteer positions and the responsibilities you have.
If you’re adding work history on an application and it requests employment experience, go ahead and list the volunteer work as employment and explain when you speak to the hiring manager that you were volunteering while out of the workforce to maintain your skills and serve the community.
More tips for stay at home moms returning to work:
Leverage the experience you gained while caring for your family.
You’ve probably been hard at work balancing budgets, managing multiple tasks and deadlines, mediating disputes and doing a whole host of other things that have taught you valuable skills that can benefit employers. Mastering the skills you need to run a family can make you a shoe-in for office administration, customer service and many other positions.
Use your network.
The same people you’ve been working with through volunteering, chatting with at play dates and calling for parenting advice are critical to your job search. Let them know that your searching for work. You may be surprised by the kind of job opportunities that turn up when your network is helping you search.
If you want to return to a career field that has advanced quickly while you were away, brush up on your skills and show employers you’re seriously committed to your career by investing in some professional certifications.
Searching for jobs is tough enough on it’s own, but balancing a family and finding a job can be incredibly stressful. Pace yourself to avoid making job search mistakes and suffering from burnout.
If you have a question, ask Snagajob! We’re here to help.