Stay-at-home moms put in serious work, and it’s time to recognize that
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom by choice or by necessity (thanks, America’s exorbitant childcare costs), when the day you decide to rejoin the workforce comes, it can be incredibly daunting. Whether you’ve been out of work for a couple of months, a couple of years, or a couple of decades, that gap will be one of the first things a potential employer sees when they look at your resume. So how do you handle that? According to Novoresume’s Career Blog, you should lean in to your stay-at-home mom status, and make all that invisible labor you’ve been doing around the house very visible.
“The trick here is to focus on any skills learnt during your time as a stay-at-home mom, especially skills relevant to the job you’re applying for,” Novoresume explains. Are you the treasurer of the PTA at your kid’s school? Great, you’ve got basic bookkeeping skills! Did you book the venue for your Girl Scout Troop’s daddy/daughter dance? You’re basically an event planner, then. Have you been blogging about #momlife for years? You definitely have excellent written communications skills.
You might feel like you’re pulling a fast one, but the truth is that all these experiences can totally be relevant to your job search, and you should play them up. And as the site says, “it’s always better to explain your employment gaps, rather than attempt to conceal them.”
The blog also outlines the “soft skills” hiring managers look for, which you can tout on your resume.
- Personable and friendly
- Endurance (long hours)
- Conflict resolution
- Time management
- Team player
Is that not a perfect description of a day in the life of a stay-at-home mom? If your kids wake up at the butt crack of dawn every day like mine, you can certainly lay claim to endurance. Have you managed not to snap after being forced to watch the same episode of Paw Patrol seven times in a row? You are definitely personable and friendly.
The one thing you can go ahead and skip on your resume, however, is outlining any specific kid-related duties — unless you happen to be applying for a job that directly involves working with small kids. “You can’t exactly write ‘able to put three kids to bed every night’ on your resume,” the site reminds moms — but honestly, why not? It’s way harder than any of the jobs I’ve been paid to do in my lifetime.
Re-entering the workforce after time away to focus on parenting is daunting, no doubt. But the very first step should be giving yourself the credit you deserve for everything you’ve accomplished at home — because that just might be what gives you the best shot at landing your next (paying) job.