Resume writing for the stay at home parent

Maybe your children are now in school and you’d like to go back to work. Or maybe finances are tight and you want to contribute. Or maybe you just really need adult interaction.

Whatever the reason, many stay at home parents do eventually decide to return to work. They face tremendous disadvantages, however. They may not have held a job ever previously. Their skills in the field they worked in before staying at home may be out of date. Whatever the situation, writing a resume after staying home with the kids can present a special challenge.

As with any resume, first take a look at your work and educational history. If you have spent several years at home, you will probably want to do a functional resume, that is, one which emphasizes your skills rather than a timeline, as the traditional chronological resume does. However, be upfront and honest when asked about the fact that you spent time at home with your kids. You do not want to be afraid to admit to it.

If you have professional skills, make sure you are up to date on them. This may mean taking a class in whatever your area of expertise is. Show potential employers that you take your skills seriously and are keeping yourself current. If you’re behind on the technology or techniques, you will not find many employers willing to hire you.

You can put “Homemaker” on your resume and list the skills you used as a homemaker if you like. These include handling bills, scheduling, cooking, cleaning and so forth. Find a way to express these in ways that are relevant to the job you want, and be ready to explain as necessary in the interview. You might feel funny about doing this, but what employer is going to challenge you when you assert that this was a real job? Certainly not one you would want to work for!

Be ready to deal with questions as to how you will handle childcare issues when you get to the interview. Know what you will do when your child needs to stay home because they are sick, have a doctor’s appointment and so forth. You may not be asked about this during an interview, but it is simply practical to be prepared for situations that always come up.

For writing your resume, remember to use active words, such as managed, scheduled, designed and so forth. These sound far more interesting on your resume than more passive words.

If this is your first job, do not be afraid to list your education, emphasizing those skills which are relevant to the jobs you are applying for. If your GPA was high, it is good to list it; otherwise do not bother. You do not need to include your date of graduation, especially from high school.

It is a big decision to transition from a stay at home parent to a working parent, but there are many good reasons to do so. Be honest, relate your at home skills to the job you want and emphasize your skills.

 

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Copyright © 2003-2017 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated

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