The Homemaker’s Resume

In this economy a lot of people are returning to the workforce after having stayed at home for several years. Maybe you stayed home to care for children or elderly parents, or simply because you had enough income or savings to do so. Unfortunately, the longer you are out of the workforce, the more difficult it is to get back in. There is a prejudice against those who have chosen to stay home for a while. Employers think that your skills have deteriorated or been lost. They think that you have done nothing useful in those years you stayed home. It’s not an easy perception to change, but you can go a long way toward overcoming it if you present your at-home years in the best light on you

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5 Responses to The Homemaker’s Resume

  1. Rose says:

    Great article, Jennifer. I’m a librarian, and one of the classes we offer at the library is on resume writing. I’ve encouraged a number of people to use a skills-based resume if their work history is erratic or spotty.

    One of the advantages is that it puts their skills above their history, so the employer is looking at a nice, targeted list of what this person can do, before they see a work history with holes, or one that shows a lot of jumping around from one job to the next.

    The Wall Street Journal has an article about the advantages of the skills-based resume for people returning to the job market here. It also shows an example of a skills resume versus a traditional chronological one.

  2. Stephan says:

    thanks for this post as i had never thought about arranging my resume by skills. i have always done the format based on jobs held, and with the economy the way it is i have a few sizable gaps on it now (6 months or so). definitely a good tip so thanks again!

  3. Monkey Mama says:

    Another important thing to consider is doing volunteer work. My spouse volunteers at the kids’ schools, and for 2 other organizations. If nothing else, he has references (which is probably more important than some of his skills), but he is going to step up and volunteer more full-time the next year so he has more on his resume (planning to return to the workforce in 1-2 years). I think of mom friends who just focus on their kids, and those who are very involved in various activites (mom clubs, PTA, etc.). It seems it would be easier to transition back into the workforce with those kind of activities on your resume (& the social connections you make).

  4. Doris Appelbaum says:

    I am a former stay-at-home mom who has successfully launched and grown a resume writing and career consulting business. Yes, the resume should be skills, achievements, results, and awards-based. Yes, you should stay active in the volunteer community. Hold an office, if possible. Take more classes; learn new skills. Network everywhere – school, religious institution, Little League, elections, grocery store, etc. Write it all down so you don’t forget.

  5. Chris says:

    Thanks for the advice. I think I will revise my resume to reflect my job and “non job” experiences. This will help fill in a gap that has occurred over the last year.

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