How to explain the ‘mummy years’ in your resume
You’ll be ready to return to work confidently with a resume revamp
Being a stay at home mum can be the best, yet most challenging job a woman ever has. You’ve often built up a career, or have worked in a few jobs, before leaving the workforce to concentrate on raising your children.
How long you stay at home with your kids is totally up to you, and we are all different. Some women need to go back to work earlier (financially and mentally), whereas others can stay home longer. And when you’ve got more than one child, the length of time you’re out of the workforce will increase.
One of the most challenging parts many women face is how to explain their ‘mummy years’ on their resume, without it looking like you disappeared into a black hole for years.
Try these top 5 tips to revamp your resume
- Don’t hide your employment gap
You don’t need to go into too much detail and list all your mummy chores, but state upfront that you’re looking to return to work after taking some time out of your career to raise your children. Including your maternity leave timeframe on your resume won’t impact negatively on your job prospects. A great employer won’t hold this against you.
- Display your part-time or volunteer roles
If you’ve been part of the Kinder or School Parent-Teacher Associations or volunteered as a mummy helper, you should list this. The same goes with any paid part-time or casual jobs you may have taken on during this time.
- Don’t list your domestic or child raising duties
Many employers will be juggling their domestic/child raising duties with work so won’t think you’re amazing that you do three loads of washing a day while entertaining a toddler. And honestly, we all know that being a parent is a tough gig with no ‘off the clock’ time, so saying you’ve been a stay at home mum is enough.
- Boast about the transferrable skills you learnt
If you ran a kinder/school committee or sat on the Board, you can put that down as fine tuning your strategic planning and management skills. If you have a special needs child, you enhanced your research and negotiation skills. If you renovated your house, you gained project management skills. If you helped plan the school fair, you brushed up on your event planning, communications and fundraising skills.
- Make your life experience work for you
Employers value skills such as communication, motivation, problem-solving and decision making. As a mum, you would have developed these skills in your everyday interactions with your kids, teachers, doctors, and other parents. You’ll also still have technical skills from your previous work life. These combined skills can often outplay younger candidates who may have up-to-date technical skills, but no life experience.
Shake off your ‘mum guilt’
One of the other major things that hold mums back from re-entering the workforce is the dreaded ‘mum guilt’. It’s that niggling feeling that creeps into your belly, and you start thinking, ‘but what if I miss this, what if they need me and I’m not there, what if they hurt themselves and I’m not there to protect them?’.
You will learn how to shake this off, day by day. Most mums experience this, but once they’re back in the workplace, they say that it’s the best thing they’ve done for their family, financially and emotionally.
And you’ll have those days where your kids scream when you leave them at childcare, but when you follow up with a phone call later that day, you’ll learn they were crocodile tears, and they ran off and played as soon as you left!
Need a hand revamping your resume or brushing up your interviewing skills?
Your resume and cover letter will get you considered for a job, but it will come down to how you present yourself at the interview that will win you the job. It’s super important (no matter how silly it seems) to ‘rehearse’ for your job interview. It’s a great way to calm your nerves, build your confidence and hear how you promote yourself – are you doing it right, would you hire you?
With my years of experience working in HR and as a Recruitment Manager, I also offer interview coaching to run you through all those tricky questions. I am also a Mum, so i get it 😉
To have a chat about your options, please get in touch, and we’ll tailor a package suited to your situation.