According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mothers with older children are more likely to participate in the labor force than mothers with younger children. If you are returning to the workforce now that your children are older here's how to handle the gap in employment and things to include in a "moms resume".
Stay Connected With People In Your Network
If you want to return to work at some point it'd be wise to keep in touch with your former boss and co-workers.
Periodically invite them to lunch. In addition to sharing what you and your children have been up to, ask about the company, changes in the industry, new projects, former clients, etc. Think of it as networking. Because you've stayed connected, these individuals will be better resources and references when you are ready to return to work.
Use journals, books, articles, and popular websites in your field to keep up with your particular industry. In today's fast-moving world, industries and businesses change at lightening speed. Staying up-to-date will make your re-entry into the workforce much easier.
Keep a detailed list of the projects and organizations you are involved with while not working such as PTA, school fundraisers, charitable organizations or booster organizations. Make a special note if you were in a leadership role or were in charge of a large event or project. When you are ready to begin searching for a job, you'll find this list helpful when updating your resume.
Consider performing contract or freelance work. In today's economy, many companies are open to the idea of contract workers, especially for big projects or to help launch new initiatives. It's a way for you to keep one foot in the door and a way for your former employer to tap into your experience and expertise.
Know Your Audience When Crafting Your Resume
When you are ready to return to work and begin submitting your resume for consideration, you really don't know who might screen or evaluate it. Companies and recruiters scan resumes differently.
Even though you don't want to hide the period of time you were out of the workforce, you don't want to highlight it either. Err on the side of professionalism when addressing your mom duties by avoiding cute descriptions of your work as a mom such as "domestic goddess" or "Smith Family CEO."
Instead, organize your resume by focusing on work experience and related skills instead of including a chronological listing of your work history. This way you can highlight activities and skills from your time away from work including volunteer work, fundraising efforts, continuing education, and contract or freelance work. While these skills are pertinent and certainly transferable to the workplace, remember that you are applying for a job. The majority of your resume should focus on specific work experience, achievements, and successes.
Submit a High-Quality Cover Letter
As a mom looking to return to work, your cover letter is critical. The cover letter is designed to grab the reader's attention and entice them to read your resume.
Keep in mind that the cover letter is not about what you are looking for in a position but rather why a potential employer should stop and look at you.
To ensure your letter is of high quality give specific reasons for why you're interested in this position and this company. Describe which of your qualifications meet the specific requirements of the position and then provide details on specific work achievements and successes.
Bridge the Gap in Person Not on Paper
During phone interviews and face-to-face interviews, acknowledge your gap in employment in a matter of fact way.
You could say something like, "You may have noticed a gap on my resume. After the birth of my second child, I made the decision to stay home with my children. I'm the type of person who puts 150 percent into everything I do.
At that point, I felt that those efforts were best focused on my family. Now that my children are older, I'm at a point where I'm once again able to commit 150 percent to an employer. I'd like to discuss some of my past successes and achievements, both from my previous work history and my time out of the workforce."
Be confident when making these statements and the interviewer will have confidence in you as well. After all, what's really important to the interviewer is whether you are the right person for the position and are willing to put the appropriate time and effort into making it a success.
Follow these tips and suggestions and before you know it, you'll have succeeded in putting "working" and "mom" back together in a standout mom's resume.