What the Stay-at-Home Parent’s Comeback Resume Needs
Whether it’s been a couple of months or a couple of years since you left the workforce, making a return after being a stay-at-home parent comes with its challenges. How do you present your value and highlight professional skills for the job when the last experience to show is mostly time spent taking care of the household and the family? That’s the thinking for most stay-at-home parents looking to make a return to the workforce, but there are ways to help get you and the resume primed and ready for a return.
Don’t hide the truth
If your resume has an employment gap because of time taken away to care for the family, be upfront about it with employers. You can provide more background to the situation through your cover letter. Most employers will understand and not hold it against you if you are honest about the situation and can clearly highlight valued skills of importance and previous experience of relevance. For more insight, also read: “4 Reasons for Career Gaps and How to Handle Them on Your Resume.”
Freshen up your experience and skills
If it’s only been a few months that you took off to care for the family, having an employment gap on the resume is not of much significance and can be left as is. If your period as a stay-at-home parent is much more significant, it will benefit the resume to highlight relevant part-time or volunteer work during this period. It’ll help show employers you’ve continued to utilize your experiences and skills, or have even grown new skills to help on the job. If you don’t have part-time or volunteer work to show for during this period, even taking a refresher course to update on important technical skills needed for the job can serve useful on the resume. Unfortunately, listing Domestic Goddess to serve as professional experience will not give you much points with employers.
Make a smooth transition back to the workforce
Instead of jumping right into the hot seat of full-time worker, consider easing back into the workforce. You can start with some contract work that allows you to re-establish and build up your experience and skills before a full launch into the profession. This will also allow you to update the resume so that you can show some form of professional work following the time taken off. And in addition to a technical refresher course mentioned above, you can also take time for other coursework or training that will help show you’ve freshened up on knowledge and other skills for the job.
Keep the network alive and healthy
The easiest way to transition back to work is with the help of your network of professional contacts. Reconnect with former colleagues and let them know your plan to return to the workforce. They can help with keeping you informed on additional job leads and they may even serve as a referral, which gives you a much better shot with employers hiring.
While it can feel intimidating to compete with other professionals who’ve had a more stable career path, taking time off from work to become a stay-at-home parent is more common than you think. Being honest, properly positioning your experiences and skills on the resume, and taking time to re-connect with your professional network will help ease the process of your return to the workforce.