Get the Resume Ready to Return to Work After Being a Stay-at-Home Parent
Oftentimes, the stay-at-home parent who decides to return to work is in a conundrum over the job they want to pursue and how to display that they qualify for the job on the resume. They may have had experience in the past or have experience and skills they can transfer over to the new job, but there’s still hesitation and doubt. There’s worry over how the information may be perceived on the resume and there are concerns like: Is my experience enough? Do I come off outdated? How do I compete with those who have current experience to showcase?
Those are legitimate questions to have and consider as you’re updating/writing your resume. The fact is the last few months or years of your life as a stay-at-home parent may have solely been focused on caring for the family and household needs. Sure, you may have volunteered here and there but it does not equate to the level of the professional who’s out in the field full-time and now competing for the same job. It’s no doubt an uphill battle, but you can come out as the best candidate for the job if you properly position yourself on the resume and present yourself professionally.
Find out how to write the resume that exhibits confidence and that you have qualified experience:
Open with a relevant title
After you top your resume with your name and contact details, write a headline above the qualifications summary that presents you as the professional you define yourself to be. Are you a “Human Resource Generalist,” “Clinical Research Professional with Hematology Experience” or “Cisco IP Telephony Design Engineer.” Simply doing this you’ve helped re-position yourself from the stay-at-home parent to a professional candidate.
Back up your headline
The title you put above the qualifications summary helps capture the attention of employers, but now you need to back it up. Indicate career highlights to show that you’re relevant and qualified. Develop your key selling points to impress employers. Give employers a reason to want you for the job. For more tips to get started with updating/re-writing the resume, read: “Questions to Ask That’ll Help You Get Started on Resume Writing.”
Make old experience relevant
Even if you’ve stepped away from your career for a long time, there are ways to highlight your experience that’ll show employers you’re still relevant. It’s all about knowing how to position your information so that employers can relate to it. One technique is applying SAR statements, also known as Situation-Action-Results statements. With this technique, you highlight specific experience relevant to the employer and focus on detailing what action was taken and what results were gained. Let employers know you’ve been there and done that. Show them you’re capable of handling the challenges of the job. Read more at: “Ways to Tell Your Story & Impress When You’ve Been Out of Work.”
Other tips to the job search
Employers generally view job candidates who are employed more favorable than the job candidate who’s unemployed. As a result, a stay-at-home parent looking to return to work may not be the most impressive candidate out of the resume pile. To get around this hurdle, work with your professional network of contacts. Don’t reply to job postings from job boards without first checking in with your professional network for a potential referral. Build and reestablish your professional network. It will help you reenter the workforce with more ease and you will have a smoother transition with the support. Get more tips, reading: “Network Your Way into a Job When You’re Reentering the Workforce.”
Accompany the resume with a cover letter
Employment history is reviewed closely by employers. Given you’ve been a stay-at-home parent, you may have a significant gap on the resume. It’s important to include a cover letter with your resume so that there is more background information to your story. Employers understand that there’s different stages to life and having to take time to care for the family is one of them. Your cover letter will help clear up any negative thoughts there may be surrounding the reason for the career gap on your resume.
Reentering the workforce won’t be without challenge, but applying these resume and general job search tips will help you!