You took time off from your career to do the noble deed of raising your children. But now that the children are bigger, you’re starting to itch to rejoin the workforce. The thing is, the work experience section on your resume has a hole in it bigger than the Grand Canyon. While you should never fudge dates on your resume—or worse, make up fake positions—you’ll need to do something to make the holes in your resume less visible. Here are three ways that moms returning to work can fill in resume gaps—and get a job.
Include Volunteer Work
Think that being part of the PTO can’t help you on your resume? Think again. Chances are, you’ve flexed quite a few workplace skills during your time as a stay-at-home mom. Maybe you used your extraordinary fundraising skills to help your child’s school construct a new basketball court. Or perhaps you penned each and every one of the school newsletters. Think back on all the times you’ve volunteered for charitable organizations or pitched in at your kids’ schools, and include those experiences on your resume.
Showcase Your Skills
It’s a sad but true fact. Most potential employers may think that your skills are a little, well, rusty since you’ve stayed home to raise your children. Prove them wrong by polishing up your workplace skills. Take an online class to boost your knowledge in your area of interest, or find a remote part-time job to get your feet wet. Showing initiative counts for a lot and will also show your determination and work ethic.
Revamp Your Resume
The problem with most resumes is that they list everything (from schooling to work history) in chronological order, making any gap in any category glaringly visible almost immediately. That’s why it’s crucial to redesign your resume to a more date-friendly functional format. In this design, your resume will only spotlight your accomplishments, skills, and accolades—and not when they happened.
Many moms might be reticent to return to the workforce for fear that they—and their resumes—will be rejected. But by taking the spotlight off of dates and shining it on what’s most important (you!), you’ll have a job in no time!