How to Write a Resume as a Stay at Home Mom Returning to Work

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Staying at home to take care of your children is meaningful work that develops new skills and provides you with challenging experiences. However, it can be difficult to translate this onto a resume that will distinguish you as an ideal candidate once you decide to rejoin the workforce. This article explains why creating a stay-at-home mom resume is beneficial, lists steps for updating your resume when returning to work and provides a template and example that will help you craft your own resume.

Why is a stay-at-home mom resume useful?

After spending time out of work to care for your children, it can be difficult to leverage this as an applicable experience once you decide to return to work. Additionally, an employment gap can give employers the wrong impression and discredit your employability. A resume for a stay-at-home mom can help to reintroduce you into the job market and show a hiring manager that you have maintained your skills and experience as well as developed new ones while you were parenting.

How to create a stay at home mom resume

Here are some things to consider as you revise your resume as a stay at home mom:

1. First, consider adopting an alternative resume format

A majority of resumes are written in reverse chronological order, meaning that the most recent experience is listed towards the top of the page. Though that works well for those on a traditional career path where each position usually brings an increase in pay and responsibility, it is less effective for a stay at home mom because it can accentuate the employment gap. Fortunately, there are other options, such as a combination or functional resume, that emphasize your skills rather than your professional experience.

2. Second, craft a resume summary or objective

You can draw attention to your qualifications for the position you are applying for by including additional resume sections, such as a summary statement or an objective. These additions will consolidate your skills, experience and intent, giving hiring managers a clear picture of how you could be an asset to their team.

3. Third, incorporate volunteer roles

Serving as a stay-at-home parent usually allows for opportunities to work in a volunteer capacity with your child’s school or extracurricular activities. Though the work is unpaid, it can still be a wonderful way to showcase your skills and demonstrate that you still had applicable responsibilities during your employment gap. When describing your volunteer work, use action words and direct language, just as you would with past professional experiences. Make sure to highlight any accomplishments in these areas as well.

4. Fourth, mention any freelance work

Even though staying at home with the kids meant a break in full-time, salaried work, you may still have worked as a freelancer, temporary hire or contracted employee. It is beneficial to include any of this information on your resume. It will communicate that your skills are still intact and can fill the gap in your employment history.

5. Next, utilize your references

Providing references can be a great way to assure employers of your abilities despite being away from work for an extended amount of time. Make sure that the contact information is accurate and that the reference is willing to affirm your skills or experience.

6. Then, decide whether you should include your stay at home experience

There are many arguments both for and against including your experience as a stay-at-home mom on your resume. It can be beneficial if you are looking for a role that would benefit from this experience, such as teaching, but could be inapplicable in other industries. Ultimately, only you can decide whether you would like to include this experience on your resume.

7. Lastly, keep your stay at home experience relevant and professional

In many cases, a cover letter is a more appropriate place to explain your employment gap as a stay-at-home mom. However, if you do decide to include this information on your resume, focus on the details that are relevant to the position you are applying for.

Here are some guidelines to help keep your descriptions professional:

  • Avoid giving the position a funny title
  • Only include transferrable skills and responsibilities
  • Avoid providing an exhaustive list of unrelated chores

Stay at home mom resume template

Here is a template to follow as you craft your own resume:

[First and last name]

[Address]

[Phone number]

[Email]

[Link to website or online portfolio]

Objective: [Strong, descriptive adjectives] [position] with [years of experience]. [Relevant accomplishments (optional)]. Seeks to use [relevant skills] as a [position] at [organization].

Education:

[Name of school], [Dates attended]

[Degree]

Professional Experience:

[Name of organization]

[Job title]

[Dates]

  • [Bulleted list of achievements and responsibilities]

Volunteer Experience:

[Name of organization]

[Position], [Dates]

  • [Bulleted list of achievements and responsibilities]

Skills:

  • [List of hard and soft skills that are relevant to the position being applied for]

Stay at home mom resume example

Here is an effective example of a resume for a stay at home mom who is rejoining the workforce:

Sarah Holliday

1234 Marigold Avenue, Seattle WA 98101

(555) 555-5555

Sarah.Holliday@email.com

SarahHolliday.com

Objective

Detail-oriented and tenacious writer with a Master of Arts degree in English and 7+ years of experience seeking to utilize language and communication skills as an editor for Creative Solutions.

Education

M.A. in English from the University of Portland, August 2011 – May 2013

B.A. English from the University of Portland, August 2006 – May 2010

Professional Experience

ACME Enterprises

Lead Content Writer

August 2016 – January 2018

  • Led a team of six writers who were responsible for developing the company’s web page content including home pages, customer-facing advertising and blog pages
  • Performed quarterly performance management evaluations of three writers, sharing the responsibility of performance evaluation with the senior editor and the publisher

Quorum Publishing

Editor

May 2013 – July 2016

  • Edited manuscripts for science white papers in the areas of chemistry, pharmacology, genetics and medicine
  • Led the content editor team, supervising two other content editors and their work, which involved handling the last round of edits and providing feedback
  • Reported on their work in quarterly performance management evaluations to the senior editor
  • Evaluated manuscript submissions and worked with writers to help them improve their ideas and thesis
  • Took the lead in developing style standards for the content management team based on AP Style

Tomorrow Publications

Copy Editor

January 2011 – April 2013

  • Reviewed and corrected manuscripts to improve accuracy and readability using AP Style for manuscripts
  • Corrected manuscripts for errors, omissions, inconsistencies and repetition of text and words
  • Checked manuscripts for caption errors and graphics for consistency with the narrative and text of the manuscripts
  • Work with UX web team to create web page content in support of marketing materials

Idlewise Press

Proofreader

June 2010 – March 2011

  • Proofread and fact-checked manuscripts about open source technology and emerging technologies in artificial intelligence
  • Reported errors to the lead editor
  • Collaborated with editing team to ensure accurate and consistent quality of work involving graphic design and text

Volunteer Experience

Hillsdale Preschool Board

Volunteer Secretary

August 2019 – Present

  • Record meeting notes and read the current report at the beginning of each board meeting
  • Keep track of votes on board issues and report these at board meetings as part of meeting notes
  • Serve as a liaison between board members to update information or correct errors in meeting notes
  • Report amended information or correction of errors during board meetings
  • Maintain diaries and logs of meetings
  • Manage meeting schedules and appointments, specifically for the board president and vice president

Hillsdale Preschool

Newsletter Writer

May 2019 – Present

  • Manage and write content for the Hillsdale preschool website and newsletter paper version using AP Style for all articles
  • Manage and maintain the newspaper advertising budget
  • Meet with local advertisers to secure funding for the preschool newsletter

Skills 

  • Leadership
  • Technical writing
  • Proofreading/editing
  • Communication
  • SEO
  • AP Style
  • Microsoft Office

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