Prove you’ve kept your skills relevant during time off by showcasing your unpaid experience.
You took time off to raise a family and now it’s time to return to the workforce. Whether your time off was voluntary or beyond your control, the job search can be daunting when your resume contains employment gaps.
Many stay-at-home parents fail to recognize the valuable experience they’ve gained while managing the household and raising children. Consider how many of the following core competencies can be attributed to you as you prepare to update your resume and return to the workforce.
Budgeting & Expense Control
Did you find ways to reduce your family’s monthly expenses in order to save for the annual family vacation? Or did you research various vendors until you found the right ones that would keep your home improvement project on budget? Did you volunteer to be treasurer for any of the organizations with which you were involved?
Logistics & Project Management
Consider all the field trips, family vacations, and bake sales you’ve orchestrated over the years. In addition, think back to any major home renovation projects you’ve overseen, such as the deck you had built in the backyard and the facelift you gave the kitchen. These are all great examples of your project management skills.
While you’ve certainly exercised your negotiation skills with your kids, chances are good you’ve also used these skills in a quantifiable way that is brag-worthy for your resume. For instance, have you negotiated with contractors during home repairs or convinced local organizations to increase their donation every year for the school’s fundraising event?
Team Leadership & Motivation
Did you coach your son’s baseball team or become the leader of your daughter’s Girl Scout troop? Have you ever headed a committee at the school or managed a team of volunteers for a walkathon? These are all great examples of team management and leadership.
Before you write your resume, gather the facts. Go back through your records and collect all the details about your activities, such as dates, budget sizes, number of volunteers or members, and so forth. The more you can quantify these achievements in the bullets of your resume, the better.
Remember, your household responsibilities offer plenty of opportunities to leverage existing or build new skills that are attractive to employers. While they may not all tie directly back to your former career, they could be the perfect foundation for a new career direction.
You don’t have to receive a paycheck to list the experience on your resume. Click on the following link for more ways to handle an employment gap.
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Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.