How and where do I best address in my resume that in my first and current job I worked full time for about 1.5 years, before I took a one year baby break. Then I worked for another year first for 20 hours a week, later 24 hours per week before I had my second child and another year baby break (Taking one year off for staying home with a baby is the norm in Germany). Now I have been back in my job for 9 months and increased my hours from 24 to 30 hours a week.

For the moment I am writing  something like this: 

01/2008 - now:  job title, responsibilities (here I am tacking on that I am currently working 30 hours p. week)

- accomplishment 1

- accomplishment 2


07/2009-08/2010: baby break

09/2011-10/2012: baby break


I want to apply for full-time work now. How can I improve this? Should I also mention the part-time work in my cover letter?




donm's picture
Training Badge

I don' t understand why you are wasting the page space for non-accomplishements, especially for things that are the norm in your environment. I would leave the dates blank, and either address them on the cover letter or wait until the interview. This would be similar to school teachers in the US stating they were unemployed every Summer.

Cover letter: With the exception of baby breaks, my work history is uninterrupted. (Assuming "baby break" is the common vernacular).

Interview, when asked: I was not unemployed at those times, I was on baby break.

egaskell's picture

Hi there,

I still don't know how to address the fact that I only worked part-time hours for some of that time

The reason why I am writing down the baby breaks, is because they occurred DURING my job 2008-now.

I don't want to get invited to an interview, where the recruiter thinks I was working 5 years in a full time job which is not true.  I am merely trying to be honest.

Should I hide the fact that I was on baby break on my resume? And only mention it on the cover letter? That seems weird too me, but clearly I am not the expert here










donm's picture
Training Badge

You are not "hiding" anything. Page space on a resume is at a premium. It is for listing accomplishments to get you a job interview. As long as what you include is truthful, you aren't being dishonest.  What you include should be geared toward the purpose of the document.

There is no reason to specify "part time." You were working the agreed-upon schedule for that job. What you accomplished and how well you did it are what matter.

So, the "baby break" occurred during your job cycle and you want to specify that the hours were not a full week. You might list something like "2008 - 2012 ABC company department manager (part time, 1 year baby break)", but if it were I, most likely I'd just mention it when asked or if/when the opportunity presented itself during the interview.


jrosenau's picture

You stated "Taking one year off for staying home with a baby is the norm in Germany" - I would let the gaps in my resume stand without filling it in.  Again, if you feel the need to address it in your cover letter, you can do that.

The part time -  I'm not sure really matters.  Like Donm said, what matters is what you did and how well you did it.  If you can do it for 24 hours, you can do it for.



TNoxtort's picture

I do not think you need to say anything about being part-time or a break in your resume. Let them bring you in for an interview and be impressed with what you have to offer. If the part time comes up, and they feel negative about it, their loss, not yours. That's the risk with bringing someone in for an interview. Not sure this is dishonest in any way. Based on your comment concerned about being honest, I might recommend two books to you, The Disease to Please, and When I Say No, I Feel Guilty.

maura's picture
Training Badge

I am in the US, and I don't know if this advice holds true in Germany, but:

If you worked full time at a job, dropped to part time at the SAME job due to a baby break, and returned full time to the SAME job as the baby got older, then that's all the same job, and does not need to be called out as three separate things.

If you worked full time at a job, QUIT to have a baby, took on part time work during that time, then resumed full time work at a THIRD job, then I'd want to explain the fluctuations in the cover letter. 

jocadl's picture

Hi everyone,

I'd like to caution for significant differences in U.S. vs. German workplace cultures here. That said, I'm not fully satisfied with all the answers yet.

My suggestion would be to at least follow DONM's advice and specify "2008-2012 ABC company department manager (part time, 1 year baby break)".

Keep in mind that recruiters and hiring managers, when screening CVs or interviewing, are looking for reasons to KEEP YOU OUT. Furthermore, I see two specific differences with German hiring customs:

  1. Coming across as a show-off, poser or boaster is a major knock-out.
    I am currently considering toning down the language on my CV significantly when translating accomplishments from English to German, or even moving away from accomplishments altogether when applying for certain roles (although they've worked very well in global companies, both applying for internal roles as well as outside opportunities).
  2. Interviewers often spend significant time to scrutinize your perceived weaknesses rather than try to find out about your strengths to see where you might fit their bill.
    I would openly address anything that could be seen as you having something to hide. In a workplace culture where long hours are expected and short hours are seen as negative, where having a family is seen as a distraction, where physical presence is expected and virtual presence (e.g. from a home office) is seen as a weakness, I'd be pretty clear about what was part time vs. full time, or on-the-job time vs. off-the-job time.

If CTHURL's CV gave the impression that she worked 5 years full time, when in fact she worked 3 years, of which 2 were part-time, that could significantly hurt her chances to get hired.

CTHURL, if you want to discuss this further, or outside the forums, feel free to send a private message.