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My wife is looking to return to the workplace after having suspended her career for the best part of a decade to look after our children.

My question is simple: does anyone have any tips over and above the MT recommended guidelines on preparing a resume for her?  Is it correct to put the career break as the first thing on her resume (putting the career bit in reverse chronological order)?  Is it okay (I suspect not but I have to ask) to put in a section on "skills" because her skill set may not be immediately apparent from her work history?

Any tips would be most gratefully received.

Thanks

Haaris

donm's picture

I think the best place for the information is in the cover letter:

"I'm a stay-at-home mom re-entering the workplace. Although my skills may seem a bit rusty due to my absence from an office, I can assure you that I have been working constantly in a variety of roles. From time management and conflict resolution to event planning and 'employee counseling,' I have been honing my skills 24 hours a day while doing the job of raising # wonderful kids. I've certainly been working. It's just that I have not been receiving a paycheck."

The above paragraph is geared toward a job in HR, but it could easily be adapted to any variety of roles. Have your wife consider all of the things she's had to do while a SAHM, and pick out the things that align with her chosen career for her list of job skills she's been improving while raising the kids.

Were I she, I would leave the time blank on the CV, and concentrate on my roles from before I stepped back from my previous career. Most skills are evergreen. They don't go away merely because we aren't actively employing them for a paycheck. The main thing is to turn her time at home into an asset, and not present it as a handicap. Compare the paragraph above to this:

"After ten years out of the workplace, I'm returning after being a stay-at-home mom. I know I'll have to start back at the bottom, but give me a chance and you'll see that I'm a hard worker and I learn quickly. Give me a chance and I'll show you that I still have what I had ten years ago."

haarisc's picture

 Donm

Thank you so much: that's a great response.

Haaris

WarrenReilly's picture

Hi Haaris,

To agree with Don. I am currently changing career so much of my C.V will not communicate how I am suitable for the job. But recently I realised the cover letter is my place to communicate this directly. Also I think getting in front of people at career fairs, industry events (if relevant), chamber of commerce events. I'm sure your wife can do a better job of presenting her strengths in person than any CV could ever do.

Fingers crossed for her.

Warren.

dtiller's picture

I'm perplexed at why your wife is not doing the asking.  I cannot imagine my husband helping me by posting a question. 

Regardless, I agree that the cover letter should explain it.  Also include any volunteer work done with the school, neighbourhood, etc.  She should follow the MT and start to refresh her network.  This is the big bonus of LinkedIn and other social media, it's easier to find former colleagues and reconnect.

I also highly recommend Sheryl Sandberg's new book, Lean in.

I hope your wife will take charge of her career and join MT and the forums.

Best wishes to her!

Dawne