Returning to the Workforce As a Working Mom
After 20 years, I quit my corporate job to work from home. Now, I work as a recruiting manager reviewing multiple resumes each day.
During the last couple of years of accepting or rejecting resumes, I’ve learned what does and doesn’t allow job seekers the opportunity for an interview.
The rules are the same for seasoned workers and for moms returning to the workplace: it’s all about the resume.
If you’re a mom returning to the workplace after three months or three years of taking care of your babies, resume basics are the same.
With simple tweaks to your resume, you can put your best self forward and keep your resume up to date and looking professional.
Use these resume tips for moms to help land your perfect job!
But first, be sure to get our FREE Resume Template to help you get started.
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Resume Tips for Moms Returning to the Workplace
1. Your resume format isn’t of top importance.
Should you have a left sidebar with information or start with experience, or a picture on the top?
When you’re first returning to the workplace after having a baby, don’t spend a lot of time trying to make your resume look pretty, searching on Google for advice, or even buying a template.
Lots of formats are submitted. You’ll want to spend more time on the content.
2. Ensure your resume is easy to read on mobile and computer.
Lots of recruiters and managers work on their phones after hours.
Whether you submit your resume on Word or convert it to a PDF, before hitting send, made sure all columns, bullets, and formatting look good on your phone and your computer, and it prints well.
You don’t want to submit a resume that needs additional modifications. The fact is, sometimes a recruiter won’t bother to forward your resume on because it looks unprofessional.
3. Two pages are plenty.
Can you get it down to one? Even better.
But make sure to use however much room you need to explain the experience relative to the job you are applying for. Don’t provide a resume five pages long with your life story.
What about time spent away from the workplace to have a baby?
Make sure to explain the gap of time you spend away from the workforce taking care of your baby. Recruiters scan the dates to make sure there are no missing years. If there is a year missing, just explain you took time off for your baby and you’re returning to the workplace. If possible, include any training during this time so there not a gap of learning.
4. The old 10-year rule isn’t valid.
If you have the experience relative to the job, list it. If you’ve been in the field for 20 years, give your job history, don’t assume since it was over ten years, then you should stop.
5. Since most resumes are viewed online and only printed if you’re chosen for an interview, make hyperlinks wherever you can: to your email address, your webpage (if you have one), a LinkedIn profile, and anything else you can think of.
6. Don’t make the person you submit your resume to do any extra work
So, if you have a degree, don’t just name the degree, state the college and years. If you indicate you have a LinkedIn profile, link to it!
7. Believe it or not, many people don’t provide their full contact information.
Name, phone number, and email address are a must. If you don’t want to provide your phone number, you can get a free Google phone number. It’s free, easy, and you can choose your number, and all voice mails go to your email so you can screen calls.
8. Highlight keywords from the job posting by making them bold.
When I’m screening resumes for a client, I take keywords from the job posting and scan resumes for those words. If the words from the job posting are highlighted on your resume, it’s an automatic plus.
9. Social Media
When reviewing resumes, my company does a cursory Social Media check on the candidate.
If you have some information on your Facebook profile that you’d rather a potential employer not see, make sure all your posts are set to “Friends Only.”
Go into your privacy settings and walk through all your posts.
You can also go to your profile and “View as Public” to see what a potential employer would see.
Also, look at Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Snap Chat – basically any social media you use heavily.
Lastly, be prompt in returning calls and emails. Sometimes jobs go fast!
Don’t make the employer chase after you for questions about your availability or an interview! Make every effort to be available for the first interview time.
I’ve seen many candidates lose a job because they weren’t available for the first interview time or they asked for an accommodation in the interview time.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but 9 times out of 10, there’s pressure on the other side to fill the job so the company moves forward with interviewing candidates who are available and the job is filled by the time the other candidate is ready for an interview.
Don’t be afraid to put in for a position just because you’ve been away for a couple of years taking care of your children.
Many candidates don’t make it through the first step of resumes because they lack follow through, promptness, eagerness, and many of the above tips in this article.
Just by following these resumes tips for working moms (or any potential candidate), you’ll be sure to rise above the crop — best of luck on your next adventure.
About the Guest Author:
Jen writes at Grace for Single Parents and has a podcast Grace for Single Parents to encourage single moms to live fully in the season they’re in through God’s grace and love. At any given day you can find her eating chips & salsa and binge-watching Modern Family with her kids.
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