It can be daunting to return to the work force if you’ve been staying home for several years to look after a family. You may have been out of the workforce, but you are still a valuable candidate with a competitive edge- it’s just a matter of showing this in your resume. There are some simple things you can do to help maximize your strengths.
1. Don’t hide it.First and foremost, be honest about your parenting years. You were not in jail (although you may have felt like you were); you were placing family above a paycheck. Avoid ambiguous red flags by mentioning that you are returning to the workforce in your cover letter and Professional Summary. For the summary, make this section clean, strong and informative. For example, “Motivated Network Administrator with over 10 years experience, returning to work.”
2. Prove you’re committed.Employers wonder whether you’re 100% ready to come back. Will you be inflexible due to other responsibilities, leave early to pick up your child or ask to work from home a few times a week? Demonstrate that you are committed and ready to return by making sure your child care is set up so it wont get in the way of your work. Prove your excitement to get back in the game by revealing how you are still in the loop and have been keeping up on industry trends.
3. Highlight your skills.Put in a clear and concise summary of your skills that pertain to your field. If you have other business skills, accent them to show versatility. Hiring managers are looking for your abilities as a whole as well as the ability to adapt and conform to the organization’s needs. Highlight your versatility and transferable skills.
4. Feature your achievements.If your work history ended more than a few years ago, it will probably end up lost in the work history section. Bring it to the top of the page with a Highlights or Accomplishments section. Have you done something you are especially proud of? Were you recognized for your work? Were you involved in a major project? List these notable achievements in a section below your summary. This will show future employers information that will help them to see you a specific light.
5. Treat part-time work as full-time.Many parents work part time or do some form of consulting when time allows for it. Put that down in the work history if it pertains to the field you are applying for. Also state that it was part time while raising your family.
6. Don’t underestimate your skills.Remember to focus on the skills you do have. If you present yourself as a strong, capable professional then that is how the workforce will see you. You have job skills from raising a family that many people never get to experience. You have problem resolution skills, budget experience, and time-management and team player skills – just to mention a few.
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