Motherhood is a wonderful thing: Just look at how much fun new moms like Chrissy Teigen are having with their little ones. However, for some, being a mom is only one of several hats you wear. If you’re a career woman who took some time off to spend with your kids or to help run a household, you may have a few gaps in your resume that’ll raise questions when you start job hunting again.
There’s nothing to be shy about, however, when it comes to sharing your time away from the workforce. Tina Kashlak Nicolai, an HR veteran, journalist and head of Resume Writers Ink, gave us some tips on how to navigate this tricky interview topic and be proud of all you’ve done while at home.
1. Create a job title for the time period and own it. Don’t be ashamed to address the time period on paper for what it was — chances are you were doing a lot during that time. “Some moms refer to themselves as ‘mompreneurs’ because they’ve had kids and have simultaneously started small businesses as the kids became a bit more independent,” points out Tina. “Other moms have used the traditional verbiage of ‘Domestic Engineer’ as their job title.” She stresses that any title that expresses the work you’ve done is a good choice. You earned the title, so use it.
2. Be up front. Tina stresses that honesty will get you ahead. “Be honest in your cover letter, letter of intent or email letter of influence,” she advises. “It’s okay to state, ‘I took time off to raise a family, and now am ready to return to work.’” You can then “go on to detail transferable skills that are specifically related to the targeted position.”
3. Be intentional. “A mistake that many make is jokingly stating, ‘I’ve been pulled in a million directions as a mom, I can do anything!’ Tina says. Even if that’s the case, she advises, “It’s important to be realistic in the transferable skills, and it’s equally important to put a measurement to the achievements. For example, if a mom oversees the financial aspect of running a home, she should state something like, ‘Fiscally responsible for running a home and managing to exceed our goals by X %.’” These metrics are important because they talk the talk — they’ll be able to show that you’ve met or exceeded goals through concrete results, regardless of where it happened.
These three simple tips are a great starting point to show that, while you’ve been at home, you’ve been busy — and not just changing diapers and cooking dinner (though you’re a total pro at those things, too). They’ll help employers look at you in the way you deserve to be looked at as a potential employee, and give you a major confidence boost. You’re a true #girlboss, lady!
Have you been in this situation? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo!