I’m a stay at home mom. Fix the gap on my resume!

Home/Resume Writing/I’m a stay at home mom. Fix the gap on my resume!

I’m a stay at home mom. Fix the gap on my resume!

Raise your hand if there is a gap in your resume. Go ahead. Don’t be shy. As a professional resume writer, it’s pretty rare that I see the “perfect” resume with  7 years at each job, no layoffs, and no gaps. And don’t forget the folks that were negatively impacted by the recession in the mortgage industry, financial services or construction.

So, given the fact to none of us is perfect, have you ever wondered, “How do I hide a gap in my resume?” My answer? Don’t do it. Here are some resume writing strategies to help.

I’ve decided to break this topic into a series of blogs, so this one will deal with “How do I handle being a full time stay at home mom on my resume?” First of all, let me just say that for every 3 full time stay at home moms out there, I can count at least one full-time stay at home dad. Gender politics aside, staying at home raising children is a hard job and in my experience, many employers don’t see this as a negative. I myself didn’t work for a few years after having my second son. It was an amazing experience (and PTSD aside), I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

Plus, living in the conservative, red state that I do (Arizona), leveraging your family values can actually make a better impression in the right circumstances than a traditional applicant.

Here are a few SAHM resume rules to live by:

  1. Add a one-sentence objective into the executive summary that says, “Seeking an Account Manager role after taking time off as a stay-at-home parent.” This makes sure that the hiring manager knows right away that there’s a good reason for your gap.
  2. Add your time at home as a job and put it in chronological order with the rest of your work history.
  3. Do NOT call yourself a domestic engineer or give yourself an equally ridiculous title. Be proud that you were a SAHM and call yourself just that – a stay at home mom.
  4. Be funny. Seriously. It is by far the best strategy I use in this circumstance. If you can make the hiring manager chuckle, I can guarantee that they’ll call you for at least a phone interview. In fact, today, I actually wrote on a resume for a stay at home dad that he had successfully kept a very tiny human alive, relatively clean, and ready for daycare.
  5. If you are tempted to hide your gap or gloss over it, don’t. This is one of those “the best offense is a good defense” moments. Guaranteed.
DODON'T
Add an objectiveBe unclear about your career goal
Add your time as SAHM/SAHD as a jobGloss over this important role
Display your time at home proudlyThink of being a SAHM/SAHD as a career killer
Use humorBe too serious
Bring up staying at home firstWait too long before talking about you time at home

I hope this helps! If you’d like more info what other resume writing strategies work well, read my blogs about what recruiters look for and your guide to a killer resume. Happy job hunting!

By | 2018-08-26T17:03:37+00:00 August 26th, 2018|Resume Writing|2 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a professional resume writer, recruiter, and job search guru who works with clients from every walk of life - CEO to software engineer, advertising executive, teacher, mechanic, doctor or even mortician (true story). My specialty is crafting individualized documents, telling my clients' stories - and making them shine.

2 Comments

  1. Brenda Cunningham August 30, 2018 at 7:39 am - Reply

    Krista,
    Thanks for the practical advice. But how do they overcome the stigma that if they have small kids, they’re more likely to miss work?

    • Krista Morris September 19, 2018 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      Good question! Since a huge percentage of the workforce has children, I honestly think that the risk of folks worrying about the new hire missing work is less than an unexplained gap. As long as the rest of the resume doesn’t portray job-hopping, in my experience, the SAHM is a shoe-in to get hired every time.

Leave A Comment