If you are a stay-at-home mom (or dad) moving towards a return to work, this guide is for you. Spending your precious time at home with your child is a rewarding experience, but many worry that future employers will view the time as a gap in your resume.
We all know the transition from employee to full-time parent can be difficult, and the same applies to a return to the workforce. All too often, new parents can face obstacles following maternity leave, and find opportunities for career growth have been reduced. These situations can often leave us feeling the need to prove ourselves to inflexible employers who may not understand our situations.
A silver lining to come from the pandemic is that the world’s workplaces are getting friendlier, and remote jobs are becoming increasingly available. If we can market resume gaps well, and fully explain time outside a traditional workplace we can flip the stigmas and demonstrate the time as a positive. In this 2021 guide, let us provide tips on how to get ahead in your career and how to find jobs for Stay-at-Home moms.
Checklist to Get Ahead with Your Career
1. Update your Resume
When was the last time you updated your resume? Is your resume ATS compliant? Has it been correctly tailored for the individual roles you are targeting? Make sure you’ve triple-checked your resume, avoiding grammatical errors. If you need help in ensuring your resume is in top shape, why not avail of our resume writing service, our certified resume writers create flawless resumes, crafted to impress and land you interviews.
2. Create a LinkedIn account.
A LinkedIn profile is a key component in personal marketing and job hunting, an essential in relaunching your career. The majority of recruiters check your LinkedIn profile before calling you for an interview. A fully optimized, effective LinkedIn profile can also frame you as a prime candidate for headhunting opportunities, leading to interviews for roles that aren’t even advertised. If you’re targeting creative positions, you may also consider other social media channels such as Facebook or Instagram to showcase your skills.
3. Write an effective cover letter.
Cover letters are wonderful tools to create a first impression that wows the reader. Recruiters often only read the resumes of those submitting an impressive cover letter, so your skills should be clearly outlined to ensure they want to read more. A cover letter must be personal, clear, and concise, making you stand out from the competition. List the requirements that you can find in the job details and come up with examples that prove that you are the right fit for the job.
4. Work on your personal brand.
A website can help you market your personal brand and let you stand out, particularly for those with design-focused backgrounds. It can feature your portfolio, the quality of work you do, and the feedback of people you worked with. Not everyone can spend the time and effort building a website, so having one can give you an edge over the competition.
5. Prepare an Elevator Pitch.
An elevator pitch can be used to great effect both during interviews or networking situations. This would be the opportunity for you to describe your time away as a stay-at-home mom, selling the skills gained and world experience acquired. Here’s an example: “I’m a marketing manager, and I recently took the time to invest in my children. I’ve kept my skills sharp by working on my website – a mother’s blog.”
Tips on finding a job as a stay-at-home Mom
Here are effective tips for stay-at-home moms who want to relaunch their career:
Find a company that is right for you.
You don’t have to jump at the first opportunity that comes your way as you relaunch your career. Ensure that wherever you’re going to land, it will be worth it for you and your family. Strike a balance between the money it brings, along with the pressure, sacrifice, and time away from your family.
Before accepting a job, check if the culture of the workplace is healthy and suitable for you. Can they support your role as a mother? Do they regularly hire people in the same position?
In the interview process, you may also highlight the value of a career break and how it helped you. Maybe you grew personally and learned new skills? Perhaps you had time to take additional courses?
Tap into your community.
One of the best pieces of advice we can offer is to continue putting yourself out there, network, and build your professional circle. Options could include attending local networking events in person, attendance at local networking events, and online groups where you can participate and share ideas. You can often find networking events on social media channels such as Meetup, LinkedIn, or Facebook.
Another option is sending out emails with your resume to family and friends to make them aware of the position that you are looking for, those close to you can be the best advocates. How about getting in touch with ex-colleagues to see if there are any positions they know you can fill.
Be open to part-time or temporary jobs.
This is the time to broaden your search, so don’t rule anything out initially. Explore a variety of industries, you may find you enjoy different things to those that used to interest you. Look into options for part-time and temporary roles to ease the transitioning process. There’s no need to leap straight into a permanant 9 – 5, test the waters, see what works for your schedule and commitments.
Highlight Your Soft Skills
Hiring managers value soft skills now more than ever. If you offer a strong work ethic, outstanding time management, and finely-tuned organizational skills, you could gain a head start over others that struggle to manage in these areas. These should be reflected in your resume and cover letter, as well as demonstrated at interview stage.
Getting back into the workforce can be challenging after spending years as a stay-at-home mom, but don’t let the different struggles deter you. You know your skills, and you know what you can offer to the world. Don’t give up and keep going, mama!