Stay at Home Mom Needs Resume Tips for Returning to Work

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Jewels in Anniston, Alabama

85 months ago

It is hard re-entering the work force after 15 years of child care. Do I include those years on my resume as work experience? If not, is there another way to explain the gap in my work history?
Any other tips on learning how to apply online for jobs? This is all new to me.

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Ann Miller in Cleveland, Ohio

81 months ago

Many women re-enter the workplace, I would look into community college for a noncredit class that can help you get your resume and skills up to speed. Business loves stability, motivation to do a good job,and a strong appearance with communications. You will definitely need to upgrade skills. Colleges, often, offer inexpensive classes to get you ready, even public schools may have noncredit class for this. Also,check the internet out there is a lot of information regarding re-entry. Good luck.

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Jewels in Anniston, Alabama

81 months ago

Hi all. I asked the original questions in this section, and wanted to update things based on my experiences during the last four months. Here are some of the things I learned. Visit some online resume sites. You can get lots of tips for free. Do mention your time as 'family manager' and list the skills you used. There is no such thing as a single resume. Most times your resume will need tweaking for each job for which you apply. You will revise, revise, revise. Cathy, don't worry if you don't remember everything at first. The more you work with your resume, the more things will come back to you. There are many different resume formats, choose one that is skill-based rather than one based on chronology. Ann's idea for updating skills is good, but you may be like I was: in need of income, not outgo for classes. Again, you can use a library computer to brush up skills on wordprocessing and spread sheets. My last advice-- try a temp agency. I am currently working my second job for an agency. I have gained tremendous experience and self-confidence in the workplace. I have been at my latest job for 2 months, and from all indications will be offered permanent employment. Last but not least, be patient. Good things come to those who wait.

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backtowork in Bronxville, New York

81 months ago

I had a 14-year career in IT and corporate training before ending up as a stay at home mom for 6 years. Then when I got divorced I had to return to work which wasn't easy to do, by any means. But by transferring skills from the earlier part of my career, I was able to convince people through my strong resume that I could get the job done, I managed to get consulting work and slowly built up my clientele and now I really want to expand my services. It's been 5 tough long years but the best part is I LOVE what I do and even though it's still a struggle at times with the logistics, homework, etc. I believe in myself and my abilities. And I always have to show it strong, without being arrogant or self-centered. You have to radiate that self-confidence to employers.

By the way, I managed to "disguise" my 6 years out of paid work by volunteering at my kids' schools and highlighting the major responsibilities on my resume using strong action verbs. I did not use the word "volunteer" on my resume but that's open for debate, depending on the case. It seems ok to use "volunteer" when you're first out of college/grad school to show your extracurricular involvement and impress your first employers but I personally would avoid using it if you've already had 5-10 years of work experience under the belt.

Other tips: if you're applying as an office professional, make sure you look good physically - first impressions count and once you have a great resume you'd better have an appearance to match. No one will hire you if you look like a stay at home couch potato who deprioritizes herself: outdated hairstyle, shoes and wardrobe. Take the time to get yourself prepped the right way: lose some weight (if you're visibly 20 lbs or more overweight), get a manicure, get into an exercise routine to gradually start incorporating higher levels of self-discipline into yourself. You'll need to step up your sense of time and task management and exercise will help a lot!!

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Darlene Hanson in Lansing, Michigan

81 months ago

I've been a stay-at-home mom for the past 15 years. I was a transcription secretary for many years before that. It took a long time (8 years) to have a child. When I finally got pregnant, I decided I'd leave my profession to pursue my one true passion. Well, things change. Kids grow up. They still definitely need me, just not in the same capacity.
Recently, I completed a medical transcription class, which has always been my passion. My goal is to be an "At-Home Medical Transcriptionist".
The problem: I'm in the process of filling out an application and on the Work Experience portion it clearly states "list jobs for the past 5 years". What do I put in there? It's been 15!

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backtowork in Bronxville, New York

80 months ago

Darlene Hanson in Lansing, Michigan said: I've been a stay-at-home mom for the past 15 years. I was a transcription secretary for many years before that. It took a long time (8 years) to have a child. When I finally got pregnant, I decided I'd leave my profession to pursue my one true passion. Well, things change. Kids grow up. They still definitely need me, just not in the same capacity.
Recently, I completed a medical transcription class, which has always been my passion. My goal is to be an "At-Home Medical Transcriptionist".
The problem: I'm in the process of filling out an application and on the Work Experience portion it clearly states "list jobs for the past 5 years". What do I put in there? It's been 15!

Unfortunately you may not be able to list any bona fide jobs under that heading. However, you might be able to fill it in with something: How long did this transcription class last for? If you state that you were a student at so-and-so- technology school under "last 5 years" it would partially explain what you were doing during part of that time plus help boost the fact that you've learned the most recent technology.

Prior to that you could collectively summarize the "at-home" and/or "at-school skills" (ie: call yourself a "School Assistant" - did you ever volunteer or co-chair a committee or run a workshop at your children's school, lead a children's literacy group or after school activity or do temp work through an agency?). You should definitely list duties and responsibilities you've had outside the home and try to lump the time as "2003- 2008"

Sometimes people can get away with saying they were "self-employed" as a temp or part-time assistant to bridge some gaps in time. I don't know if that's your case but it should be legitimate title if you got paid for doing something at least fairly substantial.

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jenn in North Las Vegas, Nevada

80 months ago

can you tell me about the medical transcription class? i am very interested in it. i too would love something i can do at home and still make a living at. my daughter is 17, but only has ME as a parent, and she has a very busy school schedule that i would love to be able to stay involved in after the divorce but also need to be able to support the two of us. she only has a year and a half left then she will go off to college, and i want to be involved in as much as i can until then

thank.

sincerely,
"a scared mom about re-entering the workforce after 9 years"
Jenn

Darlene Hanson in Lansing, Michigan said: I've been a stay-at-home mom for the past 15 years. I was a transcription secretary for many years before that. It took a long time (8 years) to have a child. When I finally got pregnant, I decided I'd leave my profession to pursue my one true passion. Well, things change. Kids grow up. They still definitely need me, just not in the same capacity.
Recently, I completed a medical transcription class, which has always been my passion. My goal is to be an "At-Home Medical Transcriptionist".
The problem: I'm in the process of filling out an application and on the Work Experience portion it clearly states "list jobs for the past 5 years". What do I put in there? It's been 15!

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Deb in Fayetteville, North Carolina

80 months ago

Darlene Hanson in Lansing, Michigan said: I've been a stay-at-home mom for the past 15 years. I was a transcription secretary for many years before that. It took a long time (8 years) to have a child. When I finally got pregnant, I decided I'd leave my profession to pursue my one true passion. Well, things change. Kids grow up. They still definitely need me, just not in the same capacity.
Recently, I completed a medical transcription class, which has always been my passion. My goal is to be an "At-Home Medical Transcriptionist".
The problem: I'm in the process of filling out an application and on the Work Experience portion it clearly states "list jobs for the past 5 years". What do I put in there? It's been 15!

Hi,

I'm a writer (and also a SAHM) that is doing research regarding SAHMs trying to re-enter the workforce. Specifically, I'm interested in SAHMs who are rewriting their resumes in accordance with the latest HR "trends" that seem to advise mothers to "disguise" or "fill in" their unpaid "employment gaps" with applicable work skills etc. As a SAHM yourself, I'm interested in knowing how you feel about having to "discoun" your work as a SAHM in this way - in other words - by essentially "ignoring" it on your resume. Do you feel that even in this day and age the work of motherhood is still being devalued and discounted? I would love to hear the opinions and experiences of other SAMHs as well.

Thanks so much,

Deb

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Deb in Fayetteville, North Carolina

80 months ago

Thank you for your comments, but I'm afraid that you have missed my overall point. While it is clear that recruiters today routinely dismiss the accomplishments of SAHMs by insisting that SAHMs "conceal" their parenting roles on their resumes, it seems to me that if all SAMHs faithfully follow this so-called "advice", they are, in effect, actively reinforcing the devaluation of ALL unpaid, caring roles in our society. When preparing their resumes, SAHMs should state clearly, truthfully, and proudly what they have done as SAHMs - without resorting to the distortion and "rhetorical disguise" that is oftentimes used by "resume writers". (this type of language rarely fools anyone, by the way!) And yes, I'm sorry, but it "does matter what I think" - just as it mattered to Rosa Parks when she refused to sit at the back of the bus all those years ago! Imagine, what would have happened if Miss Parks had done what everyone else had told her to do, and was not brave in taking a stance against an injustice? Yes, you can position yourself to re-enter the workforce - but do it your own terms! The very important and valuable job of raising children should never be "dismissed" or "camoflaged" by anyone, especially women! My advice to SAMHs who are seeking to re-enter the workforce? Find those companies that understand and support women who choose to be SAHMs, and so, do not penalize our choice for doing so. "Lying by omission", or "transforming" your parenting work into a more "palpable" or "marketable" corporatese, will not make the average SAMH more competitive in the workplace today, anyway.I myself, proudly and without shame, list all of my life and employment experiences together, and address these experiences head-on - in both my cover letters and resumes. I will not stoop to devalue my work as a SAHM, or that of my very intelligent and hard-working SAMH peers - by ommitting anything from my resume - and I encourage ALL SAHMs to do the same, so that change can begin!

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Di in Wilmington, Ohio

80 months ago

Here, Here. I'm 47 yrs old and decided to be a proud SAHM for the last 3 years. Now, even though I'm still needed by my loving family, there's now room for myself to stretch those wings. And I assure you all I will do nothing but brag about where it is I've been and the accomplishments I've made on the way!

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peggy hillin in Murphysboro, Illinois

80 months ago

backtowork in Bronxville, New York said: I had a 14-year career in IT and corporate training before ending up as a stay at home mom for 6 years. Then when I got divorced I had to return to work which wasn't easy to do, by any means. But by transferring skills from the earlier part of my career, I was able to convince people through my strong resume that I could get the job done, I managed to get consulting work and slowly built up my clientele and now I really want to expand my services. It's been 5 tough long years but the best part is I LOVE what I do and even though it's still a struggle at times with the logistics, homework, etc. I believe in myself and my abilities. And I always have to show it strong, without being arrogant or self-centered. You have to radiate that self-confidence to employers.

By the way, I managed to "disguise" my 6 years out of paid work by volunteering at my kids' schools and highlighting the major responsibilities on my resume using strong action verbs. I did not use the word "volunteer" on my resume but that's open for debate, depending on the case. It seems ok to use "volunteer" when you're first out of college/grad school to show your extracurricular involvement and impress your first employers but I personally would avoid using it if you've already had 5-10 years of work experience under the belt.
I have been out of the work force for 13 years and am now redoing my resume. I have three children and am a regular volunteer at their school. On my resume under work experience I listed volunteer para- educator. A para-educator is an actual paid position, it is a teachers aide, with a little flair!

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backtowork in Bronxville, New York

80 months ago

Peggy,
Congratulations for getting paid as a volunteer/teachers aide. What a wonderful combination and a boost to put on your resume!

Here's a link to a webpage that lists ACTION VERBS essential to livening up a resume text especially when you only have a short time to capture the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager reading your resume.

www.worksmart.ca.gov/tips_resume.html

DEB (above) mentioned that moms shouldn't downplay/disguise their role as SAHMs on their resumes but the fact remains that if it causes a major gap (ie: years) in work/employment history/career and you're trying to go back to work, then it IS an issue to be addressed. You can modify the appearance/wording of your resume there are ways to accomplish this without compromising your dignity:

1. use a functional resume format instead of a chronological format
2. state your SAHM role very simply, ie:
1988-1999 Full-time Parent and PTA Volunteer, St. John's Academy
"2004-2005 Full-time parent" or "2002-2003 Maternity leave and family management" or "Travel and study," or "Full-time student," or, "Parenting plus community service."

Keep in mind that a resume lists your career history and professional accomplishments and is not for making personal statements like successfully raising your children. When you can, convert what seems to be ordinary at-home tasks into career-like accomplishments using resume-speak:

supervised team of 4 contractors during 6-month interior renovation to successfully meet budget and timeline requirements; partnered with local community members to conduct monthly review of municipal expenditures to meet year-end projections; headed group of 6 to research, define and execute successful educational fundraising project resulting in $45,000 in donations

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Lia in Cary, North Carolina

80 months ago

Di said: Ok, Ladies just 8 hrs agao I wrote a response to Deb in N.C., agreeing with her in regards to being a proud SAHM. Well, guess what last Tues. I had a better than good and confident interview with Blue Cross\Blue Shield in Cinn. and I have landed the position in their publishing Dept. This was so unexpected, especially after joining Job.Com (which is where I found this position) I submitted countless resumes, with nothing more than a automatic response letter of confirmation for only 3 mos. I in no way hide or worried about hidding my past 3 yrs off managing family. I just simply told them that when they asked. I read this forum every other night and theres alot of qualified, educated and experienced women on here seeking employment, so please hear me loud and clear, I'm living proof it comes from your heart and sincereity, they'll see it in you as long as you see it in you! I'll be checking back in so heads up and thanks to all of you for your support.

Sincerely, Di in Wilmington, OH

Hi, I have been a stay at home mom for the past 15 years with a few part time jobs in between. I have an interview next week at a top graduate school in the area, and I am not sure what to say as my "Objective or Mission Statement" on my resume. Also, do you have any tips for the interview process? Oh--CONGRATULATIONS on your new job! Way to go! I agree we should not have to down play our roles as moms.
Thank you,
Lia

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Di in Wilmington, Ohio

80 months ago

Ms. Lia, all I can say is I walked in there believing in myself. I was confident and proud of myself and I truly beieve it came through. And actually I told myself all the way there, hey, whats the worse that can happen, I know am at least out in the real world again and if I don't land this position it will get me ready for the next, so chalk it up to experience, especially after almost 4 yrs of not working. Take your time answering the questions, and a real pointer was I got on the website for them and researched just a little. And I was asking him questions regarding the position and their business before he even started. He even commented and complimented me on this. As he was showing me around the dept. where I'd be working I just asked him general question. How long he's been there and how he likes it! Only in a sincere truly interested tone. Get out there and give yourself some credit, please let me know how it goes. I'll be right there!!! Nothing better than support from someone thats been there!!!! Sincerely, Di

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Di in Wilmington, Ohio

80 months ago

Jewels in Anniston, Alabama said: It is hard re-entering the work force after 15 years of child care. Do I include those years on my resume as work experience? If not, is there another way to explain the gap in my work history?
Any other tips on learning how to apply online for jobs? This is all new to me.

Hey Jewels,

Its Di in Wilmington, OH. Absolutely, tell them who you are and how you've gotten there. The reflects your loyalty to yourself, and shows them your confident with the decisions you've made on your life. What you've done in the past rather its been for income or because it better suited your family at the time, their do not question that. As for the websites for employment. I paid a one time fee of 42.00 to Job.Com, and I have never regretted it. I listed my qualifications, and (so you know I have no degrees, not even college credits.) But, I assure at 47 yrs old, I have more than enough on-hands experience. After listing all the things about myself on paper, I started writing up a resumne. Then I posted it on the web, thru Job.Com. They in turn start sending me all these positions (30 to 120) daily. So, at night after the girls go to bed I sit down and start going thru them and applying for around 20 or so. And sure enough I land this interview with this large company, and even better landed the position . Please stay in touch and if theres anything at all I can help with email me at (motivatedmom@yahoo.com). Believe in yourself and be confident doing it! Sincerely, Di in Wilmington, OH

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Nicole in Kansas City, Missouri

80 months ago

Hi all of you SAHMs. I have been a stay home mom for the past 6.5 years (so proud), I am a military spouse, and I still have a 2 year old at home. I am past ready to start working again and I have no idea where to start on my resume. I have two bachelor degrees, one in nursing and one in Community Health Education. I never got my nursing license because once I started nursing clinicals, I found that I have an extremely weak stomach and that taking care of sick people really wasn't for me. Although I had no intentions on pursuing nursing, I did not quit nursing school because I am a firm believer in if you start something you should always finish it. So that degree is basically irrevelant other than the educational aspects of it. After I graduated college, I married my army husband and where we were stationed there were hardly, if any real opportunities for someone with a community health education degree, so I eventually took a job as an office manager at a non-profit agency and worked there until we decided to have a baby and I would stay home once he was born. That was almost 7 years ago and I am so ready to get back to work. I started preparing to go back to work before my 2 year old was born by going to graduate school. I am currently getting my graduate degree in public health and I only have 3 more classes before I am done. I have some work experience during college, two internships during college, and the little work experience after college. I have also volunteered at my son's school some. I have a good education background, but hardly any work experience outside the home. How do I write a resume that works for my situation and highlights my skills. I do a huge amount of work everyday and most times with no assistance from my husband who is gone a lot. I have lots of skills, but I am at a complete loss about how to organize a resume. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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furrowedbrow in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

80 months ago

Hi, Although not a SAHM, I have been out of the workforce for almost 3 years taking care of elderly, ill parents and in-laws. I have 2 graduate degrees, and worked as an Project manager for healthcare system implementations. My field has changed. Persons in my position are now certified and follow specific methodologies. I'm not opposed to taking a substantially lower level position (and pay) in a medical organization to tune up my skills. However, my problem is that they see what I did 3 years ago, and the disconnect for what they want now, and move on. I think I have two problems in my way and would love feedback and suggestions on what I can do....1st: convincing employers I am willing to take a lower salary and 2nd: professional references. I haven't kept in touch with people in my field and those who would have been great references have moved on-I don't know where they are. What would you call what I did? Elderly Medical Care Manager?

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Di in Wilmington, Ohio

80 months ago

Hey Furrowedbrow, its Di sometimes your personal references speak louder than your professional ones. Just list work history with references and then list personal references including some of those elderly individuals, if possible. You'd be surprised how many people still gain alot by respecting the elderly. As for titling your position just say it caring for the elderly, then once interviewed tell them all the different aspects in which you were responsible for and managed. Your trying to hard and it sounds like your judging yourself prior to them even meeting you! Write down your favorite assets about yourself, then write down experience, the same for your future goals. Share them with family and friends and before you know it they'll be reminding you of things about yourself that you've long forgotten. It truly will work. Sincerity, I have find is the KEY!!!! Take care and Goodluck....

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Goldie in Seffner, Florida

79 months ago

I am 60 years old and have worked in my family business off and on dealing with the public. Have been a manager at a health food store and have been the banquet manager for a country club in Central Florida. I am wanting to obtain a job as an assisted living facility concierge. I have not worked for the last three years; however, I have taken courses with Microsoft Word Processing and Excel to become computor literate. Any suggestions? My time to write a resume is short before handing it in. Thanks for your comments.

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Wendy in Cleveland, Ohio

79 months ago

I would love to see a copy of your resume. I have 8 years experience in the insurance healthcare industry. I have been a full time mom for almost 7 years. I need someone to write a resume for me......

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Researchingit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

79 months ago

I am 43 and I am in poor health and yet I want/need to work, but not in my prior field as it would be too much physically for me. I had worked in sales in dept stores and as a cashier..I know very glamerous jobs but that was a long time ago. I did manage to get two college degrees, A.S. in Social Sciences and a B.A. in Psychology. I can not afford to go back to college either. I have not worked for the last 12 years, as I was a stay at home from the start and I am not regretting that, would do it again! But now, as I get older, have more serious health problems, I think I need to work to just pay for my physical theraphy if nothing else! I am also old now, any ideas? I have a hard time filling out resumes, as I have no close friends or contacts to put down for references and the place I worked the longest had went under and closed up...thanks for any help!

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Javier in Reading, Pennsylvania

79 months ago

15 years is a long time... I believe you should not include those years on your resume, unless the employment you are aspiring for is somehow related to child care, baby sitter jobs and the like.

The only way to explain the gap in you work history is telling the true, and this is, that you decided to raise your children instead of pursuing a career, and now you are ready to incorporate yourself into the working force again.

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Tatiana in Billerica, Massachusetts

78 months ago

I would like help writing an objective for my resume and I don't know where to turn. If anyone has ideas I'd be so grateful. My situation is this: I'm a stay at home mom but prior to moving to the US and having kids, I worked in the apparel industry in Russia as a clothing designer and construction engineer (fancy name for a seamstress). I was educated in Russia and have a Masters degree in clothing engineering technology but at this point in my life and with my kids at the age they are, I simply want a part time job in a school working with children. I'm sure there's something there that doesn't require a teaching degree and I was hoping any of you might have some ideas. Currently I work in a fabric store but I really need to get out. Any suggestions?

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Dana in Hagerstown, Maryland

78 months ago

Hi, I can defiantly relate to your situation. I too have bees a stay at home mom for the last 10 years, and prior to that I only worked a few part time jobs. You are not the only one out there. There are many of us SAHM's who are in the same situation. I am planing to write a functional resume with my education listed first. The last website I was on recommended the book "Knock Em Dead Resumes" by M. Yates, so I am going to check it out. I'll keep you posted.

Researchingit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: I am 43 and I am in poor health and yet I want/need to work, but not in my prior field as it would be too much physically for me. I had worked in sales in dept stores and as a cashier..I know very glamerous jobs but that was a long time ago. I did manage to get two college degrees, A.S. in Social Sciences and a B.A. in Psychology. I can not afford to go back to college either. I have not worked for the last 12 years, as I was a stay at home from the start and I am not regretting that, would do it again! But now, as I get older, have more serious health problems, I think I need to work to just pay for my physical theraphy if nothing else! I am also old now, any ideas? I have a hard time filling out resumes, as I have no close friends or contacts to put down for references and the place I worked the longest had went under and closed up...thanks for any help!

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Dana B in Hagerstown, Maryland

78 months ago

Researchingit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: I am 43 and I am in poor health and yet I want/need to work, but not in my prior field as it would be too much physically for me. I had worked in sales in dept stores and as a cashier..I know very glamerous jobs but that was a long time ago. I did manage to get two college degrees, A.S. in Social Sciences and a B.A. in Psychology. I can not afford to go back to college either. I have not worked for the last 12 years, as I was a stay at home from the start and I am not regretting that, would do it again! But now, as I get older, have more serious health problems, I think I need to work to just pay for my physical theraphy if nothing else! I am also old now, any ideas? I have a hard time filling out resumes, as I have no close friends or contacts to put down for references and the place I worked the longest had went under and closed up...thanks for any help!

Hi, I can defiantly relate to your situation. I too have been a stay at home mom for the last 10 years, and prior to that I only worked a few part time jobs. You are not the only one out there. There are many of us SAHM's who are in the same situation. I am planing to write a functional resume with my education listed first. The last website I was on recommended the book "Knock Em Dead Resumes" by M. Yates, so I am going to check it out. I'll keep you posted.

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Becky in Sandy, Utah

77 months ago

Hi Deb,

As a SAHM attempting to re-enter the work force, I have been surprised at how difficult it has been for me to get a job!!! I have had a couple of employers state that while they are confident that I have the background and experience necessary to do the job, they chose candidates who are currently in the work force. Some interviewers have asked whether I would need some time to "ramp-up to speed."

I have been actively applying for at least 5 (& usually closer to 25) positions per week since September. In my job search, I have contacted former associates, college and grad school class mates, neighbors, friends, family and recruiters. My resume has been revamped many times. A very recent phenomenon is the feeling of hopelessness, which is primarily due to the fact that I NEED the money now. Back in September, I did not. Now I worry that my sense of desperation will show through in interviews.

Good luck with your research on SAHM's re-entering the work force. I hope that your writings will help those of us on the difficult path.

-Becky

Deb in Fayetteville, North Carolina said: Hi,

I'm a writer (and also a SAHM) that is doing research regarding SAHMs trying to re-enter the workforce. Specifically, I'm interested in SAHMs who are rewriting their resumes in accordance with the latest HR "trends" that seem to advise mothers to "disguise" or "fill in" their unpaid "employment gaps" with applicable work skills etc. As a SAHM yourself, I'm interested in knowing how you feel about having to "discoun" your work as a SAHM in this way - in other words - by essentially "ignoring" it on your resume. Do you feel that even in this day and age the work of motherhood is still being devalued and discounted? I would love to hear the opinions and experiences of other SAMHs as well.

Thanks so much,

Deb

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backtowork in Bronxville, New York

77 months ago

Becky,

I'm sorry to hear about the frustration you've been through. But finding a job these days after being a SAHM is no picnic as you already know and it continues to get increasingly harder and harder to do. Employers are definitely (at least here in New York) raising the bar of expectation and it makes perfect sense that they would prefer to hire someone already actively in the workforce instead of paying to train someone new and cost them ramp-up time.

Employers clearly have the upper hand with hiring now since there are far more jobseekers than jobs available. They also prefer recent college grads because they're cheaper, easier to put right to work because their technical/computer skills are up-to-date. If you're seeking work in an office, companies don't care at all what you've achieved outside the office - in your personal life. It doesn't apply to their business and that's what they're alll concerned with these days. However, healthcare and education might be more receptive because there's more nurturing and sensitivity involved with the core of those jobs.

Make sure your computer skills are as up-to-date as possible or else your skills will be perceived as obsolete. Put these skills near the top of your resume because hardly any worker gets by without computer skills that are current. Also, try to get certification someplace for your field of interest, it will add value and a fresh touch to your resume.

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Becky in Sandy, Utah

77 months ago

Will do that right now, and will let you know what I think. Thank you very much!

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Lori Monelli in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

77 months ago

Jewels in Anniston, Alabama said: Hi all. I asked the original questions in this section, and wanted to update things based on my experiences during the last four months. Here are some of the things I learned. Visit some online resume sites. You can get lots of tips for free. Do mention your time as 'family manager' and list the skills you used. There is no such thing as a single resume. Most times your resume will need tweaking for each job for which you apply. You will revise, revise, revise. Cathy, don't worry if you don't remember everything at first. The more you work with your resume, the more things will come back to you. There are many different resume formats, choose one that is skill-based rather than one based on chronology. Ann's idea for updating skills is good, but you may be like I was: in need of income, not outgo for classes. Again, you can use a library computer to brush up skills on wordprocessing and spread sheets. My last advice-- try a temp agency. I am currently working my second job for an agency. I have gained tremendous experience and self-confidence in the workplace. I have been at my latest job for 2 months, and from all indications will be offered permanent employment. Last but not least, be patient. Good things come to those who wait.

Thank you so much for your response to Cathy's question regarding getting back into the workplace. I am quite humble to say the least. I had no idea how difficult it is to jump back into the work place. Especially if it is financially necessary. I have been tweaking and tweaking my resume. Dowloading questions and answers that interviewers ask and how I should answer. I have gotten tips on writing thank you letters and cover letters. I have little experience with the computer and in this area of the country one must be bi-lingual. Needless to say, I do feel less than. However, after reading your post I have to have hope and know that there is a job out there for me.

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hzl lara in Staten Island, New York

77 months ago

Hi everyone,

I am so glad that something like this exist. at least I can share my thoughts and feelings.... Anyway, i have been stay at home for 7 years now. Last year I work part time as a sales asssociate. Then I got a full time job office based. I did struggle at first, my confidence was very low. I always question myself if I can do this, can I prove something... you know those kind of stuff. But on my second to third month there I did improve tremendously. I am beginning to feel good about myself, be able to help my husband financially but on my 4th month, exactly, I was called in the office and my boss told me the bad news. The company is not doing good, they are downsizing so it's gonna be me because I am the last in and first to go. When i heard this news, not only doubted myself again but crushed me. It is not easy. Not I am still looking for something. I don't know where will I go. I don't know where to start. Any advice or suggestion will help. I know I can put that work experience in my resume but i know it is not enough...Thanks

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tammie in santa rosa, California

77 months ago

What a great website,,,,it is great to hear from so many women re-entering the work force after staying at home. I am one of you..I have been home for 11 years. Husbands bkpr/and best of all Mom..I have gone back to a awful marriage after being seperated for a year, primarily I haven't found a job. I have gotten some great tips from reading this site,,,I have taken a couple classes and I am ready to start my search over. Oh, and dont worry girls, He decided to hide all the money while we were going to court, now he want me to do his books again. LOL amazing I know. Miraculously all the hidden money has appeared,,,,don't worry ,,,you know what they say Pay
Back Are A B----....I'm going to get a good job, and this time I'll be smiling when we leave court.....Keep the comments coming...Good Luck,,,:)

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sandy in Sharpsburg, Georgia

76 months ago

Darlene Hanson in Lansing, Michigan said: I've been a stay-at-home mom for the past 15 years. I was a transcription secretary for many years before that. It took a long time (8 years) to have a child. When I finally got pregnant, I decided I'd leave my profession to pursue my one true passion. Well, things change. Kids grow up. They still definitely need me, just not in the same capacity.
Recently, I completed a medical transcription class, which has always been my passion. My goal is to be an "At-Home Medical Transcriptionist".
The problem: I'm in the process of filling out an application and on the Work Experience portion it clearly states "list jobs for the past 5 years". What do I put in there? It's been 15!

I understand your problem I'm trying to get back into the work force myself and my problem is how to write the lost time in my resume for a stay at home mom so for I'm at a loss for the job description and title to put

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sandy in Sharpsburg, Georgia

76 months ago

I've bben having my Mom help me who works for a big financial company and she was the one how told me about not having a gap. I used the title of Stay at home and wrote Stay at home mom dates and under that I went into job descripition and I wrote it out in a paragragh from because I couldn't come up with bullets.This is what I came up with so for hope it helps Maintained all finacial records for accounts payable and recievables. Ensured accurate and timely scheduling of all appointments Detailed oriented with the ablitiy to multitask, works well under pressure, and capable of meeting all deadlines

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Kim in Twinsburg, Ohio

75 months ago

Cathy Weatherred in O Fallon, Missouri said: You charge about half. What does that equate to?

I have not worked in ten years. I have stayed home with my three kids. I don't even remember the correct years and dollar volumes of the jobs I had (sales) and I am at a loss as to where to begin with a resume.
Please advise.

Thanks,
Cathy Weatherred

Cathy - I was wondering if you had any luck with your resume or job finding? I have been home with my three boys for 10 years now and am starting to look for a job now and like you, I am not even sure where to start. My sons are 12 and twin 10 year olds who are very active. If anyone doesn't consider this WORK I don't know what to say!! What kinds of skills can I list and how can I equate this to a paying job? Any suggestions?
Kim in Ohio

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Melissa in Spring, Texas

75 months ago

I am returning to work by choice after being a SAHM for 7 years. My daughter is starting full-time kindergarten in August. This site has been very helpful. Thanks!

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Rivet's Resumes in Alexandria, Louisiana

75 months ago

Hi Melissa. I am still helping SAHM with resumes. :) I think the reason my myspace page didn't open is because there was a period at the end. Try this:

<Edited by Host: Contact info removed>

I hope it works this time. I'd love to work with you.
Sincerely,
Olivia

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Sher in Perth, Australia

74 months ago

Deb in Fayetteville, North Carolina said: Hi,

I'm a writer (and also a SAHM) that is doing research regarding SAHMs trying to re-enter the workforce. Specifically, I'm interested in SAHMs who are rewriting their resumes in accordance with the latest HR "trends" that seem to advise mothers to "disguise" or "fill in" their unpaid "employment gaps" with applicable work skills etc. As a SAHM yourself, I'm interested in knowing how you feel about having to "discoun" your work as a SAHM in this way - in other words - by essentially "ignoring" it on your resume. Do you feel that even in this day and age the work of motherhood is still being devalued and discounted? I would love to hear the opinions and experiences of other SAMHs as well.

Thanks so much,

Deb

I am feeling so discounted right now! I think I have been kidding myself thinking that I was valued as a mother, as now that the time has come for the kids to enter into pre-school, the whole world seems to be asking me "when are you getting back to work?" They say things like "you must be so bored", "how do you stand it", "what do you do all day", and I am actually flabergasted by their assumptions that I am yearning to get back into the work force. I am not! Not only do I lose the time with my kids, but my life will become totally crazy as I try to keep up with 5 kids, a new job, keeping the house clean and groceries bought and, oh yes, being available to entertain my husband after working all day at a 'job' and then working all evening with the house and kids. I am so pissed off! One of my idols is my Grandmother, passed away now, that she stayed home with her family for her whole life. At any time they could walk through that door and she would be there to listen, to feed, to encourage, to help. And her family appreciated this, and recognized it as a dying trade- that of family care. Well, those days are long gone, and it is off to the headhunters I go, to find "value" in myself.

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Kayna in Saint Louis, Missouri

74 months ago

Jewels in Anniston, Alabama said: It is hard re-entering the work force after 15 years of child care. Do I include those years on my resume as work experience? If not, is there another way to explain the gap in my work history?
Any other tips on learning how to apply online for jobs? This is all new to me.

If you have the time...try doing some volunterr work at a Hospital, Museum, local college, etc. That looks wonderful on a resume and you will automatically be networking with lots of people. Just a thought.

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Carla in Dallas, Texas

74 months ago

Please don't think of this as spam. I am truly trying to help. I wrote a page and put it on my site about re-entering the workforce.

www.professional-resume-example.com/returning-to-the-workforce.html

It might offer some guidance to some of you. If you are also looking to juice up your resume, there are two formats you might want to consider: functional and combination. They highlight your skills more than your date(s) of employment.

Another tip is to make sure you always send a cover letter with your resume. It's professional courtesy, regardless of the level of position you are seeking.

I hope that helps.

~Carla

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Amy in Leesburg, Virginia

74 months ago

Morgan in Dallas, Texas said: One of the ways you can combat this situation is to stay involved in some activities that simulate the workforce. Take a few classes at a local community college or university. Perform some volunteer work.

Whether you think motherhood is being devalued or not isn't the issue. It doesn't matter what you think. It matters what the prospective employers think. I'm sorry to be blunt, but that's the way it is. What you have to do is figure out how you are going to position yourself to fit back in to the workforce when/if the time comes.

Look at the July 31st (2007) entry on this blog. It may help.

professional-resumes.blogspot.com/

Morgan

Devaluing anyone at anytime is unacceptable. Mothers are creating solid individuals of the future. It is a career choice, a lifestyle choice, and a huge gift to society. Most of all, it is a gift to our children who need to be able to step boldly into a world that is telling them, "It doesn't matter what you think. It matters what the prospective employers think." No one should ever tell you that what you think doesn't matter.You should never put yourselves in a situation that makes you uncomfortable. Also, don't get so wrapped up in involving yourself in activities that you forget what your real goal is: having solid kids and families.There is peace in that. It is an investment that pays major dividends.The stability of home is what so many people lack.
You do matter, you can love what you do, and you do not have to put up with ridiculous standards,trends, or someone who doesn't value what you value. Don't sell yourselves short.Give yourself, your children, and society a strong confident woman who is solid as a rock.Be deliberate in your decisions whether it is raising kids or otherwise.Show your kids how to make wise choices.Be the ultimate example to them and other women. Don't allow yourselves to be intimidated.Be proud of each season of your lives. Amy

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candice in Oakland, California

74 months ago

in need of direction in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina said: Hello there Rivet in Alexandria, Louisiana- I am looking at returning to work after 13 yrs on the family track and need a brillant design/writer to direct my resume attemps. Creative writing may be an understandment here. I did not finish my college degree, yet have ran my own business, been director of other organizations, head of committees and then of course the endless list of responsibilities that revolve the door of our wonderful family. Multitasking at the utmost along with schedule and management directing. I have to admit the intimidation that sets in at the thought of compiling a resume that would compete in our world today especially under the economic pressures surrounding our country. Do you think this would be a something that you would contemplate tackling in your resume writting endevors?????? I look forward to hearing from youi at Loopdelouwithkat@gmail.com- thank you and be blessed, In need of direction in south carolina.

running your business, heading committees, director of orgs, those are great things to put on your resume. i was home for 5 yrs, and when i did my resume for re-entry, my achievements listed included managing our investmt portfolio, managing our rental props, coordinating our neighborhood activities (easter egg hunt, halloween costume contest, etc) and volunteering in school (all true). of course it would help if you have good prior work experience, hopefully you can still provide at least 2 related refs. if not it could be the teacher whose class play you practically produced, or provided all the art props for, the pastor of the church where you were unpaid activities director). you could cite the returns you achieved when you managed your portfolio. it would be helpful if you applied in an industry when you have prior experience. if you don't then you may want to go back to school... i know its scary, just suck it up, you'll be fine.

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Patricia in Naples, Florida

74 months ago

OK just like the rest I have been a stay-at-home mom for 11 years. I'm now 32 I only have a high school diploma. I did attend some fire inspector classes. But do not have the state certificate. I'm so lost not knowing how to start. Is killing me. I don't even know want I want to do. I started on monster.com you can build your resume. One of the first things they ask is Resume title.............This is me????????????????????????????????? The most scary thing is I need to find a job where I can support myself. Who will take me.....Will the army? lol

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Julies in Homewood, Illinois

73 months ago

NEVER THINK WEIGHT CAN KEEP YOU OUT OF A JOB....SKILLS,SKILLS AND MORE SKILLS!

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Mary Kelly in Lowell, Massachusetts

73 months ago

Rivet in Alexandria, Louisiana said: I didn't start this blog, but happy to be apart of it. :) I've been able to help many homemakers and I thank you for allowing me that opportunity. Please contiune to contact me and I'll do what I can to help.
Take care.

Hi, I trying to re-enter to workforce (tutoring/teaching) after being a stay at home mom for the last 9 yrs and I have not actually taught in 13yrs. My work experience basically is my schooling and 1 yr of teaching then mom to 5. I am curious about your fees for resumes. Mine in quite straight forward but definitely needs a lot of finesse!

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C.J. in Fort Worth, Texas

73 months ago

For anyone who contacts me and mentions this forum, I will charge $175 for a resume. I usually charge $250. You can see my resume writing page below:

<Edited by Host: Advertisement removed>

I own the site and all of the material on the site was written by me (except for the Occupational Outlook Pages and one other page). That leaves 180 pages of resume, cover letter and job search information - all written by me. Why does that matter? It proves that I know what I'm doing. Anyone can say that they write resumes. I prove that I know this field inside and out.

As it happens, I also happen to have a teaching certification for elementary education in Texas, so I have a lot of experience with the special language used in this particular field.

~Carla

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Rivet's Resumes in Alexandria, Louisiana

73 months ago

Mary Kelly in Lowell, Massachusetts said: Hi, I trying to re-enter to workforce (tutoring/teaching) after being a stay at home mom for the last 9 yrs and I have not actually taught in 13yrs. My work experience basically is my schooling and 1 yr of teaching then mom to 5. I am curious about your fees for resumes. Mine in quite straight forward but definitely needs a lot of finesse!

Mary Kelly,
I love your name. :) I am SO sorry for the delay, but still having Internet problems with outages all over town from the hurricane. Hopefully, it is on for good now at my home office! I work with moms in similar situations, just like yours, everyday and want to help you. If you don't mind, send me an email at <contact info removed> and we can continue to chat. :)
Sincerely,
Olivia

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DeAnne in Columbus, OH

72 months ago

Sher in Perth, Australia said: I am feeling so discounted right now! I think I have been kidding myself thinking that I was valued as a mother, as now that the time has come for the kids to enter into pre-school, the whole world seems to be asking me "when are you getting back to work?" They say things like "you must be so bored", "how do you stand it", "what do you do all day", and I am actually flabergasted by their assumptions that I am yearning to get back into the work force. I am not! Not only do I lose the time with my kids, but my life will become totally crazy as I try to keep up with 5 kids, a new job, keeping the house clean and groceries bought and, oh yes, being available to entertain my husband after working all day at a 'job' and then working all evening with the house and kids. I am so pissed off! One of my idols is my Grandmother, passed away now, that she stayed home with her family for her whole life. At any time they could walk through that door and she would be there to listen, to feed, to encourage, to help. And her family appreciated this, and recognized it as a dying trade- that of family care. Well, those days are long gone, and it is off to the headhunters I go, to find "value" in myself.

I agree with you 100 percent. Most of the pressure to go back is actually coming from my husband. My going back to work will relieve his stress. Who cares about who will take care of the kids when they are home. Exactly why would I want to sign up for another full time job? He does not have a good track record of helping around the house.

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michelle Wilson in Lenexa, Kansas

72 months ago

Sher in Perth, Australia said: I am feeling so discounted right now! I think I have been kidding myself thinking that I was valued as a mother, as now that the time has come for the kids to enter into pre-school, the whole world seems to be asking me "when are you getting back to work?" They say things like "you must be so bored", "how do you stand it", "what do you do all day", and I am actually flabergasted by their assumptions that I am yearning to get back into the work force. I am not! Not only do I lose the time with my kids, but my life will become totally crazy as I try to keep up with 5 kids, a new job, keeping the house clean and groceries bought and, oh yes, being available to entertain my husband after working all day at a 'job' and then working all evening with the house and kids. I am so pissed off! One of my idols is my Grandmother, passed away now, that she stayed home with her family for her whole life. At any time they could walk through that door and she would be there to listen, to feed, to encourage, to help. And her family appreciated this, and recognized it as a dying trade- that of family care. Well, those days are long gone, and it is off to the headhunters I go, to find "value" in myself.

I am looking to get a job. I have been at home for 10 years. I am angry too. We have four kids but money is tight. I read your column and i too had so many of your feelings and reactions of society devaluing motherhood. How are you today? I live in the USA, Kansas to be exact.

Blessings,

Michelle

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Resume Assistant in BH, California

72 months ago

Hi there hzl lara in Staten Island, New York,

this seems more like a SELF-CONFIDENCE issue than
a resume technique issue...

So here's my thoughts

- Use the MOMENTUM of your success, while you still have it
approach your boss and have him craft for you a letter of reference.
You might consider typing this up yourself - be sure to mention the
skills you've acquired and the challenges you overcome in the role.

- You might also want to approach those who you worked with and have
them write a Character Reference (this a POWERFUL tool that is often
overlooked)

Now armed with these two new pieces of content, get to work crafting
your RESUME - don't obssese over it. Just get something out there
into the job market...

The good news is you've already proved to yourself and your boss
that you can 'Do it!' So your self-esteem issues are irrational.

All the best

Ben

<advertisement removed>

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Judy in Forest Hills, New York

72 months ago

I have been a stay at home mom for 2 years now. I have a BA in Accounting. When I left my last job I was earning 54,000 a year. Now, I am ready to return to work. Should I ask for 54k? Or should I take a pay cut to 50k? I'm really confused and have had lots of arguements with my husband of this matter. He thinks I should stick with the 54k! But I'm wondering if I get a job offer for 50k should I take it? Am I short changing myself? Help! Please, Help Me! Thank you, SAHM in Forest Hills

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