How To Translate Caregiver Skills To Your Resume
Updated January 13, 2023
If you've taken time away from the workforce to raise children or care for elderly parents, you may be wondering how to describe the skills you've gained during this time on your resume. While you may not have been working for pay outside the home, being an effective caregiver requires skills like organization, patience and communication. By evaluating the skills a potential employer is seeking and comparing them to your tasks as a caregiver, you can show the company that your time away was a season of development and productivity. In this article, we offer tips that can help you make the comparison and effectively return to the workforce after a stint as a full-time caregiver.
What are transferable skills?
Transferable skills are those you can use in a variety of different industries and fields. For example, managing a calendar of appointments is necessary when acting as a caregiver, and those same skills transfer easily to a position as an executive assistant. When you look at the list of requirements for the job you are applying for, identify the skills you developed as a caregiver and how they match up to the position description. Here are a few transferrable skills you can mention in your resume, especially if you're transitioning back to the workforce after spending some time as a caregiver:
Clear and effective communication
Efficient use of financial resources
Organized time management and coordination of schedules
Careful and ongoing monitoring of multiple data points
Proven problem-solving abilities under pressure
Long-range planning and development skills
How to translate skills from caregiving to another position
Translating skills from caregiving to your application for a new job means showing your potential employer how the knowledge and abilities you gained are relevant to the position. When you consider the skills you've developed as a caregiver, you may see how well those abilities match up with the skills employers are seeking. Learning how valuable those strengths are can allow for many career possibilities. Here are some tips to remember when relating caregiving skills on your resume:
1. Create a detailed summary
An effective skills section should consist of a few sentences describing the skills you want to emphasize. This section lends itself well to connecting skills learned from caregiving to a new opportunity.
Example: "Knowledgeable professional with experience in coordinating transportation, scheduling and case management on a daily basis. Skilled in communication with large groups and making decisions under pressure. Ability to work in a high-stress environment independently and as part of a team."
2. Focus on your most relevant core proficiencies
When writing your resume, focus on the caregiving skills that most closely relate to the job you want. For example, you may have been a caregiver for an elderly parent, which required you to manage medication schedules. If you are applying for a position in patient care, you can emphasize your experience with administering medication on a strict schedule.
3. Write in the vocabulary of the position you are seeking
Whenever possible, describe the caregiving skill in the language of the new position for which you are applying. Doing so demonstrates to the employer that you have taken the time to learn their terminology, exemplifying how you can contribute to the organization. Describe it in terms of the concrete results your employer can expect to see.
For example, if you have been a stay-at-home parent to three children, you know how to coordinate your family's calendar and arrange daily transportation for multiple individuals to various activities. If you are applying for an administrative job in a busy medical practice, you can describe this on your resume as the proven ability to manage complex schedules for multiple individuals over time. If you've spent years raising children, you've learned how to anticipate and solve problems. On your resume, you can describe how you can apply those skills to solve work-related challenges in your new job.
4. Be honest about your time away from the workforce
Be honest about your time away from the workforce and what you learned from it. Most hiring managers appreciate a truthful explanation of why you stepped away from your career path for a while. Balancing family and work obligations is something many people can relate to, so openly sharing your experience as a caregiver may allow a chance for you and your interviewer to bond.
5. Focus on the future
As you're writing your resume, remember to keep the focus on how you can use the knowledge gained from caregiving to benefit the company to which you are applying. Focus on what you can achieve for the organization in the future. If you've managed the household budget for your family or an elderly parent, for example, you may have become a smart shopper who knows how to find good prices. You can show your future employer how you can use those skills to help the company save money on operating expenses.
Translated skills resume template
When reentering the workforce after a few years as a caregiver, the functional resume format may be beneficial. It keeps the focus on your skills, as opposed to a chronological resume, which focuses on timelines. Here is a template for a functional resume:
[City and state]
[Write an intro paragraph that describes your caregiving skills as they relate to the position.]
[List each skill and follow each one with a detailed paragraph of how you have used that ability in the past. Format each one in terms of the things you accomplished in measurable terms. Include at least three such skills.]
[List several experiences that are relevant to the position.]
Translated skills resume example
In the following example, this applicant is submitting a functional skills resume for an administrative assistant position after staying home to care for his young children for the past five years.
89 Country Ridge Road
Miami, FL 58930
Administrative professional with more than five years of experience in managing complex schedules. Organized and detail-oriented with clear and effective communication and conflict resolution skills.
Skills and Experience
*Time management: Organized daily, weekly, monthly and yearly schedules for five busy individuals with varying activities. Coordinated all aspects of travel, equipment and communication to manage projects effectively. Created an online scheduling system to give team members real-time information.*
*Financing and budgeting: Managed within a monthly budget by carefully resourcing the possible vendors for various products and services. Maintained a comprehensive and regularly updated database of product and service resources. Controlled spending to stay under monthly budget by at least 10% for five years.*
Project management: Coordinated every aspect of multiple projects over short and long periods. Managed the time and financial resources necessary to see the projects to successful completion. Established internal systems to avoid missed deadlines, resource shortfalls and subpar performances.
University of Miami
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
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