New Mom Resume: Part 1

Returning to work after taking some time off to focus on family feels daunting for many moms. Besides the obvious employment gap in your resume, you may feel your parenting skills put you behind those who have been steadily working in a professional environment. But many moms are in the same position and your new mom resume can truly highlight your strengths without being a deficit to your hireability.

What NOT to Put on Your New Mom Resume

Stop for a moment to consider the skills you have gained as a new mom. You can multi-task like no one’s business (such as breastfeeding while making dinner while reading to your preschooler while negotiating a lower rate on your cable bill, for example), your ability to build partnerships and networking skills are through the roof (as evidenced by the gaggle of New Mom Resume: Part 1new mom friends you have made), you are highly productive on little sleep (you’re sustaining an entire human life on milk that you yourself have made) and you are a terrific problem solver (like new and exciting methods of distraction or rigging child-proofing measures in an otherwise adult-centric home).

While the skills you have mastered as a new mom are beyond impressive, your new mom resume must reflect what you can contribute to the workplace in a professional way. It’s tempting to add these cute entries to your new mom resume – one organization, Mother New York, even created an “employer” called The Pregnancy Pause to help moms account for time out of the workforce – but your potential employers may not find it quite so adorable. The last thing you want is not to be taken seriously.

The only time when the “labors of love” of motherhood may be appropriate to list on your resume is if they are directly related to the position you are seeking, such as being a nanny, house manager, day care provider or teacher.

Focus Your Roles in Motherhood into Resume Boosters

Laundry, cooking, cleaning and breastfeeding may not be among the activities you should list on your resume but volunteer projects, charity work and freelance assignments are. All of the work you’ve done in your community – whether that’s through a religious organization, school or other group – can speak to your organizational, inter-personal, multi-tasking, problem-solving and results-oriented mentality. It also shows you’re a go-getter and passionate about goals that affect you and your community.

Examples may include being a committee chair at your child’s school, organizing a fundraiser and sharing the resulting money raised, joining a community task force, being a weekly volunteer at a local non-profit, holding a board position within your religious group, or blogging for a community website.

Also include any continuing education and professional development you may have completed during your time out of the workplace. This shows dedication to your field and a desire to advance your skills even without current employment. It will prove you are keeping up with industry trends, new strategies and technology that make you relevant to an employer.

Tomorrow we’ll talk more about organizing your new mom resume and other ways to highlight your talents to seek employment. See you then!

Sources: SheKnows, Monster, AdWeek, The Muse and Resume Genius