Resume & Cover Letter

What counts as experience on a resume?

As a stay at home mom who is returning to work, you have some resume challenges ahead of you. The biggest one is the employment gap, but you also have the issue of what you can list as experience on your resume.

While being a mom gives you plenty of experience at time management, decision-making, conflict management, and so many more skills, it gets a bit tricky to list how you got those skills.

You cannot claim that changing diapers is “waste management,” or that putting your 3-year-old in time out is “conflict management.” (Even if some of your future co-workers could benefit from a time out.)

While us fellow moms know how much work goes into parenting and that you deserve a gold star for every diaper blowout and tantrum you survive, this does not hold traction on a resume or with hiring managers in an interview.

Here are some things you CAN list on your resume:

  • Parent manager for your child’s classroom or sports team
  • PTA board or executive committee member
  • Managing your child’s dance studio’s website
  • Planning your mom’s club annual fundraiser
  • Designing logos or marketing materials on the side for friends
  • Mentoring relationships, especially if they are career related
  • The blog or vlog you run on the side if it is focused on your profession or highlights a skill set you need
  • Training or conference sessions that you lead or have led
  • Any consulting, even if you have done it for free

You likely do have relevant experience for the position you are seeking. And even if you don’t have much, that can easily be updated with a few months of preparation and possibly some training courses.

The key is to focus your resume on that relevant experience rather than just a chronological timeline with a large chunk of missing time.

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