Address Your Job Gaps With A Winning Resume
Have you been looking for some great resume tips? This might be on your New Year’s Resolutions list: go back to the corporate world. In these tough economic times, many stay-at-home moms are realizing that returning to work is what is currently best for the family.
If you are worried about having a gap (non-working period) from your last position to today, you are not alone. Good news? It is ok. Some of the most common reasons for employment gaps are a lay-off, taking time off to have a baby, caring for an elderly parent, a disability, or choosing to stay at home and raise children.
Some employment gaps can be looked upon more favorably than others, particularly in today’s highly competitive job market. As Latinas, let’s be proud of the decisions we make for our families, but let’s not also overlook that choosing to be a stay-at-home mom can still be a potential barrier to employment when going back into the workforce — and let’s address it with some surefire resume tips.
Consider a functional resume format that will highlight the skills you can bring to the employer. This type of resume will focus on skills with a summary of qualifications at the top of the resume and list your experience by industry instead of chronologically. You can list past and transferable skills and accomplishment in a summary of qualifications. Include your work history at the end of the resume. Consider something like this:
2002-present Full-time Homemaker, PTA President, Community Volunteer
2001-present Home Management, Part-time Student, Extensive Travel
By then the employer is impressed by your skills and is ready to call you for an interview. When and where you acquired the skill is de-emphasized because it is further down the page. It’s all about selling your skills first.
Besides having the right resume structure, consider other activities that you can do that would shorten those gaps.
FILLING IN THE GAPS
This is one of the best resume tips. Volunteer. Some career counselors may advise you to volunteer during an unemployment period, and we completely agree.
Volunteering can also help you during interviews. When you enjoy what you do as a volunteer, the interviewer can see that excitement in addition to your job duties. Attitude is key for anyone in the job market. How are we coming across to the employer? To find volunteer opportunities in your area visit the Volunteer Match website.
Strike out on your own. Many of us have that entrepreneural spirit, whether it is selling something from home, or eBay, these opportunities can provide us with extra income, so why not consider self-employment? Share your expertise with others.
TRANSFER THOSE MAMI SKILLS
If you have been out of the workforce and have decided that going back to work is what is best for your family at this time, think about your qualifications, and do not overlook volunteering. Think about your current and transferable skills and examples for each. Listing this information on a piece of paper prior to starting you resume will help you (and will come in handy once you land an interview, as you will be prepared to mention these examples). In your resume, use specific numbers and examples of your skills to entice a prospective employer/recruiter. Remember, employers/recruiters are looking to see what you can bring to their company, so this is not the time to not be shy. It is the time to boast about your accomplishments with confidence and pride.
Above all, be prepared with a positive approach that can get you to the next step — the interview. Now use these resume tips, smile and get out there!