Resume Tips for Women Reentering the Workforce
The woman reentering the workforce has some challenges in today's job market. There are some resume tips you can follow to develop an effective resume that connects what you can do with what an employer wants done.
Usually, Mom’s the one who puts her career on hold to meet family responsibilities. You can’t, of course, claim Mom-related job titles on your resume, but you can make equivalency statements:
Like a crisis manager, I’ve had front-line experience handling such problems as electrical failures, including computer crashes.
The following sample resume gives you an example of how this approach might come together.
List transferable skills
Identify transferable skills that you gained in volunteer, civic, hobby, and domestic work. Scout for adult and continuing education experiences, both on campus and in nontraditional settings.
Reexamine the informative Web sites you’ve used, the educational television programs that you’ve watched, and the news magazines that you’ve monitored. Go to the library and read business magazines and trade journals, or online if the ones you want are available without subscription.
Use professional terms
In recounting civic and volunteer work, avoid the weak verbs: worked with or did this or that. Instead say collaborated with or implemented. The use of professional words and keywords can help de-emphasize informal training or work experience.
Professionalizing your domestic experience is a tightrope walk: Ignoring it leaves you looking like a missing person, yet you can’t be pretentious or naive. Housewife dates you; family caretaker sounds more modern and better describes your role. Refer to home management to minimize gaps in time spent as a homemaker.
Fill the home management period with transferable skills relevant to the targeted position. Examples range from time management (developing the ability to do more with less time) to budgeting experience (developing a sophisticated understanding of priority allocation of financial resources). Other examples include using the telephone in drumming up support for a favorite charity (developing confidence and a businesslike telephone technique) and leadership positions in the PTA (developing a sense of authority and the ability to guide others).
Know the score
Gender bias lives, and, of course, you should omit all information that the employer isn’t entitled to, including your age, marital status, physical condition, number and ages of children, and husband’s name. Even though the law is on your side, in today’s interview-rationed job market, why drag in facts on your resume that could stir up bias? Your resume’s job is to open interview doors.
When you’ve been out of the job market for some years, you have to work harder and smarter to show that you’re a hot hire. To help in your quest, seek out seminars and services offered to reentering women.