You are a superwoman in the eyes of your family. The responsibility of caring for your newborn child and maintaining personal and professional relationships isn’t natural. After a maternity leave, some women are fearful of the reality of getting back to work because industries experience changes throughout the year.
The most common questions that often come to mind are, can I match up to the competition? Do I need to upgrade my skills? What can I add to my resume after a nine-month leave? You are not alone. You will be surprised how writing skills on a resume will help you stand out from the competition. Here are helpful tips to help you enhance your resume to get back into the workforce successfully.
Highlight the Fact You are Efficient
You are a woman on the go and juggling tasks is your forte. Being a mother has its challenges; you lose sleep, doubt your decisions, need to show your spouse attention and raise a newborn child at the same time. Your ability to manage these responsibilities and more is a strength when discussing your time away from work in a job interview. I recommend you include a few points on motherhood in your cover letter if you volunteered in your community or started a part-time / at home business. At least two complete sentences in the document will show recruiters you kept yourself busy.
Experiment with Resume Styles
It is inevitable that a human resources recruiter will notice the time gap in your resume. A functional resume lists your professional skills are listed first and work history second. At the top of the resume, write Resume Summary with a paragraph of powerful sentences on what you can offer an employer. You can write a phrase like “In a full year, I cared for my twins, and now that my maternity leave has ended I am enthusiastic to return to work.
Professional Experience Heading: the heading in this area of the resume can be listed as Professional Experience or Accomplishments. If you are an executive, subject matter expert, or have a series of work gaps of employment, use this resume to direct hiring managers to focus first on your talents.
How to Fill Gaps in Your Resume
Most people have a hard time writing gaps on a resume. If you continued to work a casual or volunteer position on your maternity leave, include these activities to make your resume appear relevant. Add a heading titled “Relevant Experience” whether you are doing consulting assignments or helping a non-for-profit organization.
If motherhood kept you busy, you could add a career objective or your education first at the top of the resume if it is a part of the job description for the job you applied to.
Don’t forget Your Multi-Tasking Skills
As a professional, you multi-task every day. When you were on mat leave, it was a necessity. In each job description, add an example of an achievement when you had to balance a team or complete a variety of assignments all at once. At your interview, you can include the fact you are a natural born multi-tasker as a mother, then mention your professional skills to highlight your talents.
Avoid Adding Childcare Responsibilities
You are proud of being a mother. Most employers understand it is not a relaxed lifestyle. If you can avoid adding that you are a “CEO Mom” or other descriptions that tie to your domestic life, it will differentiate you as a professional ready to get back into the workforce. It is not surprising that if the recruiter has a family, they have the same responsibilities at home like you.
Re-focus points on your resume that date back to awards, committee membership involvement, or leadership training/ certifications you received before your maternity leave. Whether you were away from work for three months to a full year, these skills will sell your strong points.