Women's Issues

Experts Say Keep This off Your Resume When Returning to Work from Parenting Leave

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Returning to work after parenting for a while, can be nerve-wracking. You might feel worried that people won’t understand your lapse in employment. This worry grows the longer you’re not formally employed. Spending 5 or 18 years as a stay-at-home parent is incredibly challenging on its own, but not everyone understands the amount of work involved in raising children and maintaining a home. So what do you do when your prospective employer asks for your resume? Some folks suggest to add a listing detailing your parental duties.

However, experts say you should keep this off your resume when returning to work.

According to The Independent, a recruiter recently posted to Mumsnet how moms returning to work should never talk about their work as SAHMs on their resumes, no matter how cleverly written. The recruiter cited the example of a woman who wrote that she’d been employed by the “Jones family” (her own) and that her duties included, “organising international travel for her family.”

“More galling are the claims that women make about the critical role they played – with my favourite being the one who ‘spent seven years looking after my two children who needed and deserved my attention,’” the recruiter wrote on Mumsnet.

The reason she even brought it up was because she noticed that some career advisers were suggesting this, which she felt was detrimental to the parent’s search for employment. But other experts have different suggestions on how to handle the lapse.

CV and interview expert Duncan Watt told the Independent that stay-at-home parents should focus on listing out-of-home activities they’ve done related to their careers. So, for example, serving as a treasurer for a charity is a relevant skill if seeking employment as an accountant.

“Equally any courses that have been taken to keep technical skills relevant are good,” said Watt, such as blogging or website creation. Others that spoke with the website said volunteer work like fundraising are also great to list.

At the end of the day, though, these experts agreed that the best thing to do is simply state you’ve been caring for your family this whole time. There’s no shame in it, and you can always keep busy through volunteer or occasional freelance opportunities in order to keep your career skills sharpened for the day you decide to return to work.

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