Great question and answer on the vexed question for working moms: How do you explain gaps in a resume when you return to work after time out looking after family or kids?
This is a short excerpt from a very long Q and A on The Sacramento Bee Web site about these issues. Well worth reading if you are job hunting or looking for work and have a hole in your resume due to staying home with children.
Question: I worked at Intel for 20 years and took a voluntary layoff five years ago. I spent those years taking care of my young kids and my mother who had cancer. I’m now ready to return to the work force. What is the best way to handle this five-year break on my resume and in interviews? And would it be more productive to try securing a job through a personnel agency vs. on my own?
Terri Carpenter of Sacramento Works: The best way to handle your employment gap is to list your experience and qualifications using a “functional”-style resume, which does not list dates. At the top of your resume, be sure the job “objective” states your years of experience: “With 10 years experience in accounting, I’m looking for a job in…” Then list summaries of your qualifications and skills, without a chronological job history. Lastly, list your specific employers without employment dates. To see examples, search online for “functional resume.”
Carpenter, who runs a 12 week course helping women return to work, says “Stick to your qualifications, skills and experience and stay away from personal information on your resume. In the interview, you can provide details on why you left your last employer, if needed.”
To see the full transcript, go to: www.sacbee.com/live.
About the Author: Julie Power is a writer and editor with experience in both the United States and Australia. After living in the United States for 16 years, she recently returned to live in Sydney with her husband and twin boys (9 years old). Follow @juliepower