When Kristen Clark, an HR professional, returned to work after the birth of her first child, a daughter now four, she didn’t mention the gap in her resume when she’d been at home.
In retrospect, she thinks that was a mistake.
“I used to have an empty space on my resume, which I would openly explain during interviews, but I am sure that there were many times that my resume was disregarded before that point.”
Why did she decide to go with the most conventional description?
“I only added the “stay at home mom” line after I began my current position and saw the many negative things that are hidden in employment gaps (i.e, long stretches of unemployment following a nasty termination),” Kristen explained.
Kristen had written a blog post about how to address employment gaps, “To tell you the truth,” and thought she should heed “my own advice and not look as though I was hiding something.”
“When I was ready to go back to work after being at home, I did not have anything to fill that gap on my resume, and I think that my resume was probably passed over many times as someone who had just been unemployed for a long period of time.”
Are these terms right for a resume? Chief of Home Operations, Stay at home parent, full time parent/mom, house manager?
Should a mom returning to paid work outside the home use a title like Chief of Home Operations (COHO) or home manager in their resume to cover the period when she was a home looking after children or even elderly relatives?
Kristen says: “As for the term ‘stay at home mom,’ I have seen many variations (stay at home parent, full time parent/mom, house manager), but many of those feel to me like women are trying to overcompensate … as though the role of Mom isn’t good enough.”
“That’s what I did during that period: I was a Mom who stayed at home with my daughter.”
“And now I am a Mom who works in an office during the day. The term is simply a preference for me.”
Our thanks to Kristen for generously providing her resume as an example for other women. Yeah!
If you’d like to help other moms returning to the workplace, please send us a copy of your resume (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll post it.
It may also be a way to get publicity if you are job seeker!!!
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