Going from a high-intensity job in the military to a premed program was an easy transition, believe it or not. Both were highly demanding of my time and attention. My now husband and my Post 9-11 GI bill were taking care of the bills and I didn’t have to worry about expenses. Fast-forward a few years, I changed my major so we could move closer to my husband’s hometown and start a family. I was dreaming of my days as a stay-at-home mom who leisurely finishes her degree and causally drinks her coffee in the morning light of the dining room.
Well, as it turns out I thrive on chaos, and my days as a stay-at-home mom were cut short by my own yearning to return to my old self. I spent many years trying to find something that fulfilled me and my desire to be in the world, and landed as a business owner, finishing a marketing degree, and lots of experience in many fields. I have learned how to market myself and have even used the skills I’ve acquired as a mother and the “manager” of the house, so to speak.
Many of these things I did in the military or in some form as part of job responsibilities, and they were further reinforced at home. But for some fellow moms, who have never been in a full-time position or who have been absent from the workforce for a long time, it can be hard to pull these things out of your day-to-day activities. Running a home is hard; running a home filled with tiny humans is even harder, and trust me, it is impossible to not acquire skills while doing so.
Here are my top three tips and top five skills to list on your next resume; I hope you find them helpful:
- Use a functional resume. Chronological resumes can really highlight gaps in the workforce since they are designed to show your work history. Functional resumes are designed to highlight your skills and not draw attention to the dates of employment.
- Look up current resume trends for the industry you are applying to. Creative industries can tolerate more personalized resume formats with color, graphics, and even work examples, whereas more corporate industries prefer clean, simple, and streamlined templates.
- Tailor your base resume to each application. I know this can take a while, but it is so worth it. Read the job description and make adjustments. If the job to which you are applying lists computer skills as a must, your computer skill needs to be listed first and expanded upon in your resume and maybe even your cover letter. If you are not writing a tailored cover letter for every opportunity, you are doing yourself a disservice. Three of the last three job offers I have had from a resume submission have referenced my cover letter as a reason why I was chosen to interview. It is important.
1. Budgeting. This isn’t for everyone, but if you are the bank keeper and budgeter for your family, then it’s definitely a skill to list. Learning to support a family on a budget is not easy and the more you do it, the better it gets. Break that down into metrics: “Manages a $75k annual budget,” and be prepared to expand on this in your interview.
2. Organization and attention to detail. Keeping family files, juggling schedules, catching mistakes, checking homework, etc. These are all exercises in organization and attention to detail.
3. Multitasker. Probably your strongest suit as a mother and household manager. The ability to do 11 things simultaneously.
4. Computer skills. Don’t let the months of facilitating virtual school go to waste. List your Microsoft office skills, your ability to learn software quickly and, of course, your ability to Google the heck out of anything, I mean, your ability to research.
5. Decision-maker. I know this is a strong skill for any manager type position, so be sure to use it for positions that have a supervisory role or positions you hope to use as stepping stones into one. Employers love decision-makers, and they love people that take ownership.