The gap – the new reference term for the space on a mom’s resume that screams I have been out of the workforce for years. How do you address it? We say, “Head On!”
Here are 5 tips on how to take the spotlight off that gap and shine it on you.
Own it. There’s nothing to hide here. Explain directly that you were at home raising your children. This approach also helps hiring managers in in the interview process who can’t legally delve deeper into questions regarding it. Another way to own it (and beat the ATS bots) add “Mom” to your work experience on your LinkedIn profile and list the company as Pregnancy Pause (supported by Mother NY).
Blow them away with a stellar summary. Here’s your opportunity to wow potential employers and highlight your accomplishments instead of focusing on that gap. Remind them of the amazing career experience and education you have and then dazzle them with what you did and learned in that time away.
List volunteer, part-time experiences & educational certificates. Don’t overlook all those hours logged contributing to society and enhancing your education over the years. Every one of those deserves a place on your resume. These positions may have gone unpaid but they certainly fill that space with skills, development, and experience.
Celebrate the skills you developed during those gap years. Soft skills – those specific and critical qualities that allow people to interact with greater empathy, knowledge, and understanding are of incredible value in the workplace and very difficult to teach. Consider for a moment the myriad of activities in which you participate (as listed above). Those roles involved dealing with many personalities on a daily basis. They also required extreme time management skills (squeezing in volunteer work before preschool pick-up), multi-tasking (managing a toddler while reserving a venue for a fundraiser and collecting donations for its auction), and leadership (running a board meeting with the school committee, parents, and administrators).
Do not undervalue yourself. Sell yourself just as anyone else would sell themselves when looking for a new job. You have earned your place in the ranks.