GUEST POST BY KIMBERLY SARMIENTO
Hiring a professional resume writer is a worthwhile investment for just about anyone from a recent graduate to a CEO; however, our expertise and strategic approach to presenting career data and achievements certainly benefits some more than others.
Any mom (or dad) who has taken on the challenge of returning to work after a significant time at home can tell you that you need all the help you can get.
I personally made that transition nearly 10 years ago after taking time off with my two young children. Since I wasn’t trained to be a professional resume writer until 2009, this was certainly one of the moments in life where I could say, “If I only I knew then what I know now!” Having a professionally-written resume would have made my initial return to work much easier. I am confident the same is true for most other stay-at-home parents.
1. We Construct Resumes That Work For You
First and foremost, a stay-at-home parent needs advice on ditching the traditional, chronological resume. Honestly, a reverse chronological resume doesn’t serve anyone well; but if you have been out of the job market for a while, the last thing an employer needs to see if a job listing that ended in 2014.
With that said, you also want to avoid a functional resume. This format takes all of your duties and accomplishments and lists them together with your position titles, employers, and years of employment summarized below that long list of bullets.
The functional resume was once an inventive approach to covering up a job gap or addressing the fact that you did the same thing over and over again in multiple positions. The problem is that it’s been in use so long that most hiring managers see it as a “red flag.” In other words, they now know if they see a functional resume to look for a career gap or something else that the applicant might be trying to distract them from.
Additionally, the most sophisticated Applicant Tracking software will not just track your keywords, but it will pair those keywords with dates of employment to measure how many years of experience you have in the skills you list. Functional resumes don’t align well with those systems.
So, what approach do I recommend? The best resume for a former stay-at-home parent is one that introduces them to the reader with a strong summary (or Branding Statement), lists some key skills, and highlights career achievements before you get into the professional overview. If you do all of that, you have made a positive impression on the reader BEFORE they even read the date your last job ended.
You might be unsure how to piece a resume together that does this, but a good professional resume writer can do that for you.
2. We Showcase Transferable Experience
The next reason I would recommend a stay-at-home parent hire a professional resume writer is to have someone help them brainstorm and translate non-work experience for use in their resume. I’m not recommending that you list “Household CEO” on your resume and then list bullets about your budgeting and financial management skills (It sounds good, but it just doesn’t impress a hiring manager...). Most stay-at-home parents have not been sitting idle while taking time off work. Most have been participating in PTOs, sponsoring or coaching sports teams, leading Cub Scout troops, and so much more.
This involvement in volunteer organizations does translate well on resumes to demonstrate skills and achievements when returning to the workforce. A professional resume writer can identify the accomplishments from your volunteer work that align best with your job target and highlight them in such a way to make a positive impression on the reader.
3. We Align With You And Give You A Boost
Another reason why a stay-at-home parent returning to the workforce should hire a professional resume writer is to have a partner in the process. If you have been out of work for several years, you might lack confidence in your job hunt. You know you have the education and credentials you need to do the job you want, but how do you compete with someone who hasn’t missed a beat in their career progression? You were cleaning Legos out of your dress shoes this morning, and you have to go up against someone who looks like they spent the morning getting a manicure.
Returning to work after years as a stay-at-home parent can be an intimidating process. The good news is that nothing is harder than staying awake when your toddler decides they don’t need an afternoon nap anymore after you’ve just spent the night feeding a baby who wakes up hungry every three hours. And can any office squabble really be worse than a “That’s not fair!” war between a four- and two-year old?
Seriously, you’ve got this. You just might need someone to boost your confidence and make sure you look as good on paper as you possible can.
My favorite feedback from my clients is, “You make me look so good that I’d hire me!” If you feel that good about your resume, you’ve got a leg up on your competition. That is why a professional resume writer is well worth the investment for any soon-to-be former stay-at-home parent.
Don't stress your job search (You have enough on your mind...). Working with a Certified Professional Resume Writer will position you for success!