The value of transferable skills
Dear Sam: I am returning to the workforce after 6 years as a stay-at-home mom for my two daughters. My résumé is severely outdated, and I am not sure how to grab the attention of employers as they will first see the huge gap in employment. I have listed only the last 10 years of experience on my résumé. Also, I have done some work for my husband’s company including answering phones, janitorial work, and scheduling. Help! – Ruth
Dear Ruth: Let me “paint a picture” for readers. You open with your objective statement, followed by work experience including three positions held between 2000 and 2004. You close your résumé with an education section, noting your diploma.
If I were a hiring manager reviewing your résumé, I would ask three questions: (1) What does she want to do? (2) What can she do? (3) What has she been doing since 2004?” Unfortunately, with this number of questions, the hiring manager would likely look no further. There are, however, strategies you can employ to create a much more effective and attractive résumé.
First, do you know what positions you are interested in? You need to figure this out before you can even begin to craft your résumé. If you are seeking administrative roles, then you would have a perfect background to highlight based on your past experience.
Second, can you define your key strengths? You need to reflect on your background and determine what you like to do and what you can do well. Are your administrative and computer skills up to date? Can you validate those skills and statements through your work experience? Take some time to uncover your “value,” albeit packaged in a small amount of experience.
Three, why not explore what you have been doing professional with your family business since 2004? While I know you have been a busy stay-at-home mom you have also been working with your husband’s company. There is no reason you can’t list this within your professional experience to fill the gap. If you worked for him part-time, you can still list the experience, presenting what you did accurately but in a manner which reinforces how you are positioning yourself now.
Lastly, take some time to revamp your format. You can still maintain a reverse chronological résumé as you have your family business to fill the gap in your employment, but the format of your résumé is going to be vital to its success.
Making something pleasing to look at is a great way to sometimes “hide” a lack of content, and, in your case, recent experience. I know you can have a great résumé that facilitates your reentry into the workforce; just take some time to further develop your strategy before you put pen to paper.
Send your questions to email@example.com. Read more Dear Sam on www.jobsok.com. Need résumé, interview, or job search help? Contact Sam and her firm Ladybug Design at 888-9-LADYBUG, 888-952-3928, 614.570.3442, www.ladybug-design.com
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