How to Write a Resume After Working as a Homemaker

by Ellie Williams, Demand Media
    Use your resume to showcase what you've accomplished outside a professional setting.

    Use your resume to showcase what you've accomplished outside a professional setting.

    If you're returning to the workforce after taking time off to be a homemaker, don't assume the gaps on your resume will automatically turn off employers. Instead, showcase what you've learned and accomplished in your personal life in addition to listing your professional experience. Then, demonstrate how you can transfer your skills managing your family and household to a professional setting.

    Step 1

    Make a comprehensive list of everything you have to offer employers. Include every job, regardless of how long ago it was, or whether it was paid or unpaid. List the duties you performed for each position and also include the duties you perform as a homemaker, including tasks like managing the family's money.

    Step 2

    Lead with your skills instead of your previous job titles. Consider using a functional resume, which lists your skills at the top, followed by a short work history section that lists just job titles and locations without a description of the job duties. The "Forbes" article "Is a Skills-Based Resume Right for You?" suggests choosing three or four skill sets that relate to the job you're applying for. Make a bulleted list of what you've accomplished in each area. For example, if you list accounting as a skill set, mention your work as treasurer for the parent-teacher organization at your child's school, listing specifics such as the size of the organization's budget.

    Step 3

    Shift the focus to your accomplishments, rather than your age or the gaps on your resume, by placing less emphasis on the dates you worked or when you graduated. In the QuintCareers article "Resume, Cover Letter, Interview Strategies for Older and Mature Workers," career expert Katharine Hansen suggests omitting your birth date and graduation date. You can also omit employment dates from jobs from 15 years ago or more.

    Step 4

    Create a separate section entitled "Volunteer Work" and list every group you volunteered for and every position you held. List your duties just as you would list your responsibilities at a full-time job. In the CBS Chicago article "Survive this Economy: Shifting from Homemaker to Working Mom," recruiter Sherida Thompson says listing volunteer experience tells employers you can multitask and that you're committed to keeping yourself busy and being part of a team.

    Step 5

    Include temporary work you performed during your time as a homemaker and list this under the title "temporary contractor." Include the duties you performed at all of your temp jobs and treat your temp work as a single position rather than a variety of jobs.

    Tip

    • Follow basic resume formatting guidelines. If you're sending a hard copy of your resume, use high-quality paper in white, off-white or beige, with a matching envelope. If you're emailing it, include it in the body of the email, because many companies block emails with attachments to protect against viruses and malware. Save your resume as a plain text document and send a copy to yourself first so you can see what the recipient will see.

    About the Author

    Ellie Williams has been a journalist since 2001, working both as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer. Her work has been recognized by her state's press association and by her local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Williams graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and humanities, with minors in French and theater.

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