Beef up your resume when you’re returning to work

Your resume is your calling card in the modern business world. Many moms think that the interview is their attempt to make a good first impression on potential employers, but your resume is actually the first representation of yourself that they see. If you’re returning to work after having a child, odds are that your resume might be a little bare of recent work experiences. Don’t worry – plenty of moms have been in your exact situation but still found good-paying, flexible staffing jobs that are perfect for an even work-life balance.

Emphasize volunteer work
Employers are generally forgiving toward mothers who took some time off to have a kid, but an extended stay out of the work force might require some sugarcoating to really pop on a resume. If you haven’t worked a legitimate job for a handful of years, emphasize some of your other activities instead.

Volunteer work is a great way to show that you’ve been learning skills and working as a member of a team even if you weren’t paid for it. If you helped organize a community event or participated as a member of a charity group, list that on your resume. What employers really want to see is a continuous timeline of activity – a gap of more than six months is likely to raise questions. 

Showcase freelance projects
Depending on the job you’re applying for, try to bring in work you’ve done on your own as a demonstration of your skills. If you’re interested in a design position, send in samples of arts and crafts you’ve made for your baby shower or as part of a hobby. Any extra materials will show that you’re not only willing to learn new skills, but that you can accomplish tasks without supervision.

Most employers allow you to submit writing samples or links to digital portfolios alongside resumes, so be sure to take advantage of that.

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