Posted by: careeradvisor | September 22, 2008

Resume help for a Stay-at-Home Mom


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Question: I’ve worked in clothing retail (Cato Fashions) since age 16.  I worked every position in the store up to store manager in 5 years (7 total positions) then as a secretary & then as a store manager/DMIT (district manager in training) for Burkes Outlet for a year until I was put on bed rest due to pregnancy.  I’ve been a stay @ home mommy & part-time student on & off @ Stephen F. Austin State for the last 5 years, so I’ve been out of the loop for a while.

I really need help with my resume.   Years ago, while working with Burkes, I posted my resume on monster & received a ton of other job offers, but now I’m wondering if being at home to start a family for the past 5 years has in fact jeopardized my chances of getting a job.  I felt it necessary to explain why my last job was so long ago by adding that I’ve been at home until my little ones were finally @  the age to enter a daycare program, but I wonder if this has hurt me (adding this fact.) 

As a manager, seeing a 5 year gap on a resume w/no explanation would concern me.  I’m not sure I would even contact that individual.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as it has become imperative that I return to work.  I have a family of 6 & this extra income is in great need & promptly!frown

Answer: Most moms returning to the work force worry about the gap in their resume.  But you don’t have to organize your resume by date, which emphasizes gaps.  You can organize your resume by types of positions, for example. 

Create a Functional Resume:
A functional resume focuses on your skills and experience, rather than on your chronological work history. It is used most often by people who are changing careers or who have gaps in their employment history. Here is a link to a sample Functional Resume: 

Don’t lie, but don’t get defensive about the time you’ve spent raising your children.  Resumes are about highlighting how your experience can help you contribute in the position that you are seeking.

Be creative, is there something that you did as a stay-at-home mom that can relate to the position that you are looking for? Time managment fror PTA program? etc…



  1. This is great! Since I am technically a “stay-at-home-mom” I can really appreciate this. I know for many of my friends who are at home but intending to return to the workforce, it can really be nerve wracking, and I see them starting to second-guess their skills and abilities. I wrote an article about this topic, too ( I’ll RT your article on Twitter! @sweetcareers

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