Re-entering the Workforce? Here’s How.

Leslie Dubuque

When I made the decision to leave my job as an event planner to raise my two daughters, I left behind long hours, a great income, and an all-access pass to the hottest parties in Hollywood.

Two years later, I needed to rejoin the workforce and found it more difficult than I thought it would be. My biggest challenge was explaining my gap in employment to a potential employer. At the time, I couldn’t see how my current job as boo-boo expert and taxi driver translated into quality skills. I needed to think outside of the box.

Here is how you can market your duties as Mom CEO to land a job.

Market your skills. Stay at home moms have many skills that can transform into invaluable experience for an employer. Did you plan your schools carnival? Highlight your leadership and budgeting skills used. Are you in charge of getting three kids to three different activities, oversee homework, and make sure dinner is on the table at 6:00? Time management skills are a must to run a seamless household.

Update your Resume. The resume you used to land your last job will most likely look like your high school yearbook picture. Outdated and cringe worthy. Depending on the type of job you are applying to, different resume formats will apply. If you Google resume formats 2.3 million results will come up. That’s overwhelming! Thankfully, you can narrow that down to just four: chronological, functional, combination, and targeted. Chronological is the most commonly used. It lists your job history in chronological order; starting with your most recent job. Functional focuses on your skills and experience; listing those first rather than your most recent job. This format is best for those with a gap in employment history. Combination resumes let you detail both your skills and experience while backing it up with your chronological work history. Targeted resumes are customized for the prospective job you are searching for. If you need more professional help, there are many companies, like Resume Writer Direct or Represent, which will rewrite your resume for you. Other sites such as Resume Genius and Resumonk provide you with templates you can use for free.

Build your Brand. LinkedIn is the world’s largest online business networking site. It is the first place most employers look when they want to hire new talent. It is the best way to network and job search. Your LinkedIn profile will give companies a detailed view of your skills, experiences, and interests before they meet you. The best part is that you decide what that content should be. You have the power to brand yourself how you want others to see you. You only have one chance to make your first impression.

Be Honest. When I started looking for a job, I was not picky and applied for almost any job I could see myself doing (or not doing). In interviews, I would lie and say I was available anytime I was needed and that I had a flexible schedule. I knew this wasn’t true. I had two small children at home and I couldn’t afford to pay for a nanny or multiple babysitters. By my last interview, I was honest and told the company my situation. To my surprise, they were willing to work with me. They allowed me flexible hours and the option to work from home when needed. Because they were so good to me, I went above and beyond what was required. I was one of the most dedicated employees they had. They are still the first referral I give to anyone looking for a creative agency.

Re-entering the workforce is not as simple as picking up where you left off; but it doesn’t have to mean you need to start at the bottom again.

OptIn’s 6-week on-ramp series for women can provide you with all the tools and resources needed to get back to work in a supportive hands on environment. For more information visit our website at optbackin.com or email hello@optbackin.com.