Continuing my discussion of working mothers from a couple of weeks ago (which incidentally resulted in an interesting discussion on law.com’s Legal Blog Watch), I am mentioning here an article I saw in the WSJ Career Journal on what to do with your resume after staying at home with a child.
The article advocated being very forthcoming on your resume when you have stayed at home for a period of time raising a child. In fact, instead of leaving a gap, which could give a firm or company pause, the idea is to include your experiences as a stay-at-home parent. The article mentions Carol Fishman Cohen’s advice, co-author of the book, “Back on the Career Track,” which is to say, “I made the decision to stay home, and now I can’t wait to get back.”
I constantly tell my candidates that the purpose of a resume is to answer a potential employer’s questions and of course, to sell yourself. The more questions an employer has, the more likely a resume is to end up in a trash basket. Employers read resumes in seconds, not minutes, and gaps are bad, even if there are reasonable explanations for the gaps. “Gap Moms” (or Gap Dads) shouldn’t apologize for their commitment to their families, but rather make a notation in their resume that explains the time that they took off for their family’s sake. I am eager to hear opinions on this advice.