Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Recycled Post: What Does SAHM Look LIke On Your Resume?

Sometimes a girl just needs to leave her excess. When this blog temporarily becomes my excess, I rely on some of my favorite past posts to save the day - sort of recycling the good stuff. If you caught it the first time around, please let us know if you tried it and it worked for you!

This post originally aired when I returned to work during the summer of 2008. After nearly 10 years at home, I went to work for an independent research lab 2-3 days a week. I am now the Controller full time (32-40 hours a week depending on what is going on at home and at work) and my husband is home full time. He lost his job in May 2009. With the current state of unemployment, I suspect that other SAHMs are needing to re-enter the work force. Here is my take on how to sell those years at home for what they are - vital, valuable and an asset.

I feel really blessed to work where I do. It was heaven-sent and perfect for my situation. Everyone is very friendly and supportive. You are expected to be responsible and do your job well, but when and how you do it is up to you (within reason). I get to set my hours and work around my family's needs the best I am able.

Bonnie, the woman who started the company, is also the CEO. We met for coffee after a mutual friend from an old employer connected us. Bonnie said that they had passed my resume around the office because they really liked how I worded the section on my time as a stay at home mom (SAHM). I knew right then that I had to work there - it did not matter what my title or duties would be. She got me and got what it meant for a woman to give up time in her career to stay at home.

When I was working on my resume, many people advised me to leave that part of my resume out. They told me to do a "functional" resume, listing my skill-set and then my experience - no real timeline. I valued the opinions of these dear friends and family - they all were trying to help me land a job, after all. But, I knew in my heart that to gloss over the last 10 years would be a huge mistake. Mainly because that is who I am. I am a mom. I am that first and I always will be. I will never just leave an employer in the lurch, but if an employer cannot understand rearranging my schedule for a baseball game or working from home when a child has the flu, then that is not the place for me. Plus, I am proud of what I have done over the past 10 years - it has been really hard and I have learned a lot about myself and my family. In the end, I followed my instinct, left the section at the very start of my resume and I am so glad that I did because it helped me wind up right where I am supposed to be.

Bonnie and I had a conversation the other day about working, being at home and just how hard it is to be a mom in general. Bonnie mentioned my resume again and said that if I did nothing else, I should share that part of my resume with other moms, so that they could use it on their resumes. She said she appreciated how hard it must be to re-enter the work force and how unsure you can feel after taking that time off. Pretty insightful for someone who has never been in that position, wouldn't you say?

So, here it is in all of it's glory - thanks especially to Lesa, Eric and Kreg, who gave me valuable input that ended up making the section what it is today. And thanks to Bonnie, who had the insight to really read this section and take it to heart. Please feel free to make it your own. State what you have done with pride and be prepared to speak to it. If you treat your time at home like the golden experience it is, the right employer will come along and recognize you for the golden employee you are. After all, we mothers are focused and organized - so that we can do a good job and still get home to be with our families. We understand responsibility, patience and multitasking like no one else!

The Schahn Project

December 1998 – Present

Raising four children, ages 18 months to 12 years and managing all our household activities, chores, meals, maintenance, remodeling/improvement projects, logistics and repairs. The skills I have strengthened while being at home full time include patience, compassion, delegation, organization, leadership, the ability to prioritize, negotiation, budget, project and time management and humility.


1 comment:

Sara Beth said...

LOVE IT! I'm updating my resume' as we speak! Thanks for sharing.