If you’re a parent who has taken time off to raise your family, you’ll know what this means. The parenting gap is a glaring gap in your work history that could read: “raising children for X amount of years”. The trap, however, is feeling like you have to hide or overcompensate for this in your résumé or application.
Before we address the gap, please remember: you do not have to justify your reasons for being a parent! Your objective, when re-entering the job market and applying for jobs, is to anticipate and simply address any questions the recruiter might have. What you need to do is simply showcase your relevancy, skills, and knowledge directly relating to the position – regardless of the gap.
HOW TO ADDRESS THE GAP IN YOUR WORK HISTORY WHEN WRITING YOUR RESUME
Like every other candidate, your skills, experiences, and knowledge are on display. Remember to ask yourself – is what you include relevant, is it current, and are there any activities you undertook during your parenting gap that you could use to draw a parallel with or relate back to this specific position?
A professional profile is a standard inclusion my clients receive in their resumes that helps to position them in the reader’s mind, and this is a great place to address a career gap. I suggest a simple statement at the end of your profile, for example:
“I’m looking to return to an administrative role after several years of raising my family. I have spent the last six months completing online courses to ensure my skills and knowledge are current.”
Don’t forget to account for the time span in your chronological work history as well!
HOW WOULD USING A PROFESSIONAL RESUME WRITER HELP ME ADDRESS MY CAREER GAP?
Having a fresh, professional set of eyes can be the confidence boost you need to get out of the trap but if nothing else, there is one clear benefit of engaging a professional resume writer. As a former recruiter, I see the things people miss.
Where you might shrug off tuckshop volunteer or playgroup leader, I see cash handling, leadership and communication.
Where you might see answering the phone or doing the books for your family business as ‘nothing’, I see bookkeeping and administration experience.
– Have you done some studying or up-skilling during this period?
– Have you attended any seminars or workshops, or perhaps organised local community events?
– Have you completed a first aid course, or studied up on bitcoin?
– Have you led a scout group, or taught new parents about babywear?
Are you: a) selling yourself short, or b) not able to qualify your day-to-day because it seems ‘normal’ or ‘insignificant’?
Well, good news! I regularly work with clients to draw out what they deem ‘not important’, and finesse what’s relevant and current to your résumé/application. It’s my job to expand on these recent experiences, and to pre-empt any questions a recruiter may have about your work history and timeline.
As a parent myself, I know how daunting it can seem. A parenting gap is nothing to fear: the trap occurs when people stress about justifying or hiding their choices. You don’t need to explain why you’ve taken the time to raise your family, but you do need to show up with your best foot forward.
Latest posts by Adriana Modersitszki (see all)
- The parenting gap trap: how to address a parenting gap in your resume - February 1, 2018