This Is the One Resume Mistake Moms Should Never, Ever Make after Maternity Leave

Hiring managers will throw your resume straight in the trash.

working momg-stockstudio/ShutterstockWhether you’re a new mom who took a year off for her baby, or a dad who quit his 9-to-5 for several years to raise his kids, getting back to the workforce can be tricky (though these jobs with the best work-life balance can make the transition easier). Parenting is arguably the toughest job in the world, but the time away from the office can throw a wrench into job applications.

Of course your stay-at-home period helped hone some of the most important skills out there. At this point, you’re better than ever at resolving conflicts, juggling multiple deadlines, and figuring out how to finish tasks way more efficiently. (And hopefully you’ve brushed up on these tricks for going back to work after a career break.)

But how do you fit that on your resume? According to recruiters, you shouldn’t.

Listing stay-at-home parent duties on a resume isn’t going to impress a hiring manager, one recruiter writes on parenting forum Mumsnet. She says she’s seen more and more moms listing their day-to-day duties as resume points after a long maternity leave—and it totally turns her off. For instance, spelling out how busy you were doing laundry and getting groceries “while impressive as an exhaustive list, doesn’t really mean much when applying to an office-based role,” the recruiter writes. (What you definitely should include though? This one thing employers actually look for on a resume.)

Taking time off to raise your kids is commendable, but framing it wrong could sound like you’re shaming the person reading your resume. For instance, never imply that parents who don’t stay at home are doing their kids a disservice. “You never know if your interview panel will consist of a [full-time] working, single mom like me who finds it pretty insulting that working means her children apparently lost out on ‘the attention they needed and deserved,’” the recruiter writes. Be sure to avoid these other things you should never say to a working mom, too.

That said, paternity or maternity leave doesn’t have to turn into a questionable gap on a resume. (By the way, this is the single best way to explain a resume gap.) The recruiter on Mumsnet said she didn’t mind when parents simply listed “stay-at-home mom” on their resume without the bullet points. Looking to be a better worker? Follow these CEOs’ advice.

Plus, any other work you’ve done during maternity leave, like blogging or volunteering, could definitely catch a recruiter’s eye in a good way, says recruiter and career strategist Jenny Foss. “Depending on the types of positions you’re applying for, anything from planning charity auctions to recruiting volunteers to bookkeeping for an after-school club can be relevant,” she writes on The MuseThese are the craziest things that people have tried to expense through their employer. 

Now that you’re ready to start your job application, watch out for these resume mistakes that could cost you the job.

[Source: The Independent]

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Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.