The job hunt can be a lengthy and challenging process for moms re-entering the workforce. Not only do you need to find a position that fits your lifestyle as a mom, but you also need to show that you're on top of your game, even though you haven't worked in months or years. Your resume is your first impression to potential employers, so you need to make sure it will impress within a few seconds.
Here are the top four tips to make your resume as polished as possible if you're a mom looking for a work from home job:
1. Highlight your accomplishments rather than day-to-day tasks
When creating your description for each of your past jobs, don't just list out all of your daily tasks and responsibilites. Instead, focus on your accomplishments. If you kept your old files or notebooks, skim through them and find some data to back up your accomplishments. This will convey that your resume isn't just fluff, and you pay attention to detail. Here are some examples:
- Instead of: "In charge of bookkeeping and filing responsibilities."
- Say: "Created a filing and bookkeeping system that increased the company’s research efficiency 30%."
- Instead of: "Managed client's website, paid search campaign, and search engine optimization campaign."
- Say: "Increased the ROI of client's business 25% by executing marketing practices on their website, paid search campaign, and search engine optimization campaign."
2. Make Your Resume Easy to Scan
You want to make your resume as easy to read as possible. Bullet point each accomplishment under each job instead of writing one large paragraph. Oftentimes a hiring manager will only have the time to skim your resume if you weren’t referred to them internally, so big blocks of text will not make it easy for them to put you in the “yes” pile.
3. Include a Skills Section on Your Resume
In addition to having a section for your "Professional Experience" and another for your "Education," consider including a "Skills" section. This will remind potential employers of all the valuable skills you still have, even if you've taken a few years off from work. Don't limit yourself to your technical skills that may need updating since time has passed; things like managing a team and building client relationships count as valuable skills!
4. Proofread your Resume
As a mom returning to the workforce, you want your first impression to convey professionalism. It's very unprofessional for a resume to contain spelling errors, typos, or grammatical errors, so make sure you proofread your resume. It's best to let a couple other people proofread your resume as well to get more sets of eyes on it; it can be very difficult to catch errors on your own work!
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Photo Credit: Wise Geek
by Amy Levin-Epstein
An excerpt of a blog reprinted from CBS Moneywatch.
Get ready to nail your next interview, job seekers. I’ve asked my experts for their A-list advice to get you a second interview. I suspect you’re already savvy enough to send a thank you note and avoid lying on your resume. Let’s take your technique to the next level.
What follows, in no specific order, is a tried-and-true list of job interview tips.
Ask them upfront why they wouldn’t hire you.
The interview is coming to a close, but make sure you stick your landing, says Roberta Chinksy Matuson, President of Human Resource Solutions and author of Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around. “Always end the conversation with the following question: ‘Is there anything about my background that gives you concern?’” says Matuson. Now you’ve bought yourself a bonus round to derail any doubts.
Prepare sound bites.
Successes and skills need to be displayed clearly. “A sound bite is succinct and direct, catchy and easy to remember. An example is ‘I’ve designed logos for three Fortune 500 companies,’ or ‘My efficiency plan decreased product-delivery times by 15 percent without costing the company one cent,’” says Charles Purdy, senior editor and career expert at Monster.com. Implant these one-liners in your brain, and you won’t be grasping for words.
Be a stalker (within limits).
I hope you’re already Googling the person who will interview you, and reading about the company - but you need to feel it out further. “Dig deep by using tools like Klout and Pipl,” says public relations executive Meryl Weinsaft Cooper co-author of Be Your Own Best Publicist: How to Use PR Techniques to Get Hired, Noticed and Rewarded at Work. “Lurk around LinkedIn. Do some investigations by interviewing people who work there, or those who have left, to get the skinny on the culture and crowd.”
Record a pre-interview practice.
Ever wish you could tell how you sound in an interview? Find out, suggests Marlene Caroselli, Ed.D., author of The Critical Thinking Toolkit: Spark Your Team’s Creativity with 35 Problem Solving Activities: “A week ahead of the interview, record your reply to expected questions. Play the tape back and analyze your responses. Would you hire you?” If the answer is no, press rewind and try again.
Lean in for the kill.
OK, we’re exaggerating slightly. But you do want to lean slightly forward so your interviewer can tell you’re game. “Slouching or leaning back may send the wrong signals. When you sit down for a formal interview, lean forward to show interest and active listening,” says Kathryn Minshew, co-founder and editor-in-chief of PYP Media, an online career consulting tool for women.
Think of an interview as show and tell, suggests Jenni Luke, national executive director of Step Up Women’s Network. “Bring a ‘brag book’ of career accomplishments which demonstrates the quality of your work. [Or] if you see great work that a competitor is doing, bring that to the interview and critique it,” says Luke. This will clearly show what you can do and how you think. Bonus: Having a prop can also calm jittery nerves.
Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com.
Name: Helen Falk
City/State: New York, NY
Education : BA from Ithaca College, Certificate from NYU as of 12/2010
Summary of professional experience: I have over 20 years in the advertising/marketing profession as a full service client service/production/account manager. Over the last two years I have migrated towards integrated marketing and social media. I worked for DirectPro for close to 16 years, Citigroup for 4-1/2 years and most recently was placed by Mom Corps with TIAA-CREF.
Why did you turn to Mom Corps? I was referred to Mom Corps from a colleague and the experience has been a very good one. Within the short time I have been speaking with the New York office, I had scheduled two interviews for me which led to the position I’m at now. I have also referred a number of people to Lisa and Mom Corps over the last couple of weeks.
What type of position did Mom Corps find for you? I am a Project Manager in the Marketing Services group at TIAA-CREF. There I work collaboratively with Marketing Managers/Project Initiators to oversee all phases of projects from initiation through completion. The position is a contract one scheduled for 4 months which I hope can turn into something more.
Do you still hold that position? I still hold the position which I was placed in.
How has having a flexible job through Mom Corp been positive for you? I like the job and the flexibility! Fortunately, one of TIAA-CREF’s goals is that of work/life balance so there is a good fit.
What is your go-to stress reliever? – volleyball, boxing, bike riding, reading.
Describe your overall experience with Mom Corps. I have had a very positive experience with Mom Corps and would very much like to continue the relationship with the New York Mom Corps office if and when this position ends.