iStock_000002832253XSmallThere is no denying that childcare can be expensive. A remedy to this situation for many families is having one parent stay at home while the other works. Stay-at-home parenting requires a lot of work, but is not necessarily something you want to list on your resume. This can be a struggle when you are ready to return to the workforce and appear to have a – sometimes significant – gap on your resume. There are ways to overcome this gap, however, while still emphasizing your experience and abilities.

Avoid creative titles. Creating an employment listing for “Family CEO” or “Domestic Caretaker” isn’t the best move. While you do manage an extensive list of responsibilities and probably have some pretty impressive skills and achievements, it’s most likely not aligned with the type of job you are seeking.

Emphasize volunteer experience. You probably weren’t sitting around all day doing nothing. Many stay-at-home parents become involved in their children’s schools and other organizations in the community. Highlight your work with these groups, any leadership roles you assumed, and projects you were an integral part of. If you haven’t been very involved but know that you are planning on returning to the workforce soon, now could be a great time to step it up and start building experience for your resume.

Include part-time or consulting work. Are you an accountant and helped friends, neighbors, or others with their taxes? Did you hold down a part-time job where you worked from home or went into an office occasionally? Were you planning events or actively blogging for different websites? All of these things can be included on your resume. They show your involvement and relevant work skills. You can say that you were self-employed or freelancing during this time. Even if it wasn’t paid work or full-time, it is still valuable.

List continuing education or professional development. If you attended classes, seminars, or training courses – even online – they can be added to your resume. Make it a point to stay up-to-date and connected within your industry so when you head back you are not struggling to keep up. Refresh your skills and make yourself more marketable by enhancing your education.

Present a strong marketing message. Are you a master at problem solving, planning, project management, and prioritizing? Use your summary of qualifications and core competencies sections to really draw attention to your strongest skills. This is where you can make yourself shine and entice hiring managers to want to know more about you and your abilities. Make this section count.

Being a stay-at-home parent doesn’t have to be a negative when it comes to your resume. Whether you’ve been out of the workforce for a few months or a few years, the team at Chic Resumes can help you get your resume back in shape and ready for your job search. We’ll work with you to highlight your abilities and experiences in a professional and positive manner. Contact Chic Resumes at (803) 831-7444 or to get started.