Mom skills. You moms know what we’re talking about. Multitasking, scheduling and budgeting. Of course, these are useful skills but should you put them on your resume? And if you do, will employers take them seriously?
So, should you include them? An emphatic “Yes!” says Olivia Omega, a personal branding strategist who works with women wanting to brand themselves for the purpose of getting a job, building their career or starting a business.
“Moms are some of the most creative, driven, innovative, fearless people on the planet. And these skills are often underrated, overlooked and undervalued. The skills they possess, not everyone has. Of course, the one that first comes to mind is multitasking. But it goes far beyond that,” Omega, author of “Beautifully Branded: The Girls Guide to Personal Branding,” points out.
Still, will employers be impressed? Steven J. Lindner, partner in The WorkPlace Group, a think-tank provider of global outsourced and strategic recruitment solutions, says maybe not. “It’s not that recruiters and hiring managers underrate ‘mom skills.’ It’s simply that mom skills are not unique in the workplace. There are a plenty of working moms who balance work with family obligations. However, I would recommend that moms returning to work state on their resumes that they have been spending time since their last job raising a family,” says Lindner. “This will explain the gap on their resume since prior employment. It also will eliminate any incorrect inferences regarding why they have been out of work. The truth is that hiring managers and recruiters tend to minimize risk. Anything that appears unclear on your resume or creates doubt about your suitability for employment, readiness for employment or ability to perform the job will result in other candidates being considered before you. However, it is better to be a mom-out-of-work by choice rather than someone who has been unemployed for a long time not by choice.”
But Erik Episcopo, a career adviser and career coach at Resume Genius, says mom skills can be used; it’s just how you word them. “Soft skills such as the ability to multitask, manage, communicate, and organize could all be emphasized on a mom’s resume,” says Episcopo.
“It all depends on how you frame each skill on your resume. Simply saying that you took care of three children won’t be enough to demonstrate your ability to multitask. Instead, try to frame it like this: ‘Masterminded the daily schedules of three adolescents, while simultaneously balancing the family’s budget,’” he says.
Omega agrees with Episcopo and gives some examples of how to word mom skills on your resume: “Instead of multitasking…Moms have the ability to effectively manage a variety of tasks while focusing on the bigger picture and desired end results; Instead of cleaning dirty diapers…Moms don’t mind getting their hands dirty to get the job done and will never ask their people to do something they won’t do; Instead of enduring sleepless nights…Moms are dedicated to putting in the long hours needed to accomplish a goal.”
Still, Lindner, who doesn’t think it a great idea to add mom skills to resumes, does offer some advice for women reentering the workforce after being stay-at-home moms: “The best thing that moms can do to prepare themselves for re-employment is to keep their work skills sharp,” he advises.
He adds, “Recruiters and hiring managers need to see that moms maintained their professional expertise. This can be demonstrated by taking on a leadership role with a charitable or nonprofit organization, attending continuing education programs, maintaining or earning new job relevant certifications, taking college courses and being active in professional organizations. For moms who have been out of work for many years, it’s important to show active use of skills and current job-relevant knowledge for at least 6 to 12 months prior to reemployment.”