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10 bad résumé mistakes stay-at-home parents should avoid

stay-at-home mum writing résumé

You don’t get a second chance with your résumé. It’s important to immediately impress potential employers with your skills and values. Even though a résumé is a crucial step to getting an interview, we don’t always seek out experts to help us get it right. You’ve got tons of skills, Mama, and leaving it up to a friend that’s doing great in his/her career and is fab at English just doesn’t cut it. Recruiters and hiring managers have to get through hundreds of résumés in a short time. Research shows they spend anywhere from 6 seconds to a minute on a single résumé. Avoid these 10 things if you want to get to the interview stage.


Listing your job as a stay-at-home parent

Mama, I know it isn’t an easy job. Not many women can do it, and you’ve done a great job. The point of a résumé is to get to an interview, and you need to show that your recent employment adds to your ability to bring a company money and success.


Not putting all the juicy stuff in the top 1/3 of your résumé

We live in an attention deficient age. The top third of your résumé is your key real estate. Use it wisely. If you don’t get the employer interested in interviewing you in the top section of your résumé, you’ll loose out.


Embellishing the truth because you can’t remember

It can be hard to remember all the ins and outs of our employment if we’ve been working as a stay-at-home parent. Don’t embellish the truth. You may get caught in an interview or if the recruiter or hiring manager does any searching. Besides the chances of getting caught, you have your integrity at stake – character is priceless. Low-ball it if you can’t find out a way to source the information you need.


Not following current résumé trends

The world of careers and recruitment moves fast. You don’t need to include “references available on request,” your address (the city is enough), or employment with a start date more than 15 years ago. If you have a LinkedIn profile, which you should, make sure to include it in the header of your résumé. A Jobvite social recruiting survey found that 93 percent of recruiters search your online profiles before they offer you an interview.


Too many words selling your skills

It takes skill, practice, and experience to understand what does and doesn’t work on a résumé. Writing a résumé is your chance to show what you think, feel, and value about your professional life. I know caring for a little one can be taxing and we don’t usually have time to reflect on our achievements, but try to aim for less than 23 words in a sentence. Make sure your key résumé sentences are simple to understand and around 15 words.


Listing you duties

Recruiters want to see what you’ve achieved and how you added value to the company because this shows why you are right for the job. Client or customer growth, revenue increases, and budget savings are easy to quantify. Show off those precious résumé diamonds by quantifying your accomplishments and duties.


Missing out these

Classes, conferences, or any relevant certifications, professional affiliations, and language skills show that you actively engage in your professional development. These are great things to include.


Wrong résumé format

Using a functional résumé tends to lead to “I’m hiding something” as it doesn’t include dates. The best résumé style for you would be more of a combination between showing your skills and core proficiencies and a chronological format. In the “Executive Summary” section, highlight the work that makes you a star and show why you can completely nail it in the job you’re applying for. In your “Core Proficiencies” section, outline the things you know how to do and then list your career history starting with the most recent job.


Not valuing unpaid work

You need to value it, Mama. Describe any volunteer work using powerful action words just like you would for paid work. You can also include freelance and contract work too.


Not including words and skills listed in the job role

There is a proven technique to using the most powerful words and skills listed in the job specification. I’ve mastered it and have seen the results it’s yielded over the years. I’d love to help you get to the next stage in your career. Reach out.


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