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  1. #1
    boilermakermom is offline Bargain Alerts forum moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default SAHM returning to work - need resume help

    I have been a SAHM for the last ten years and need to return to work. I am completely stumped on what to put for work experience for the last 10 years.....or do i not even address it?

    Also, how far back do you list previous employment? Have resume formats changed over the last 10-12 years?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006


    Have you done any volunteer work in the schools, with your kids activities, or elsewhere? I added those things onto my resume.
    DD (3/06)
    DS1 (7/09)
    DS2 (8/13)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    East Coast


    Quote Originally Posted by boilermakermom View Post
    I have been a SAHM for the last ten years and need to return to work. I am completely stumped on what to put for work experience for the last 10 years.....or do i not even address it?
    Also, how far back do you list previous employment? Have resume formats changed over the last 10-12 years?
    I got a job after 12 years a SAHM. It is nerve-wracking to change what you are doing after so long, especially when what you have been doing doesn't seem very marketable.

    Some people list the gap in their resume with the phrase "at home parent." I wouldn't describe it - people know what it is, whether they value it or not. I listed mine as "Community volunteer" and listed the major volunteer things I'd done that would play well in the kind of job I was applying for (or any job). I also separately listed some paid work I had done for my old employer on and off over the years. I used the same chronological resume I'd always used because it was the most familiar to me, and I think I found an ancient copy and updating it was easier than starting fresh. I already felt so outdated that I didn't want to feel like the resume itself was a huge obstacle all by itself.

    I also took a job at a seasonal consignment sale two or three times while I was jobhunting. I did it in part to have a current employer reference. I don't think I put the job on my resume, because it was barely even retail work - mostly it was sorting the merchandise - and it wasn't relevant to the jobs I was applying for. I thought listing the work kind of undersold me. But I did like having a current employer reference.

    A couple other tips.... 1) I went through two rounds of a job search, first in 2012 which went nowhere but did force me to update my resume. Then my family went abroad for 6 months for DH's job and all was on hold. I did a job search again in 2014 and had more luck. The no-success helped me be more prepared for the succesful phase.
    2) I had to spend A LOT of time tracking down former managers and references, since many people had retired, changed jobs, or organizations had changed names. In the end, I think only my most recent and longest job was used and contacted as a reference.
    3) I also asked a local person who owns her own business and has worked with me on lots of volunteer stuff to be a reference. We are friends more than anything else, but she had a good title to list on a reference and we do have the significant volutneer overlap, so she was a good local and recent reference.
    4) I actually heard about my current job through DH. He works at a university, so lots of jobs, but he's an engineer and I am not so I never thought he'd be a job source for me. But he told someone I was looking, who remembered my situation down the line when she heard of an opening. She didn't hire me, but she and I met, she liked me, and she referred me. So don't discount contacts that seem like they wouldn't lead anywhere, especially at large and diverse organizations.
    5) Ask for current places for job listings. My current job has advertised multiple full-time positions on Craiglist had a lot of jobs in the non-profit sector that is my background.
    6) Find out from insiders if there are limits on hiring at any of the big employers in your area and how people get around them. For me, our big university in town essentially had a hiring freeze but could easily hire temps, whose positions often grew in hours or status. That is how I started and MANY people I know there. A neighbor who is a nurse told a similar story at our medical center.

    Good luck. Don't expect it to happen fast so you're not disappointed.... and be thrilled if it does!
    Advice and commentary on living overseas

    DD1 15, DD2 12, and DS 9

  4. #4
    niccig is online now Clean Sweep forum moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Default SAHM returning to work - need resume help

    Definitely put volunteer work and use people from there as a reference. If you donít have any volunteer work, start doing some.

    When I was waiting to get my green card after DH and I married, I volunteered at several places. This was pre-DS so I had more time. I had 2 recent local references to use when I did apply for a job. I volunteered with a homeless organization teaching job hunting skills, and at a museumís education department. It was 2-3 days/week for a 2-3 hours a day for several months, so they got to know me, could say I was reliable etc. I listed my duties at each place and wrote ďvolunteerĒ in job title.

    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    Last edited by niccig; 02-12-2019 at 11:03 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012


    I was in same shoes as you last year. I started volunteering more at DS1ís elementary school and DS2ís preschool in a variety of roles.

    I signed up for DV/Sexual assault volunteer training that lasted 3 months and this is how i got my current PT job. So definitely put down your volunteer jobs you did over the years, if any.

    I only listed my paid employment dating back 2004 because thatís who i was able to get current references since i still had contacts with those leads. My gap is smaller than yours; out of work for nearly 8 years, but everything is still applicable. I figured during the interview, gaps can be explained which happened with my interview, and it was not an issue at all.

    Good luck!

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Mummy to DS1-6/11 and DS2-1/14

  6. #6
    mmsmom is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    I am currently in a job search after being home for 11 years. My resume does not list anything after my last position. People ask and I tell them I have been home with my family. They do also ask what I have been doing to keep skills sharpened and I
    talk about volunteer work.

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