How to Write a Resume as a Stay at Home Mom Returning to Work

Stay at Home Mom Resume| How to Write & Example |

Staying at home to take care of your children is meaningful work that develops new skills and provides you with challenging experiences. However, it can be difficult to translate this onto a resume that will distinguish you as an ideal candidate once you decide to rejoin the workforce. This article explains why creating a stay-at-home mom resume is beneficial, lists steps for updating your resume when returning to work and provides a template and example that will help you craft your own resume.

Why is a stay-at-home mom resume useful?

After spending time out of work to care for your children, it can be difficult to leverage this as an applicable experience once you decide to return to work. Additionally, an employment gap can give employers the wrong impression and discredit your employability. A resume for a stay-at-home mom can help to reintroduce you into the job market and show a hiring manager that you have maintained your skills and experience as well as developed new ones while you were parenting.

How to create a stay at home mom resume

Here are some things to consider as you revise your resume as a stay at home mom:

1. First, consider adopting an alternative resume format

A majority of resumes are written in reverse chronological order, meaning that the most recent experience is listed towards the top of the page. Though that works well for those on a traditional career path where each position usually brings an increase in pay and responsibility, it is less effective for a stay at home mom because it can accentuate the employment gap. Fortunately, there are other options, such as a combination or functional resume, that emphasize your skills rather than your professional experience.

2. Second, craft a resume summary or objective

You can draw attention to your qualifications for the position you are applying for by including additional resume sections, such as a summary statement or an objective. These additions will consolidate your skills, experience and intent, giving hiring managers a clear picture of how you could be an asset to their team.

3. Third, incorporate volunteer roles

Serving as a stay-at-home parent usually allows for opportunities to work in a volunteer capacity with your child’s school or extracurricular activities. Though the work is unpaid, it can still be a wonderful way to showcase your skills and demonstrate that you still had applicable responsibilities during your employment gap. When describing your volunteer work, use action words and direct language, just as you would with past professional experiences. Make sure to highlight any accomplishments in these areas as well.

4. Fourth, mention any freelance work

Even though staying at home with the kids meant a break in full-time, salaried work, you may still have worked as a freelancer, temporary hire or contracted employee. It is beneficial to include any of this information on your resume. It will communicate that your skills are still intact and can fill the gap in your employment history.

5. Next, utilize your references

Providing references can be a great way to assure employers of your abilities despite being away from work for an extended amount of time. Make sure that the contact information is accurate and that the reference is willing to affirm your skills or experience.

6. Then, decide whether you should include your stay at home experience

There are many arguments both for and against including your experience as a stay-at-home mom on your resume. It can be beneficial if you are looking for a role that would benefit from this experience, such as teaching, but could be inapplicable in other industries. Ultimately, only you can decide whether you would like to include this experience on your resume.

7. Lastly, keep your stay at home experience relevant and professional

In many cases, a cover letter is a more appropriate place to explain your employment gap as a stay-at-home mom. However, if you do decide to include this information on your resume, focus on the details that are relevant to the position you are applying for.

Here are some guidelines to help keep your descriptions professional:

  • Avoid giving the position a funny title
  • Only include transferrable skills and responsibilities
  • Avoid providing an exhaustive list of unrelated chores

Stay at home mom resume template

Here is a template to follow as you craft your own resume:

[First and last name]

[Phone number]

[Link to website or online portfolio]

Objective: [Strong, descriptive adjectives] [position] with [years of experience]. [Relevant accomplishments (optional)]. Seeks to use [relevant skills] as a [position] at [organization].

[Name of school], [Dates attended]

Professional Experience:

[Name of organization]

[Job title]

  • [Bulleted list of achievements and responsibilities]

Volunteer Experience:

[Position], [Dates]

  • [List of hard and soft skills that are relevant to the position being applied for]

Stay at home mom resume example

Here is an effective example of a resume for a stay at home mom who is rejoining the workforce:

Sarah Holliday

1234 Marigold Avenue, Seattle WA 98101

(555) 555-5555

[email protected]

Detail-oriented and tenacious writer with a Master of Arts degree in English and 7+ years of experience seeking to utilize language and communication skills as an editor for Creative Solutions.

M.A. in English from the University of Portland, August 2011 – May 2013

B.A. English from the University of Portland, August 2006 – May 2010

Professional Experience

ACME Enterprises

Lead Content Writer

August 2016 – January 2018

  • Led a team of six writers who were responsible for developing the company’s web page content including home pages, customer-facing advertising and blog pages
  • Performed quarterly performance management evaluations of three writers, sharing the responsibility of performance evaluation with the senior editor and the publisher

Quorum Publishing

May 2013 – July 2016

  • Edited manuscripts for science white papers in the areas of chemistry, pharmacology, genetics and medicine
  • Led the content editor team, supervising two other content editors and their work, which involved handling the last round of edits and providing feedback
  • Reported on their work in quarterly performance management evaluations to the senior editor
  • Evaluated manuscript submissions and worked with writers to help them improve their ideas and thesis
  • Took the lead in developing style standards for the content management team based on AP Style

Tomorrow Publications

Copy Editor

January 2011 – April 2013

  • Reviewed and corrected manuscripts to improve accuracy and readability using AP Style for manuscripts
  • Corrected manuscripts for errors, omissions, inconsistencies and repetition of text and words
  • Checked manuscripts for caption errors and graphics for consistency with the narrative and text of the manuscripts
  • Work with UX web team to create web page content in support of marketing materials

Idlewise Press


June 2010 – March 2011

  • Proofread and fact-checked manuscripts about open source technology and emerging technologies in artificial intelligence
  • Reported errors to the lead editor
  • Collaborated with editing team to ensure accurate and consistent quality of work involving graphic design and text

Volunteer Experience

Hillsdale Preschool Board

Volunteer Secretary

August 2019 – Present

  • Record meeting notes and read the current report at the beginning of each board meeting
  • Keep track of votes on board issues and report these at board meetings as part of meeting notes
  • Serve as a liaison between board members to update information or correct errors in meeting notes
  • Report amended information or correction of errors during board meetings
  • Maintain diaries and logs of meetings
  • Manage meeting schedules and appointments, specifically for the board president and vice president

Hillsdale Preschool

Newsletter Writer

May 2019 – Present

  • Manage and write content for the Hillsdale preschool website and newsletter paper version using AP Style for all articles
  • Manage and maintain the newspaper advertising budget
  • Meet with local advertisers to secure funding for the preschool newsletter


  • Technical writing
  • Proofreading/editing
  • Communication
  • Microsoft Office

If you need help writing a resume, use our data-backed resume builder .

  • Resume Tips for Full-Time Parents Returning to Work

parent returning to work resume

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parent returning to work resume

Have you been looking after the kids for the past few years? But now they are growing up and you’re itching to get back to work? Returning to work after you’ve been a full-time parent can seem intimidating.

Everyone’s constantly talking about the cutthroat job market, what chance do you have? And how can you ever create a resume – you can’t list fixing breakfast as a skill, can you?

Fear no more! With the right resume, you can get your job hunt sorted and get ready for work. Here are the tips for sorting out your resume and getting yourself back on the career ladder.

parent returning to work resume


Before you start worrying about your resume, you should define what kind of roles you are looking for . Best resumes are tailored to the role and you can’t be effective with your job-hunting if you don’t know what you want. It’s extremely hard to create a successful resume with the simple premise of wanting a job, any job. What job exactly? The resume to become a brain surgeon or a waitress will look different.

But for parents returning to work, there is another important aspect to think about. It’s the previous experience you might or might not have. For full-time parents, the key is to answer these two questions:

Knowing which one you are doing will help you pick the right resume format. It makes listing the right skills, qualifications and accomplishment easier. You know if you’ll be working with things you’ve already done in the past and relying on your previous work experience or if you need to emphasize transferable skills.


Resumes come in all shapes and sizes . But as mentioned above, the most important thing is to tailor it based on the job and your current experience and skill level . If you don’t consider these two things, you’ll end up with the hiring manager’s nightmare – a resume with no focus or soul.

Three resume scenarios

For returning parents, the key is to pick the right resume template based on those skills and qualifications. The returning full-time parent typically faces three different scenarios:

  • They have a lot of professional experience ( I just took a few years off to stay with the kids ),
  • They have little previous experience ( I started my career but quickly decided to stay at home with the kids ), and
  • They have no real previous work experience ( I didn’t really get into the career ladder ).

Below are tips for each situation and a quick resume format to follow.

Scenario 1. Returning parents with lots of professional experience

If you worked for a long-time prior to staying home with the kids, you can use a combination resume or even opt for your average chronological resume. You’re in a strong position – your past experience will be to your advantage even though you’ve taken a bit of time off. In order to address this short time gap, you could opt for the combination resume.

Here’s a quick format for a resume that would fit the situation:

Scenario 2. Returning parents with little previous experience

On the other hand, you might have just a sliver of experience. You should definitely use this to your advantage in the resume. If your experience is not directly related to the field you want to get into, you can focus on the transferable skills but also highlight any relevant education you may have.

Scenario 3. Returning parents with no previous experience

You might have, of course, spent most of your adult life as a full-time parent. It might be that you don’t have any real valuable work experience and even your education might be limited. You still have options to make your resume look good!

In these circumstances, you need to focus on utilizing any volunteering work you’ve done during your time at home. You should also consider adding any freelancing work you might have done – even if it’s something like selling old baby clothes on eBay.

The format could follow a functional resume format. This could look something like this:

Now, if you’re lacking in education, you can place the relevant skills first and mention your education at the end. If you don’t have notable experience or education, it’s vital to boost your resume by gaining either experience or skills. You can find out how to bolster your resume in the following sections.


No matter what kind of resume format you’ll end up using, you don’t want to try hiding your employment gap. There is no point in trying to pretend it isn’t there. There isn’t anything wrong about taking time away from the career ladder and looking after a family.

When you are returning or looking to return on the career ladder, the best bet is to be honest and upfront about having been off the ladder for a while.

You should definitely include a summary paragraph to your resume and use it as an opportunity to briefly mention your current situation. You can use the section to outline your intention to return to work after staying at home with the children. Most hiring managers will tell you having a family won’t really work against you – there are much worse reasons to have an employment gap in your resume.

Now, your resume doesn’t have to be the only place to talk about the employment gap. You can also bring it up in your cover letter. This can allow you to be more detailed about your situation and write a more in-depth section about the benefits of having stayed at home in terms of returning to work life.


Whilst domestic duties and looking after kids are hugely valuable things and they teach many important life lessons, don’t try using them as skills on your resume. People have sometimes written things like “CEO of the Family” to their resume but this won’t impress the hiring manager. In fact, it looks rather silly and it’s not a professional way to talk about your time as a stay-at-home parent.

Avoid the temptation to write about your time managing school runs or your skills at organizing the laundry – these kinds of domestic tasks don’t have a place in your resume. The Independent published an article on the matter, with a one recruiter saying,

“ More galling are the claims that women make about the critical role they played – with my favorite being the one who ‘spent seven years looking after my two children who need and deserved my attention’ ”.

The point the hiring manager is making is not that the work you have done isn’t valuable but, as she put it, you shouldn’t “ put this kind of waffle on your CV ”. There are other ways of focusing on your transferable skills.


Now, the above doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use transferable skills to benefit your resume. As mentioned earlier, transferable skills are a wonderful way to talk about your skills and to highlight your suitability for the role. The key is to avoid using clichéd job titles or listing your skills as purely domestic ( such as doing the laundry, for instance ). You definitely want the focus to be on skills and achievements you’ve done outside of your domestic life. The truth is you’ve probably been involved with many projects you just didn’t necessarily count as valuable things to put on your resume.

The correct way to do it is to focus on highlighting those skills and qualifications that help you in your professional life. For instance, take the skill all employers love: organizational skills . You might have been in charge of the school’s baking sales or you’ve volunteered for the sports club and helped organize tournaments. These situations showcase this valuable transferable skill. It’s important to utilize these in your resume.

Here’s a great video about transferable skills being a full-time parent can provide you with:

If you’ve also held an un-paid or unpaid position in an organization, such as the school’s parental board or the board of the local sports club, then you should also list this on the resume. These kinds of roles show you’ve been a respected member in the community, you’ve taken responsibility, and you’ve been in a leadership position and so on.

It’s always good if you can quantify these skills and experiences. For example, consider the two examples you might add to your resume:

  • “Selling old baby clothing on eBay.”
  • “Managed an online retail business that sold clothing worth $10,000 over a five-year period”

It’s essentially the same thing – so you are not lying – but the latter statement looks a lot more professional. Adding quantities always adds volume to your resume. Again, consider these two examples:

  • “Took care of the budget for local sports club and gathered donations.”
  • “Handled a $5,000 budget of the local sports club for two years, increasing donations by 20%.”

You add more context with the latter example and you give a more tangible proof of your finance skills! Of course, the key here is to make sure you’re not lying – you can’t make up those numbers. But a lot of this information is probably available to you. It is possible to look at the earnings, percentages or the timeline of events.

What if you feel like you still didn’t have those types of experiences? Maybe you stayed home looking after triplets or cared for a special needs child and you just didn’t have time to sit in the school board or organize sports clubs. You should be upfront about this in the career object or executive summary.

In addition, these can also teach you valuable skills that are worth mentioning. For example, you could say something like:

  • “Researched and organized a four-person nursing ring for my special needs child.”
  • “Oversaw a $200,000 house renovation project for a year.”

Furthermore, it’s a good idea to talk about the soft skills – you’ve probably noticed an improved skill to broker conflict resolution between warring children and getting along with all sorts of people from doctors to teachers. Things like communication skills and negotiating skills are something employers are always looking for.


The above tips will help you format and edit your resume. But you might still feel it is lacking in content – it can seem hard to find relevant transferable skills and if you’ve stayed at home for most of your adult life, you might find your experience just isn’t there. Don’t worry; there is a final way you can improve your resume. You can bolster and broaden your skill set.

Being a full-time parent doesn’t mean you can’t do anything else, especially if your kids are growing up and they don’t need as much attention. You could start your march back to work by taking up a volunteer role or simply working part-time.

This gives you a chance to build up your resume and it gives you a softer landing back to working life.

You could also improve your skills with the help of online courses. These will also help add depth and professionalism to your resume. You can find all sorts of online courses and some of them are even free! Have a look at these websites for course ideas:

  • – courses ranging from marketing to music.
  • – courses ranging from psychology to accounting.
  • – courses ranging from business to language studies.
  • – courses ranging from data science to programming.

Now, certain courses online and offline might provide you with official certification, which might be useful in your career. These certificate programs are often not as intensive as full-time studies and you can take them while staying home to look after the kids.

So, if you are planning to get back to work, you might want to consider enrolling on a course like this. You could do it a few years before you think you’d start looking for a job – a great way to prepare your resume!


Don’t be daunted by writing the resume when you’re a full-time parent returning to work. There are many things you’ve probably done while staying at home and as the examples above show, numerous ways to boost your resume. The most important thing is to stay honest and avoid clichéd statements about your time at home.

Focus on transferable skills and pick the resume format that best highlights your strongest points. You want to ensure you address the gap by showing how you’ve kept updating your skills and stayed active even though you haven’t been on the career ladder. This will help you create a resume that’ll land you a new job!

parent returning to work resume

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Stay-at-home Mom Resume Examples & Writing Guide for 2024

Background Image

You’re a stay-at-home mom.

You’re great at time management, organization, and able to juggle five jobs at once. 

Safe to say you’d make a great employee!

But HOW do you prove your abilities to your future employer?

What do you put on a stay-at-home mom resume, anyway?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re about to answer.

We understand that applying to jobs after years of staying at home can be a daunting experience. But please don’t worry - our guide will get you back on your feet in no time!

  • An example of a finished stay-at-home parent resume that works
  • How to write a stay-at-home mom resume that’ll fill up your interview diary
  • How to make your stay-at-home mom resume stand out [with top tips & tricks]

Before we dive into why the company should hire you, here’s a stay-at-home mom resume example, created with our very own resume builder:

stay at home mom resume example

Want one of these? Then follow the steps below:

How to Format a Stay-at-Home Mom Resume

Whether you’re getting your kids ready for school or running them a bath, you know the importance of preparation.

Similarly, you need to prepare your resume format before you can start writing!

But what does this actually mean?

Well, your resume needs to be structured correctly.

The most common resume format is “ reverse-chronological ”, and it is for good reason. This format puts your most recent achievements up-top, which keeps your resume clean and easy to follow.

reverse chronological work at home mom

You may also wish to explore the two following formats:

  • Functional Resume – This type of resume focuses on skills, which makes it ideal for stay-at-home moms who have gaps in their employment history or never worked in that specific industry.
  • Combination Resume – Getting back into the same job after a short break? Combining both “Functional” and “Reverse-Chronological”, individuals with both the required skills and experience may want to use this format.

After picking the correct format for your situation, you need to sort the resume layout .

For a stay-at-home mom resume that looks the part, we recommend: 

  • Margins - One-inch margins on all sides
  • Font - Use a professional resume font that stands out, but not too much
  • Font Size - Stick to 11-12pt font size for normal text and 14-16pt for headers
  • Line Spacing - Use 1.0 or 1.15 line spacing
  • Resume Length - Maintain a 1-page limit. For guidance, view these one-page resume templates

Use a Stay-at-Home Mom Resume Template

Ever written a document? 

There’s a good chance you used Word, or similar processing software.

Now, these programs are great for creating simple documents, but are they good enough for your resume?

Not if you want a professional-looking resume! 

Why do we say this?

Well, Word isn’t the best for holding structure. 

You see, it can take hours to create the perfect structure, only for you to make one small change, and BOOM…your resume falls apart.

You’re a busy parent - Free up your time by using a stay-at-home mom resume template .

What to Include in a Stay-at-Home Mom Resume

The main sections in a stay-at-home mom resume are:

  • Contact Information
  • Work Experience
  • Employment Gap

To really impress the recruiter, you can also add these optional sections:

  • Awards & Certification

Interests & Hobbies

That’s the sections sorted, but what should you write for each of them? 

Let’s find out!

For a full rundown on each section, view our guide on What to Put on a Resume .

How to Correctly Display your Contact Information

Now, this isn’t the time to unleash your creative flair.

You just need to keep this section factually-correct .

You could submit the best resume in the world, but if your phone number is wrong, well, you won’t be getting any interviews.

As you can see, accuracy is the name of the game in your contact section.

The contact information section must include:

  • Title - Align this to the exact job title you’re applying for
  • Phone Number - The one you are most-easily reached on
  • Email Address - Keep your email professional ([email protected])
  • (Optional) Location - Applying for a job abroad? Mention your location.
  • Emily Brown, Receptionist. 101-358-6095. [email protected]
  • Emily Brown, Supermom Receptionist. 101-358-6095. [email protected]

How to Write a Stay-at-Home Mom Resume Summary or Objective

The job market is getting more and more competitive.

In fact, most employers usually have a HUGE pool of applicants to choose from.

Taking this into account, we can’t be too surprised that recruiters are known to spend less than 6 seconds on each resume !

Although rather concerning, we can use this knowledge to our advantage.

You just need a way to hook the reader.

But HOW can you do this?

Use a resume summary or objective , which are both attention-grabbing paragraphs that sit at the top of your resume.

This paragraph will be the first thing the hiring manager lays their eyes on, so make it the best it can be!

resume summary stay at home mom

Although similar, there are differences between a summary and an objective…

A resume summary is a 2-4 sentence paragraph that summarizes your most notable professional achievements. 

  • Fast-working and friendly receptionist with 18 years of experience working on the front desk of a local gymnasium, where I achieved a customer satisfaction score of 98%. Highly-skilled in data-entry, customer service, and negotiation. Seeking to leverage interpersonal skills and a commitment to great service to become the new receptionist at GYM XYZ.

A resume objective is a 2-4 sentence paragraph of what you want to achieve and why you’re perfect for the position.

  • Enthusiastic and friendly gym-goer looking to work as the new receptionist at GYM XYZ. Passionate about keeping visitors happy and satisfied. Relevant experience includes serving customers during two years at CAFÉ XYZ. Skilled in POS, communication, and time management.

So, should stay-at-home moms use a summary or an objective?

Generally, because stay-at-home moms will have large employment gaps, a resume objective would be the best choice. With that said, if you’re entering back into an industry that you have plenty of experience in, a resume summary would be the best choice. 

How to Make Your Work Experience Stand Out

The work experience section is the most important section on your resume.

As such, it’s a section that requires special care and attention.

The goal is to write a powerful work experience section that stands out and highlights your most notable achievements .

Doing so will instil confidence and reduce any perceived risk in hiring you.

Now, you may be concerned about your employment gap, but don’t be.

Anyway, it’s always better to explain your employment gaps, rather than attempt to conceal them.

Here’s how to correctly structure your work experience section:

  • Position name
  • Company Name
  • Responsibilities & Achievements


06/2017 – 03/2020

  • Based on surveying, I achieved a 99.4% visitor satisfaction score during my three years at Real Gym
  • Welcome and advised 250+ customers a day
  • Developed a new fitness class system that reduced complaints by 48%

Instead of simply talking about your daily tasks, you should show how valuable you were at your previous employment. You see, this will allow the recruiter to immediately see how you’ll directly benefit the company.

Instead of saying:

“Kept visitors happy”.

“Based on surveying, I achieved a 99.4% visitor satisfaction score during my three years at Real Gym”.

Apart from being much longer, how is the second statement different?

Well, it uses quantitative data to back-up your skills. It allows the recruiter to see why you’d make a great addition to the team.

On the other hand, the first statement is way too generic. The recruiter has most likely read those exact words 18 times today.

What if You Don’t Have Any Relevant Work Experience?

So, you’re going back to work after a long lay-off.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you will be applying for the same job.

What if you don’t have experience?

Not to worry!

You see, just because you’ve never worked as a receptionist, doesn’t mean lack the relevant skills and experiences needed to be great at that job.

You would just need to mention the crossover skills from previous jobs, like being able to operate a cash machine, having great communication skills, and being detail-orientated. 

How to Explain Gaps in Employment on a Stay-at-Home Mom Resume

Why is there a gap in your employment?

Your employer will want to know what you’ve been up to recently.

Even though you’ve talked about your previous jobs, it’s now time to address the elephant in the room.

The trick here is to focus on any skills learnt during your time as a stay-at-home mom, especially skills relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Stay-at-Home Parent

05/2017– Present

  • Created a blog that documented my journey through parenthood – receives 10k+ views per month
  • Volunteered at my local charity – served dinner to 100+ homeless every Tuesday night

Sure – an employment gap isn’t ideal, but you can use this section to highlight the skills and experiences developed during this gap. Essentially, you can spin a negative into a positive ! 

Now, we both know that being a stay-at-home mom IS a full-time job, but resist listing your parent-related duties, unless the job involves working with small children or similar.

Use Action Words to Make Your SAHM Resume POP!

Those poor hiring managers.

Having to read the same generic words in every resume they read. 

Although bad for them, this is great for you!

You see, it allows you to create a “return-to-workforce” resume that stands out by using some power words :

  • Conceptualized
  • Spearheaded

How to Correctly List your Education

Next, let’s discuss what to put in your education section.

Regardless of the position that you’re applying for, this section follows a simple formula:

  • Qualification Type 
  • Institution Name
  • Years Studied
  • GPA, Honours, Courses, and anything else you might want to add

When put together, your education section should resemble the following example:

Majoring in Culinary Arts

Ohio State University

2008 - 2012

  • Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE), Financial and Revenue Management, Research Project, Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Experience Economy, Exploring Professional Practice in Hospitality.

Still have a few questions? Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get from stay-at-home moms:

  • What if I haven’t come to the end of my studies yet?

Not to worry. Just include the courses and modules studies to date

  • Should I include my high school education?

If it’s your highest form of education, then yes 

  • What is more important, my education or experience?

Experience always wins this race, although education is still important 

For in-depth answers, check out our guide on how to list education on a resume .

Top Skills for a Stay-at-Home Mom Resume

As a mom, you have invaluable skills that your little-one depends on.

But you can’t exactly write “able to put three kids to bed every night” on your resume.

So, what should you do instead?

Well, what did you write in your experience section?

Here’s a trick: analyze both your work experience and the job description.

If you see any skills that crossover, add them to your resume.

Do this correctly, and you’ll be showing the exact skills the recruiter is looking for! 

And if you need more inspiration, here are some of the most common soft skills:

  • Personable and friendly 
  • Endurance (long hours)
  • Conflict resolution 
  • Time management 
  • Team player
  • Be honest here. Interviewers will usually ask applicants to explain more about the skills listed.

Confused about what skills to put on your stay-at-home mom resume? Check out our comprehensive list of 150+ must-have skills this year .

What Else Can You Include?

There we have it.

All essential sections have been added to your resume.

But don’t call it a day just yet!

Adding just one or two of the following sections could be deciding factor in whether you’re hired for the job or not!

Awards & Certifications

Have you ever been employee of the month?

Have you completed any courses that are relevant to the job?

If you have any awards or certifications, be sure to include it in your resume!

Awards & Certificates

  • “Employee of the Year 2018” - Real Gym
  • “Learning How to Learn” - 2019 Coursera Certificate

Applying to a Spanish restaurant?

Then being able to speak some Spanish is sure to increase your chances. 

Whether it’s a specific requirement or not, being able to speak multiple languages is impressive – and who can argue with that!?

Rank the languages by proficiency:

  • Intermediate

Now, you’re likely wondering, “why would the hiring manager need to know about my keen interest in badminton?”

Well, because it allows them to learn more about whom you actually are.

Companies want new members of staff that fit in well with the current team.

The easiest way to do this is to discuss your hobbies, especially those hobbies which involve social interaction.

Here’s which hobbies & interests you may want to mention.

Include a Cover Letter with Your Resume

How to really “wipe the floor” with your competition?

Attach a convincing cover letter with your resume!

You see, your resume is great for delivering the core message, but nothing speaks to the recruiter like a well-written cover letter.

But what do we mean by this?

Well, a cover letter allows you to make a personal connection, which ensures you’ll be remembered by the hiring manager.

As well as offering the chance to fill in all the blanks, a cover letter also shows that you want to work for this exact company . 

Here’s how to create a structure that works:

cover letter example structure

And here’s the winning formula:

Personal Contact Information

Use your full name, profession, phone number, email, and address 

Hiring Manager’s Contact Information

Use their full name, position, location, email

Opening Paragraph

Make sure your opening paragraph commands attention. Briefly mention:

  • The exact job position you’re applying for
  • Your experience summary and best achievement to date

Once you’ve grabbed the reader’s attention, you can delve further into the following specifics:

  • Why you chose this specific company
  • What you know about the company’s vision and culture
  • How your skills will be beneficial to the company
  • Whether you’ve worked in similar positions before

Closing Paragraph

Finish with a closing paragraph that:

  • Concludes the key points of your cover letter
  • Thanks the manager for reading and for the job opportunity
  • Ends with a call to action. For example, “At your earliest convenience, I’d love to discuss more about how I can help your company with X” will work.

Formal Salutations

While remaining personal, the letter should end in a professional manner. Use something like, “Kind regards” or “Sincerely.”

For extra cover letter advice, view our step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter .

Key Takeaways

Good luck with your new job:

Because if you followed the steps in this guide, you should now have a job-winning resume! 

Make sure to:

  • Select one of the recommended formats for your specific situation and employment history, and then follow the recommended layout
  • Catch the reader’s attention with a short, snappy summary or objective
  • In the work experience section, make sure to highlight your most relevant and best achievements, rather than just your daily duties. Oh, and don’t be put off by your employment gap
  • For a highly-specific application that starts a conversation, include a convincing cover letter

Suggested Reading:

  • Guide to Green Careers - All You Need to Know
  • The 2024 Complete Guide to Remote Work [W/ Tips & Tricks]
  • Guide to Nonprofit Jobs & Careers [Complete Guide]

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Returning to the workforce

Preparation is the key to success, what are some ways to address the “mommy gap” on your resume, how to format your resume, enjoy this new stage in your life.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of women in the workforce fell by 500,000 more than men . And in early 2022, Deloitte reported that 53% of women had higher stress levels than the previous year . 

Of these numbers, working moms are taking the brunt of the burden. Childcare is unaffordable or unavailable, and in a survey by McKinsey & Company, 34% of mothers cited childcare concerns as their reason for leaving work . 

But stay-at-home moms wanting to return to work might be worried about the “mommy gap” in their resumes. 

For starters, let's stop thinking of it as the mommy gap. The name is grating. It diminishes both the person's confidence and aptitude to bring value to a business or other organization. It is an employment gap. Women, and men, can find themselves by choice or necessity taking on full-time caregiver roles. That can result in being outside the workforce for a decade or more. 

After staying at home as a full-time caregiver, getting back to work can be challenging. Of course, the numbers show this is still a much bigger problem for mothers. But balancing motherhood with a career can be done — even if you’re a mom going back to work after ten years .

We’ve gathered some tips and strategies to help you with the transition back to the workforce and managing the balancing act.

As a stay-at-home mom returning to the workforce after a long absence, the process can seem daunting. If you still have an intense caregiving role, it will be harder. Instead of just excelling at your new role, you may still feel the need to stay on top of everything else motherhood entails. Luckily, for many, parenting is less time-intensive, or at least easier to manage, over time.

For new mothers who put their professional careers on hold on maternity leave , it’s not as difficult to return to their careers. They might be out of the loop for a few months, but their biggest adjustment is figuring out how to manage the new tasks, time constraints, and challenges as working moms . In some cases, their partners may be able to take paternity leave and help ease their transition back to work.

But if you left your career to pursue motherhood full-time, you might feel inadequately prepared to step back into your previous role after years have gone by. Alongside concerns about time management and your well-being, you may have doubts about how your skills and experience will hold up after your employment gap. 

On the flip side, you might also feel guilt because work takes you away from your kids. Of course, all of this compounds the gnawing sensation that you can’t do it all.

Fortunately, you don't have to do it all, and you are capable of doing enough.  The road back to work isn’t always easy but you can pull off being a working mom. With intention and practice, you can find work-life balance, too.

(D2C) BetterUp Blog - personalized coaching_half size_v2

Before you dive back into the workforce or even start into finding work after being a stay-at-home parent, it helps to lay the groundwork. Here are some tips and considerations while transitioning from being a stay-at-home mom to a working mom.

1. Have a clear goal about why you’re returning to work

If you’re wondering what to do after being a stay-at-home mom, the first step is to have an honest conversation with yourself about why you’re returning to work. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I seeking in my work? Am I driven primarily by financial considerations or personal fulfillment? Or a mix of both? 
  • What matters most to me about the role or work that I do? Flexibility? Purpose? Recognition? Opportunity to build new skills? Health insurance or mental health benefits ?
  • Am I looking for autonomy and an identity outside of the house / family?
  • What kind of role do I want? Do I want a freelance career or do I want to be part of an organization as a direct hire?
  • Where do I see myself in a few years’ time?
  • What types of skills do I have? What types of tasks and activities do I like to do? 


  • Will it be better to work from home or in person?
  • Do I need flexible hours? 
  • Do I want part-time or full-time work?
  • How do I balance my work-life schedule? What options are available in my community for daycare or other childcare?

List out your needs — the clearer you are about what you’re looking for and why, the easier it is to start your job hunt. 

Offices an hour away might not be an option if you need to be close to home. A rigid 9–5 schedule might limit your ability to pick your kids up from school or run vital errands. That doesn't mean you should automatically discount a job posting if it is otherwise very interesting to you.

You can learn a lot by applying for a role and speaking to the hiring manager about where there is flexibility. Perhaps you only have to go into the office twice a week or the role only requires specific hours for meetings in the morning. Skip job postings with requirements that don’t match at least half of your list. 

2. Update your professional social media profiles

Social media isn’t just for your personal life. Take a moment to give your online presence a facelift before starting your job search. Spruce up your professional social media. If you don't have a LinkedIn profile , create one. This enables recruiters to start reaching out to you. If you work in a creative industry, update your portfolio to show off your skills. 

In addition, on LinkedIn or any other social platform, join a few groups related to your areas of professional interest. This will help you get up to speed on what people are talking about, the skills they value, the tools they're using, and what types of roles they and titles they have. Take a genuine interest in the conversations there and you may make a few good connections.

3. Refresh your skills

You’ve picked up a whole new skill set while being a mother and managing a household. Those transferable skills will be useful. But you likely also need to brush up on specific skills for the modern workplace and your new job or career. Depending on your industry, a lot has changed in 5–10 years. More than doing a quick refresher course, give yourself time to read relevant articles and look up any professional credentials or certificates that might be needed.

For instance, if you’re looking for work as a web designer, you might need to do some coursework or set aside several months to reskill and learn popular platforms.

4. Start networking

Lay the groundwork for your new job. Before exploring your job options, familiarize yourself with the industry and some key individuals. Help your potential employers put a face to your name.

Ask people in the field or companies that you're interested in for short informational interviews. Look to your alumni organization or your parent organizations for a start on people willing to talk to you and share their experiences. This way, when you’re ready to send out your resume , you’re not just a faceless list of qualifications. 


You left your career to pursue motherhood full-time. And while being a mom is a tough gig and a great explanation for why you took a few years off, this still leaves you with a “mommy gap” on your resume. 

Employers don’t always appreciate when employees have too many resume gaps. Sometimes, they’d rather hire someone who seems fresh and up-to-date than worry about why you took a career break .

But don’t worry: it’s all about how you put a spin on it. You were doing something worthwhile with your time off — you raised a whole new human being . In the process, you’ve probably grown a lot as an individual . You just need to sell that to your future employers.

Check out these ideas for addressing your parenting resume gap:

1. Be direct

Don’t sugarcoat it or try to hide it. You took some time away from the workforce to focus on being a mother. That’s a good thing.

In the work experience section of your resume, address your employment gap directly by listing the time you took to raise your children.

2, Highlight how you spent your free time

Did you have a side hustle while you were a full-time mom? Did you participate in volunteer work? In your work history, address all relevant activities. For instance, if you’re looking for a role as an SEO expert or social media manager, you might want to mention that you have a TikTok channel focusing on parenting. Show employers that you’re ready to dive back in.


3. Focus on your experience and knowledge when you’re pitching your profile

If you’re returning to a previous professional career, hone in on your past experience. Even if the field changed from when you left it, the underlying principles are the same.

Let’s say you’re a web developer who used to work in PHP. You may not have created web apps using JavaScript during your previous professional career, but you’ve taken the time to skill up before returning to the workforce. Highlight this for your employers. The specifics may have changed, but your knowledge of the underlying framework is relevant and important.

4. Prepare for related interview questions

Make sure you’re ready to highlight your transferable skills and how parenting contributed to your career development in the job interview. If hiring managers ask about your career break, focus on how you developed skills resolving conflict between your children, organizing your family member’s schedules, or doing short-term projects.

Explain how your experience as a parent will support you as a working mom.

Ready to brush off that resume? Let’s put some of our suggestions above into practice. Here are some things to include when you’re refreshing your resume:


  • Contact information and professional social media. Show that you’re relevant by staying current in your professional online presence.
  • An honest profile description that focuses on your experience and knowledge. Include a short pitch at the top of your profile that helps your employers note your experience and knowledge despite the time you took off to be a mom.
  • Skills. Include a small section on relevant hard and soft skills , whether this is Python, SEO, social media management, writing, adaptability, or time management. Let’s face it: as a mom, you’re an expert at time management, multi-tasking, and keeping difficult customers (your children!) satisfied.
  • A detailed work history. Don’t beat around the bush: own that you took some time off to be a parent. But don’t forget to include how you’ve brushed up on your skill, upskilled, or stayed current.
  • Your certifications and education. These credentials lay the foundation of your professional career. Don’t forget to put these in. 

Returning to the workforce after being a stay-at-home parent will be just as much of an adventure as putting your professional career on hold to pursue parenting.

There’ll be a transition period, and you’ll have to adjust both your work and home life. But ultimately, you may discover that returning to work complements your work as a mother.

And by balancing these two roles, you’ll set a great example for your children. Being a role model is tough, but if you’re a mom going back to work after 10 years, you’re already succeeding.

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Maggie Wooll

Thought Leader

Part-time vs. full-time: Which has better benefits?

Learn how to get a job with no experience, worried about your job in a recession how to protect yourself, 5 tips for reentering the workforce, 11 jobs that won’t be automated by ai (for now), 24 action verbs for your resume that will get you the job, saying yes: how to write an offer acceptance email, the 15 best part-time jobs for every experience and skillset, top salary negotiation tips to help you earn what you deserve, similar articles, empty nest syndrome: how to cope when kids fly the coop, advice on going back to work after maternity leave, how to help working parents navigating back-to-school, supporting working parents: making the “impossible” possible, go mom 10 best work-from-home jobs for moms, how anheuser-busch inbev empowers new parents to thrive, how to be a working mom: 10 tips to have the best of both worlds, the hidden struggle of working moms guilt. here's how to overcome it, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

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3 Returning to Workforce Resume Examples for 2024

Stephen Greet

Returning to Workforce Resume

Clean returning to workforce resume, modern returning to workforce resume.

  • Returning to Workforce Resume Writing 101

Whether you took a sabbatical or spent some time caring for a loved one, returning to the workforce usually means a resume update and a whirl with a free cover letter builder . Your skills and experiences might have changed since the last time you were employed, and you might want to change your resume formatting to emphasize your skills over the gap in your work experience. 

Whatever the reason behind your return, we’ll help you put your best foot forward. Get ready to roll with our three returning to workforce resume examples.

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Returning to workforce resume example with 7+ years experience

Related resume examples

  • Stay at home mom returning to work
  • Front desk receptionist
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  • Stay at home mom

What Matters Most: Skills & Work Experience

Your resume skills and work experience

While the role you’re applying for matters, hiring recruiters looking at a returning to workforce resume will want to know whether you applied yourself during your time away. 

You don’t have to disclose every sordid detail—all you need is to demonstrate that your skills are relevant to the job , whether new or existing.

Here are some of the best returning to workforce skills recruiters are looking for.

9 best returning to workforce skills

  • Customer service
  • Project management
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving 
  • Microsoft Office
  • Communication skills
  • Active listening

Sample returning to workforce job experience bullet points

Filling in the blanks with any volunteer, freelance, unpaid, or part-time work you might have done will help dispel any assumptions made about your resume gap.

Although you shouldn’t feel like you have to go into specifics about your career break (especially if it’s sensitive or personal), adding quantifiable metrics whenever possible can help potential employers get a better idea of what you did with your time. 

Here are a few samples:

  • Advised and assisted the family of 5 in planning healthy meals, purchasing, and preparing foods 
  • Created, assigned, and scheduled various housekeeping duties for 3 children ages 4 to 12, according to their capabilities 
  • Kept track of the grocery inventory, making sure items moved on a FIFO basis, saving the household $4,000+ a year in grocery shopping expenses
  • Provided 24/7 in-home care for my mother during treatment for a medical condition until she made a full recovery within two years
  • Traveled to 8 cities in Asia, Australia, South America, and North America to gain personal and professional perspective

Top 5 Tips for Your Returning to Workforce Resume

  • If you’re returning to the workforce, chances are that the career experience you had might not be as relevant to the current job market, even if you have more than 10 years of experience. Unless you have been actively keeping up with your skills while you were away, it’s better to keep only the important details in your resume .
  • Start with your career break, then record your most recent jobs. This filters out any employers who might prefer complete career histories and addresses your resume gap early on, allowing the reader to focus on the rest of your work experience and what you can contribute to the new role.
  • You might have moved or had a change in relationship status, leading to a different last name. List your most recent contact details at the top of your resume, and consider adding any career-related social media you might have.
  • Depending on the position you’re applying to, you could benefit from a skills section that details how you applied your skills in a quantifiable and measurable way. You can also highlight your skills section by moving them so that the recruiter reads it before your work experience.
  • Listing your work experience in months and years can make the gap in your career stand out. Changing to using years only will help recruiters focus on the time you spent employed, shifting their perspective toward your career instead of the lack thereof.

Yes, especially if you’re having trouble filling out the blank space in your resume. You can also link your education with any studying or application you did during your time off. The key here is to demonstrate how your skills and experience are relevant to the present job climate.

Any job will do as long as you’re qualified for it and it appeals to you! Some people choose to change career paths when they return, while others get right back to the industry they previously worked in. While you’re job hunting, consider getting an entry-level job in the meantime to fill out your resume.

While we don’t usually recommend including a career summary if you have a lot of relevant information to include in your resume, adding one can help break the ice and mention your resume gap within the context of your career. If you choose to write one, make sure it’s tailored to the job you’re applying for.

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  1. Resume Tips for Full-Time Parents Returning to Work

    The right resume format is critical to getting noticed for stay-at-home parents. You may want to avoid using a traditional chronological resume and consider using a combination resume format instead. By not addressing potential red flags such as employment gaps, a chronological resume can eliminate a stay-at-home mom or dad's candidacy in ...

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    3. Write a resume summary. Start the body of your resume with a two or three-sentence summary of your previous work experience and your professional goals. For example, if you were a graphic designer before becoming a stay-at-home parent and hope to return to this type of work, you can discuss your years of experience and notable career ...

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    When writing your stay at home mom resume, it's always good to quantify your impact. Numbers speak louder than words, and they're more noticeable to interviewers. For example, you might mention in your resume, "Volunteered at local garage sales to create posters and maps for buyers, increasing sales by 28%.".

  4. Stay at Home Mom Resume Example & Job Description Tips

    A complete guide to writing a resume for a stay-at-home mom returning to work. Learn how to put a stay-at-home mom on a resume for your benefit. ... "Spent the past 3 years being a fully engaged parent—now eager to return to pursuing a full-time career." ... has been some serious debate going on about whether or not to include a personal ...

  5. How To Write a Resume as a Stay-at-Home Parent

    1. Utilize your resume summary. At the top of your resume underneath your resume header, create a section for your professional summary or resume objective. A resume summary is a brief description of your work history and qualifications and is ideal for stay-at-home parents who have previous career experience.

  6. How to Write a Resume as a Stay at Home Mom Returning to Work

    Make sure to highlight any accomplishments in these areas as well. 4. Fourth, mention any freelance work. Even though staying at home with the kids meant a break in full-time, salaried work, you may still have worked as a freelancer, temporary hire or contracted employee. It is beneficial to include any of this information on your resume.

  7. How to Write a Stay-at-Home Parent Resume (With Examples)

    Resume template for stay-at-home parents Below, you can find a helpful resume template for a parent returning to the workforce: [Full name] [Email address] [Phone number] Summary objective [Include your summary objective. This section can be two or three sentences long.] Work experience [Job title] [Company name] [Company location] [Employment ...

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    1. Highlight your relevant experience and skills. The most important part of writing any resume is to make sure that you're highlighting relevant skills and experiences that demonstrate your qualifications and make you a desirable candidate. The same is true for any stay at home parent looking for new job opportunities.

  9. Resume Tips for Full-Time Parents Returning to Work

    A few paragraphs of your most important skills, knowledge and abilities in relation to succeeding in the role. Add the job title and the organisation, as well as when you worked. Under each role list the most important responsibilities and skills used. Scenario 2. Returning parents with little previous experience.

  10. 21+ Tips For Stay-at-Home Parents Returning To Work

    Find a balance 10 Resume Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents #1. Choose the best resume format #2. Update your contact information #3. Write a captivating resume summary or objective #4. Describe your work experience #5. Explain the employment gap #6. Use action verbs #7. Mention your education #8. Highlight your skills #9.

  11. Stay-at-home Mom Resume Examples & Writing Guide for 2024

    For a stay-at-home mom resume that looks the part, we recommend: Margins - One-inch margins on all sides. Font - Use a professional resume font that stands out, but not too much. Font Size - Stick to 11-12pt font size for normal text and 14-16pt for headers. Line Spacing - Use 1.0 or 1.15 line spacing. Resume Length - Maintain a 1-page limit.

  12. How to Write a Stay at Home Mom Resume to Return to the Workforce

    3) Address the gap in your stay at home mom resume. A resume that has a gap in employment can be a red flag for a recruiter. It is important to include employment dates, as this is information that employers look for. You will likely create a resume that contains information about the job (s) you had prior to taking time away from the workforce ...

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    A functional resume format focuses on skills that have been aggregated through various jobs and life experiences. A parent returning to work might find this format preferable. It can help them share relevant skills developed while on parental leave, making up for a gap in their timeline.

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    Here are some examples of ways to showcase your prior career experience, while demonstrating impact: Identified cost-saving opportunities for a household of 2 adults and 3 children, reducing monthly budget by 15%. Created a positive shopping atmosphere for customers, leading to an average $8,000 in sales per day.

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    2. Update your materials. Updating your resume is a given with any job search. If your employment gap as a stay-at-home parent is long, consider a skills-based resume outline rather than a typical chronological one. Add important causes and accomplishments that call attention to your strengths, like: Volunteer experience.

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    Many parents return to outside world after years of caregiving. Here are some tips and tricks for rejoining the workforce and juggling the balancing act. ... In the work experience section of your resume, address your employment gap directly by listing the time you took to raise your children. 2, Highlight how you spent your free time ...

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    You highlight the stuff you're most proud of, best known for, and can completely kill it at in your next job in an "Executive Summary" section at the top. Then, you create a "Core Proficiencies" section that outlines the things you know how to do (e.g. "Project Management," "Client Relations," and "Cost Controls").

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    Avoid the functional resume for stay-at-home moms. Choose a professional resume font like 10-12pt Lato or Arial. Let some white space in, and set margins at 1 inch. Write resume sections for Header, Objective, Work Experience, Education, and Skills. The length of your resume should be one page.

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    2. Write a resume summary. Below your contact information, write a one- to two-sentence resume summary that describes how your skills and experience make you a good fit for the position you want to apply for. This statement allows you to reveal your strongest assets and credentials right away. It is your chance to make a good impression on the ...

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