Are you wondering what to include on your resume when you are currently not working? If you’ve been out of work for a bit, it can be hard to reenter the job market. Employers like to see a constant flow of employment on your resume. How do you explain your time off? And what skills have you used during your time off that transition to the job market?
Whether you’ve been a stay-at-home mom, retired but now want to go back to work, or lost your job due to COVID or other economic difficulties, your time off from a job has not been lost. You’ve used and possibly gained more skills than you know. Volunteer work, working for free, or with a non-profit on an ongoing basis is work that can be put on your resume.
Items To Include On Your Resume
Just because money did not exchange hands, does not mean it should not be included on your resume. Your resume is about your work history, NOT financial payment history in exchange for using your skills.
Let’s take a look at some of these skills that can transition to the workplace.
If you’ve ever tried to manage the schedules of your entire household, you know what it means to be organized. Making sure you know where every child is supposed to be and when, and what time they need to be picked up from where, and the items they need to take with them is the epitome of organization. Add to that your own schedule and your spouse’s; if you can master all of that, you are a master organizer.
How about organizing your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Are you a meal planner? Checking inventory to ensure you have what you need for an entire week of meals is an added layer of organization. These are not skills to be taken lightly. Many people struggle to organize their own schedule, much less one for their entire family.
Multi-tasking falls right in line with organizing and keeping track of your schedule. Have you ever dropped your child off at practice, run to the grocery store to pick up what you need for dinner, and realized you left your list at home but still managed to get everything on it and made it back just in time to pick up your child?
How about doing laundry and cleaning the house while dinner’s cooking then cleaning up while helping your child with their homework as someone is texting you about something they need? If these ring true for you, then you are also a master multi-tasker and this is a much-needed skill in the workplace.
If you’ve been out of the workforce for a bit, you’re probably trying to figure out how you even found time to work with all that you have going on. Kids, chores, errands, cooking, cleaning, carpooling, making lists, and marking things off. It’s very time-consuming, but you’ve managed it all with, hopefully, a few minutes to yourself at the end of the day.
Managing your time in order to get everything on your list done within a certain period is a skill that is much needed in the workplace. Employers like to know that you can get your work done on time and that you’re able to prioritize the most important tasks.
Suppose you’ve spent time doing any volunteer work while you’ve been out of the job market. In that case, these experiences can transfer into teamwork, team building, management, organization, time management, prioritizing tasks, and creativity. Don’t discount this work! It’s very beneficial to your resume.
You Have More To Offer Than You Might Think
Take a look at your daily life. What do you do in a day? Are you managing anything? What do you keep organized? How many things do you usually juggle at one time? These are all skills that easily transfer to the job market and skills that employers will find impressive when you are ready to reenter the job market. Adding them to your resume when you are not working just makes good sense. According to an article on Forbes.com, “Inside you may be a quivering mass of imposter syndrome, but your resume needs to tell the story of why you are equal to the task.”
Do You Need Help?
If you are struggling with how to showcase these skills and abilities on your resume, please reach out to me, Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find. I will help you create a bulleted job description and job title that will communicate your abilities as well as your strengths. It will shout about your strengths from the rooftops and will not raise red flags. This will give you something to leverage and help you springboard into your next role.