Dear The Careers Clique,
I am a 32 year old mother of 2 and I am planning to return to the workforce this year. My youngest child will be starting school in September and we have agreed as a family, I will go back to work. The plan initially would be for me to work part time at first. Then look at moving to full time when we have settled into a routine.
Before I had my children I was working as a business development manager in the telecomms industry. I really enjoyed the job. It was varied and I found it challenging. I am hoping to go back to that area although I am open to other options.
My issue is my CV. I’ve been out of the job market for 7 years and I’m worried about how that will look on my CV. I know that if I get an interview I will be able to explain myself. My concern is that I won’t even get that far because of the gaps in my CV. I’d really appreciate some advice on this.
First of all , well done on taking the plunge and returning to work.Returning to work after maternity leave or an extended period can be a daunting experience. You worry about leaving your children/family whilst you head out to work. You worry about whether you have been left behind by your contemporaries. Indeed a recent survey found that almost 50% of the women surveyed were unable to find a job in their field after taking a career break.
Once you have decided you want to get back to work, the focus is on job hunting. The first step of job hunting is of course your CV. If you have had a considerable break from working , it would be natural to worry about how to explain the gaps in your CV.
It may be tempting to think you can omit the gap but it would be beneficial to you to be upfront from the beginning. With some planning and creativity you can make sure your CV stands and land you that interview.
Explain The Gap
You could be upfront and include the gap in your CV. For example, you could include “2014 – 2017 – Took a break to raise my children” or “stay at home mum”. The key is to keep it simple. Resist the urge to give yourself titles that relate to your time at home. Stay at home mother will suffice.
You need to ensure that your CV format matches the job description. Look at having multiple CV formats that can be used for different roles. Emphasising your skills will be key , so perhaps a hybrid or functional CV format would be best.
Have you completed any volunteering whilst you have been away from work? Have you completed any freelance work for friends or family? These should all be included in your CV.
We hope these tips have been helpful. Let us know how you get on!