Explaining the Gap in your resume

The GAP (not the thigh one)

Going back to work for some is a necessity, for others it’s a choice. But whatever your reason, if you are re-entering the job market after having a family, the reality is you now have a ‘gap’ on your resume.

This gap, like the pay gap and the thigh gap, is highly political. It causes great stress and anxiety, divides people and is like a black hole in the universe in respect to our inability to explain it.

But guess what?

Today, we are getting rid of the gap. Because, unlike the pay gap and the thigh gap, this one DOES NOT EXIST! Stay with me here.

Answer these questions for me?

  • Did you fall off the face of the planet for a year or two?
  • Were you in prison?
  • Were you in a coma, with limited brain activity?

If you answered no to the above questions, please move to section two.

  • Did you take a break from ‘paid employment’ to give birth to a human, raise them from their first breath to the point that you dressed them each day (usually multiple times) fed them, taught them how to use cutlery, managed their schedules of activities, bath them, care for them when they were sick, book and ensure attendance at all appointments, clean up after the 70 different messes they make each day, feed yourself, shower on occasion, keep your home, take the dog to the vet, grocery shop, get the car serviced, organise and attend play dates, and TWENTY THOUSAND other daily activities managed on the tightest schedule?

If you answered yes to this, then why on earth do you have a GAP in your resume? Because it doesn’t sound like an empty gap to me.

So, now we have a little perspective, here are some tips to putting together your resume in a way that fills that gap and demonstrates what you now offer an employer since undertaking a period of extremely demanding unpaid work that has evolved your skill set far beyond any paid employment you’ve ever done!

  • Firstly, list your venture into motherhood as a job.
  • Get creative, give yourself a suitable title that reflects this job such as ‘Master Juggler’, ‘Wizard’, ‘Band Manager’, ‘Queen Bee’.
  • List your responsibilities: keeping humans alive, schedule management, activity preparation, food preparation, cleaning, calendar management, regular health checks, voice of reason etc.
  • Highlight your most remarkable achievements, for example: Planned an extensive family holiday, involving 3 minors on a 12-hour flight (I mean, what an incredible feat!!)
  • Skills you have developed: Time management, people management, communication, attention to detail!
  • And list your reason for wanting to return to work: Financial requirement, mental stimulation, challenge, I just want it all!

Remember, you do not have a gap in employment, you just weren’t getting paid. And you have so much to more to offer now, so make sure you do what you can to sell yourself. You are a mother, you are amazing!

About your Guest Blogger: Jacqui Elliott Managing Director Astute Recruitment & HRMother of 2 gorgeous little babes