Mother Returning To Work Cover Letter

Resume tips for full-time parents returning to work

It's tough to get back on the career track after being a full-time parent. Make sure your resume helps you sell yourself.

Parents can use these resume tips when re-entering the workforce.

The latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate 5 million women and 176,000 men are stay-at-home parents. Although the Census Bureau doesn’t track the number returning to work, hundreds of thousands of parents decide to venture back to the workplace every year. These tips will help you get your resume noticed despite the employment gap.

Highlight related activities

You need to convince employers that you have the skills and experience to do the job, so your resume’s content must actively sell you. When writing about your time out of the paid workforce, include only those activities that back up the skills relevant to your career goal.

“Most women who stay at home for a period of time are not just doing laundry and homework oversight," says Kathryn Sollmann, founder of 9 Lives for Women, a career-advisory firm that helps current and returning professionals re-enter the workforce. "Most women are involved in significant volunteer efforts, and that is the experience that should be included in a resume." Sollmann successfully returned to the workforce by leveraging her volunteer and freelance experience.

You can highlight the following activities on your resume:

  • Volunteer/community involvement (PTA, charity work, fundraisers): Just because you weren’t paid, doesn’t make the experience any less valuable, so treat volunteer work like you would a paid position on your resume. If you held leadership roles or made a difference to your organizations, tout your accomplishments and the key skills developed. You can include volunteer work in your work experience section to cover the employment gap. 
     
  • Continuing education: Show that you’ve kept your skills refreshed through courses, online learning, and/or independent study. Looking to add more skills? Our partners at Skillshare offer 10,000 online classes to help you brush up on Excel, Adobe Photoshop, public speaking, and more. Join Monster and get three months for $0.99.
     
  • Freelance projects: If you’ve done consulting/freelance work that’s related to your job target, include project highlights in your work experience section. 
     
  • Professional development: Demonstrate your commitment to the field by including membership in professional organizations and participation in conferences. 
     
  • Work-at-home/Self-employment: Even if you worked part-time for yourself or your partner, include the experience on your resume.

Should you use a job title?

There’s conflicting advice about whether to give yourself a job title and job description for your role as a parent. If your homemaker activities are related to your job target, it makes sense to draw attention to your parenting activities and accomplishments. For example, if you are looking for a job teaching, in a day care, or working for an organization serving children, you could emphasize the relevant experience of child care and incidental teaching as a stay-at-home parent. Examples of job titles parents have used include: household manager, manager—Jones family, and family CEO.

For most people, though, it’s best to avoid including parenting as an actual job on the resume. "We, personally, feel that there is no need to dress up time at home with silly titles like ‘domestic engineer,’" says Sollmann. "The important thing is to identify how you have continued to use your business skills in the time you have been out of the workforce. And if you truly have had nothing but child care and household responsibilities, it would be a good idea to get involved in some volunteer activities that require business skills—managing committees, writing newsletters, handling budgets, etc."

Select the best resume format

According to Linda Matias, president of CareerStrides, the right resume format is critical to getting noticed. Matias suggests that parents avoid chronological resumes and consider using a combination resume format. A chronological resume can eliminate a parent's candidacy in seconds, she says.

Parents who have been out of the workforce for a number of years and have minimal alternative experience, such as volunteer work, may need a functional resume. Although functional resumes are not preferred by hiring managers, this format allows you to emphasize your skills while downplaying your employment history.

Be honest

Use your cover letter to briefly explain your recent gap, but emphasize that you have kept your skills up to date and are energized to return to the workforce.

Are you a parent looking to re-enter the workforce, but aren't sure where to start? A great first step is to join Monster today. As a member, you can upload your resume and make it searchable to recruiters looking for people like you.


Being a full-time mom is one of the hardest jobs out there. Not only do you have to worry about the physical well-being of another human, but you also have to look after their mental and social development as well.

Despite this, being a mom re-entering the workforce can feel even more difficult. To quickly land a job, you must learn how to write a compelling cover letter that presents your “mom returning to work status” in a positive light, especially if you’ve been out of the game for awhile. Regardless of whether you worked continuous non-traditional jobs or if you have a sizeable work gap, our cover letter sample and list of tips can get you back into the workforce soon.

Table of Contents

  1. Stay-At-Home Mom Cover Letter Sample
  2. Stay-At-Home-Mom Cover Letter (Text Format)
  3. Four Industry Writing Tips

1. Stay-At-Home Mom Cover Letter Sample (Image)

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2. Stay-At-Home Mom Cover Letter (Text Format)

January 1, 2018

Hiring Manager’s Name

123 Company Address

City, State, Zip Code

(xxx)xxx-xxxx

[email protected]

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I’m writing to apply for the new and exciting role of [role name] at [Company Name]. Previously, I worked as the volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity, and it was a transformative experience for me. I’m confident that I can take my skills and experience from that opportunity and make a positive impact on your team as well.

At Habitat for Humanity, I screened and hired 20 new volunteers to work on building projects, sharpening my eye for good hires and furthering my interpersonal communication skills. Not only did I maintain detailed records on all the people who volunteered there during my tenure, but I also actively sought to address their concerns about the nature of their work and relationships with their peers. Because of these roles, I developed a reputation as a nurturing yet professional presence whom they could always reach out to for help.

In addition to my volunteer experience, I also served as the PTA Treasurer at Elma Elementary School where my daughter was enrolled at the time. There, I had the chance to organize fundraisers which generated more than $32,000 in income – money that was then used to purchase resources for students. As chair of the finance committee, I built a $60,000 budget for the 2016-2017 school year, and directed how these funds could be fairly distributed amongst the different grade levels.

My experience and personal skills make me a strong candidate for this position. If hired, I will ensure that your organization is made up of hardworking individuals who are passionate about helping the homeless build better lives for themselves. If you would like to discuss the possibility of me joining your team, please do not hesitate to contact me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx or by email at [email protected] Thank you for your consideration, and I hope to meet you soon.

Best Regards,

Your Name

3. Four Industry Writing Tips

Before setting forth into the work world again, you have to know how to put your best foot forward with an expertly penned cover letter. Peruse this guide for pointers on how to do just that.

 

1. Don’t address the work gap…At least not yet!

Your cover letter is supposed to be concise, so you don’t want to waste space describing why you have a work gap or why you started freelancing from home. Save that for the interview, where you will be given time to explain yourself.

Time to talk about the elephant in the room. One of the biggest concerns for a mom returning to work is when to bring up her time as a stay-at-home mom. While you may be tempted to touch on it here, your cover letter isn’t the place.

Your cover letter is supposed to be concise, so you don’t want to waste space describing why you have a work gap or why you started freelancing from home. Save that for the interview, where you will be given time to explain yourself. Instead, demonstrate any relevant skills and work experience you have in your cover letter.

2. Identify your transferable skills

While you were at home, it’s possible that you took on tasks that had little relevance to the job you’re hoping to land. However, some of those activities you took part in likely required skills that could be transferred to a prospective job.

If you can identify your most relevant skills and express them clearly, you’ll be a much more compelling applicant to potential employers.

Despite the fact that the duties this candidate took on seem to have no direct connection to those of a volunteer coordinator, observe how she uses her time as PTA treasurer to emphasize her strong organizational skills:

3. Show what you know with quantifiable details

When describing your experience, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that concrete, quantifiable details resonate more with hiring managers than vague, unsubstantiated claims. That means opting for numbers in these descriptions that a hiring manager can use to measure what you’ve actually accomplished in the past.

Most applicants will go with something like this:

There, I had the chance to organize fundraisers, where the money was used to purchase resources for students.

Notice how the applicant’s experience is articulated in uncertain terms – we don’t know how effective the fundraisers were – while the following example reinforces how qualified she is by stating exactly how much money she was able to raise:

There, I had the chance to organize fundraisers which generated more than $32,000 in income – money that was then used to purchase resources for students.

Similarly, this statement is much less effective in conveying how capable she is at her previous job:

As chair of the finance committee, I built a budget for the 2016-2017 school year, and directed how these funds could be fairly distributed amongst the different grade levels.

Whereas this one is much more specific, tells us if the budget she set was reasonable, and lets the employer know what tangible benefits he or she might expect:

As chair of the finance committee, I built a $60,000 budget for the 2016-2017 school year, and directed how these funds could be fairly distributed amongst the different grade levels.

Without quantifiable information spread throughout your cover letter and resume, your previous experience won’t seem as persuasive, because it’s too unclear to give your employer a good idea of your potential.

Using actual data allows your employer to take one look and immediately see what you can accomplish.

4. Let your employer know what you can do for him or her in closing

When figuring out how to close out their cover letter, candidates often go the safe and formal route. This consists of thanking the employer for their time, and expressing a desire to hear from him or her soon. Much too often, applicants neglect to reinforce what they can do for their employer if they are actually selected.

See how this candidate wraps up her cover letter by underscoring how she would contribute to the team if brought onboard:

Although it may seem like a given that you’ll add something positive to the team if hired, expressing such closing sentiment may be the extra push your cover letter needed to stand out from the rest.

Now that you’ve looked at our example and read through our tips, you should be more confident than ever about presenting yourself to the job market.

If you want to get right to it and don’t want to waste anymore time worrying over the little details, our builder will help you construct a masterful cover letter in minutes.

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