Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Professional Resumes

How do you cover gaps in 'paid' employment?

I thought I was being totally clever with listing myself as the Home Manager of the Bonds Family Estates.  I listed my time with the 'company' as being from Dec 2001-Present day.  Duties included things like balancing a very tight budget, accounts payable & receivable, business negotiations, care of children, task management...the like.  You know, professional sounding descriptions for a Stay At Home Mom.

Of course I do have other positions listed on my resume that I have held in the past, some positions that over lapped with the time I listed as having been at the Home Manager Position with Bonds Family Estates.

Now, it must be mentioned that this particular draft of my resume is for one of my current professional development classes, it's not the resume that I plan on using, yet, when I go out seeking a professional position.  We were just forewarned, during one of the lectures, that gaps in employment should be filled with something - volunteer work, schooling, SOMETHING.  So I filled it with my schooling & my time, thus far, as a stay at home mom.

Today I received this grade comment:

<"You did a great job on this assignment. The cover letter looks very professional and well organized. The only change I would make to the resume would be to add more details for your most recent position. You have been there for some time so it would be important to show your growth with that organization.">

I pondered, aloud, to an online audience about what I could list to show growth with this organization...you know, the organization of my time as a mom?  I supposed that I could mention how I went from having no children in my care, to now having two children in my care.  I could mention how I've gone from a very bad partnership, to absolving it legally, then proceeded to be a sole proprietor for a time before venturing into a new partnership that has been mutually awesome.  Or maybe list how I've had some extreme obstacles to overcome along the way and emerged even more awesome on the other side.... You get the idea.

I also pondered whether I should clue my instructor in on the fact that "Manager of Bonds Family Estates" is just fancy code for "Mom/Stay at Home Mom, technically not employed".

Then of course I was given a few opinions on the matter.  One stated that I shouldn't bother cluing my instructor in on the gig, since she didn't get it the first time.  A different person said she did not see it as being appropriate to list being a stay at home mom on a professional resume.

I do get it.  An employer likely wouldn't care that I'm able to train persons, especially small children who have absolutely no experience, in anything, outside of what I've taught them and exposed them to.  An employer also wouldn't likely care that I can manage to get all the bills paid for a family of 4 on an income of less than $20K a year, and still have some left over to do things like buy a car, take vacations, etc.  An employer also wouldn't likely care that I can balance multiple tasks at the same time to get everything taken care of, on time, for everyone, even able to spontaneously adjust in the events of emergencies and the like.  An employer also likely wouldn't care to know that I am adequate in learning a job even with no previous hard experience in the field.  And, well, you get the idea.

I do get it, being a mom or dad isn't something a person goes to expensive schools to learn, but there are a great number of remarkable marketable skills a person learns while "on the job" of being a parent or running a household.  Hell, I suppose I could even add pet trainer on the list of marketable skills.

So, did I cross a line by listing myself as a manager of my household on my 'professional' resume?

1 comment:

  1. Not even remotely did you cross that line. Try asking someone in the job you are asking for to come and do your job. They would have to be trained. Hardcore. Or find the funds to pay someone else to do it for them.

    I added my household to my resume just recently. I was asked if they could call my most recent employer, and I said sure. I hope to get that phone call so I can explain what an excellent job I've been doing and what I need to work - but that those are things that will make me a better employee. Yeup. Waitin' on that call.