I did a survey in our group this week, and we learned that about half of the moms who are homeschooling in our group are also working (or want to work). When returning to the workforce, it can be hard to know what experience to include and how to show how your experience transfers. I owned an employment agency for 25 years, and now I am putting that experience to work for you! If you have not read the first Mom Resume article, you can find it here: Part One – Mom Resume Article.
What Are Transferable Skills?
Transferable skills are skills you have obtained that are relevant or transferable to the career opportunity you are applying for. Once you have identified those skills, you can develop them into a skill section for your resume and create a skills statement that you can use in an interview to show a potential employer that you meet the job qualifications.
Skills Statement Examples
Skill Statement 1
Budget money: “I can keep financial records.” Example: “As a full-time homemaker, I handled all of the family finances including savings, checking, and investments without ever bouncing a check or failing to pay a bill on time.” Connection: “If I could handle the family finances so well for twenty years while taking care of all of the other household and homeschool chores, I will be a great account clerk for you.”
Skill Statement 2
Organize tasks: “I am a well-organized person.” Example: “At the homeschool co-op I created and managed, I had to assign students and teachers to classes and schedules.” Connection: “I am competent at controlling chaos and creating great working relationships with all participants of the project. I excel at bringing together different skills and personalities and helping keep the focus on the job at hand. I feel sure I will be able to handle the customer service aspects of this position.”
Skill Statement 3
Teach and Explain: “I can explain information clearly.” Example: “As a homeschool teacher, I had to be able to explain ideas and concepts at a child’s level.” Connection: “I am great at taking a complex topic and breaking it into manageable, bite-size segments for other to be able to quickly understand and implement.”
Identify Your Soft Skills
Soft skills are traits that help a potential employer determine if your personality and temperament fit a particular job. They are personality clues that show how well you might adapt to that environment. The skills I found to be most sought-after are below:
Problem-Solving Employers are always looking for employees who can effectively solve problems. If you are someone who can identify the best course of action to take in any given situation, you need to state that on your resume. Save the specific examples for the cover letter and the interview. Be sure to state how you identify the problem, how you clarify it by asking for input from others, and how you solve it. Of course being open to working with others and discussing different solutions is important.
Organization Being organized is vital in almost every job. It shows you work efficiently and effectively. If you are an organized person, be sure to list this on your resume. Again, save the examples for the interview.
Time Management Time management helps you maximize the work hours you have to give. It helps you stay focused on what you need to accomplish daily. Time management involves prioritizing your workload, organizing information, and being a self-starter.
Teamwork Effective teamwork in the workplace benefits the organization by increasing productivity and morale. If you have been part of a team in the time you have been out of the workforce, be sure to list this skill. Be ready to give examples of how you cooperate, communicate, collaborate, and even compromise to get the job done.
Highlight Potential Transferable Skills
As a homemaker, you may have many skills that are transferable. Homemaking is very similar to a professional job. Add in the homeschooling aspect, and you have a complex day with components requiring sound managerial skills and a consistent vision of desired end results. Multitasking, budgeting, logistics coordination, and project management are only a few of the many activities that you’ll tackle both at home, in your homeschool, and in the office. When detailing your skills on your resume, be sure to show how your activities transfer to the skills listed.
Most of us have been involved in other activities that might apply. Here are some that might fit your situation:
Co-op Coordination and Management
Management of Extracurricular Clubs
Serving on a Committee
Professionally Relevant Hobbies
A Non-Profit Cause That Is Relevant
What Job Title?
There are many opinions about whether to give yourself a title… and they are just that: opinion. I’m going to encourage you to consider the position you are applying for and what other skills you have. If your homemaker and homeschooling activities can transfer easily to the position you are applying for, then add a title. For instance if you are applying to work as an online ESL teacher, then by all means, list yourself as homeschool teacher. It just makes sense to point out your teaching activities.
For others who are looking for a position that readily matches your previous employment, then just explain in your cover letter why you have been absent from the work scene. If you have pursued any continuing education, hobbies, etc, that are relevant, list those.
What Resume Format
This is another question that can only be answered with an opinion. I am a huge fan of chronological resumes. I don’t believe in hiding the fact that you have been out of the workforce, which I think functional resumes attempt to do. I would rather you just explain the absence in a cover letter than dance around it with resume formats.
Trish is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. She has been married to her best friend, David, for 22 years and they have three sons (ages 19, 17 and 15). Trish is from the coast of North Carolina, but they now live in rural West Tennessee on a 40+ acre farm. She has been homeschooling since 2009 and her homeschool style leans towards a Montessori approach with a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning. Trish’s family is Messianic and they love studying the Scriptures, learning Hebrew and growing in their faith and walk daily. In her spare time, Trish loves to travel, write, work in their garden and can regularly be found trying to learn something new, modeling that learning is indeed a life-long endeavor!