A Special Note to Homemakers

October 9, 2012

Whether you’re male or female, returning to paid work or seeking paid work for the first time, you may think you don’t have the skills needed to thrive in today’s competitive job market.

Hmm... Let’s look at the facts. Homemakers have many skills to offer. Smart employers look beyond paid work to any evidence of transferable skills.

Here is a giant sample position description/blurb (much larger than is appropriate for an actual resume) containing many examples of action statements for homemakers. Each action statement gives the reader specific evidence of transferable skills. Use these examples as food for thought as you craft your own action statements unique to you.

On an 8 1/2 by 11-inch resume page with one-inch margins, keep your position description to within six lines and avoid “orphans” (single words appearing on the last line of a blurb).

1/00-present Homemaker, Metropolis, NY

Manage schedules and logistics for family of five. Balance priorities to create and implement budget. Motivate, coach, and counsel children. Teach and model ethics. Work with teachers to closely monitor academic performance of children. Plan, organize, and co-supervise extracurricular school activities. Mediate disputes among family members and facilitate solutions. Shop for clothing, food, and supplies. Prepare and serve nutritious meals for five. Coordinate medical care for all family members. Establish clear requirements and discipline children. Drive children to schools, team sports, music lessons, and more. Negotiate with suppliers. Pay invoices. Reconcile accounts. Arrange for home and vehicle maintenance and repairs. Maintain clean home and clean clothes for family. Plan and create dinners to entertain mate’s employers, colleagues, clients, and prospects. Collaborate with mate to manage investments.

Clearly, creating a home and nurturing others require a variety of skills. It is obvious to any reader that many of these skills are transferable to paid work. Thus, there is no reason to omit or otherwise disguise or downplay the role of homemaker on your resume. Rather than hide it, tell it--tell employers this important element of your unique story.

Material excerpted from The Elements of Resume Style (AMACOM Books, 2005) by Scott Bennett. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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