Here at Stay in the Game, we receive and review hundreds of applications each month. We know how challenging it can be to understand what employers are looking for—and that’s especially true for moms returning to work after a “mom pause.”
Knowing how to put together a knock-out resume is a valuable skill, but it’s not something that comes naturally to everyone. If you’re new to the process or just starting to put yourself out there after some time away from the working world, it’s helpful to have a strategy going in—and maybe a few insider tips!
We sat down with Carrie Pharr, recruiter for Stay in the Game, to find out what she looks for in a resume and what makes some pop while others are relegated to the bottom of the stack.
In our conversation, Carrie demystified the resume writing process from top to bottom. We talked about what she looks for in a resume, what makes some rise to the top in a sea of candidates, and, perhaps more importantly, what compels her to eliminate.
As you prepare to create your resume, use this article as a checklist to keep you on track. We suggest that you bookmark this page so you can refer back to it periodically, as, at some point, you’ll need to update and punch up. Let’s dive in!
Gaps in your work history can sometimes be seen as red flags. However, there are many reasons why employment gaps happen. Addressing the situation is vital; plus, it gives you a chance to direct the narrative.
Carrie suggests being upfront about your work gap. Perhaps you took time off to focus on your family, as many women did during the pandemic. Think about the skills you gained in the process, and leverage those points to turn the situation into a positive one. Multi-tasking, time management, managing people, problem-solving, organization, negotiation, conflict resolution, and communication skills are all critical aspects of running a household. They are also marketable skills that you can leverage to increase your value as an employee—especially when working in teams or working remotely.
Perhaps you took some courses or learned new skills during your pause. Emphasize what you’ve learned and communicate your enthusiasm for learning new skills or ways of doing things. Openness, agility, and a learning mindset are all desirable qualities.
When you sit down to write, do you find yourself searching for the right words? According to the Muse, there are specific words and phrases recruiters are tired of hearing—and others that pique their interest in a good way.
Generally, try not to use jargony language—unless it’s specific to your profession and can’t really be said any other way. Avoid platitudes and hyperbole. Say what you mean, use plain language, and write from a professional mindset, not that of a romance novel.
Here are a few words and catchphrases that you should avoid at all costs:
You’ll note that these words and phrases are not directly related to any particular action you’ve taken. They are just descriptions of aspirational characteristics and do not denote results. Remember, you only have one page. You’ll want to use that space wisely and describe things you’ve done rather than what you might be capable of doing. This might not stand out to the average person as a negative, but recruiters will pick up on these points immediately.
The following terms are active, meaning they describe what you actually did rather than making an ambiguous statement about what’s possible.
At Stay In The Game, we’re here to support you in all aspects of your career! Whether you are fresh out of college or just reentering the workforce after a mom pause, we’ll help you find a job and a career you’ll love—on your terms. Join our community today for access to resources that will get you back in the game.
Stay In The Game provides opportunities for competent, educated individuals who have been out of the workforce. Now, they can get back in the game and put their talents to work. We offer jobs, training and community support. For more information, please visit our website https://stayinthegame.net/ or contact us at email@example.com.