Resume Rescue

Hopefully very very soon I will be looking for a job. I have not worked much these past 15 years, being a full time stay at home mom and all, so my resume / CV is extremely anemic and thin. Being a mom has taught me so much about myself and about life, however, most CVs don’t really include this information. I have had no formal schooling post-high school, which doesn’t really help. I am not totally sure what kind of job I am going for, other than one that helps to pay the bills. So I need a generic CV. (Of course if someone wanted to pay me to stay at home and write…..I would love that).

How, dear informed readers with jobs, do I go about making my CV so awesome that someone will want to hire me, even though I have been out of the workforce focusing on kids for 15 years?

Thanks…..

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  1. Meg says:

    Do you have any experience volunteering, or organizing things for kids’ programs? If those are marketable skills, you should find a way to package them for your resume.

    What kind of job are you looking for? My classmates and I have had very good luck with Craigslist, which often has small businesses looking for employees. I find they are often more willing to take a chance on someone.

  2. Vicki says:

    Make a functional resume (although employers can be a little wary of those), include freelance writing jobs you’ve had over the past X years. Depending on what you want to work in, start volunteering in that field (I know it takes up a lot of time, especially since you have kids, but many find job connections through volunteering,) and slowly start reading job-related blogs to get an idea for industry and the job search in general.

    My two favorites are Ask-a-Manager http://www.askamanager.org/ , who has lots and lots of advice (and even a whole book you can buy or a sample you can read) on how to get a job-maybe you can email her a question as well, and Cynical Girl Laurie Ruettiman http://thecynicalgirl.com/ and both are great.

    If you need some help just getting started with a resume (CV is the term in the US reserved more for academic jobs) shoot me an email. I’ve edited over 10 resumes of friends in the past couple months. I will be more than happy to get you going :)

  3. Former Moseyite says:

    Volunteer to work somewhere locally to build up your resume.

  4. Former Moseyite says:

    I recently moved from Monsey to Baltimore (just this past June) – but still know a lot of people – and I think you moved to my old Neighborhood – Wesley Hills. Email me and let me know what fields you are looking in and I will put you in contact with everyone I know.

  5. The late great Erma Bombeck had a wonderful story about her applying for a job after her children were grown. She had little to put on the application. The disrespectful interviewer, who was young enough to be her child, basically told her that she had no useful education or job experience. Erma was humiliated. Then, she got angry. She realized that running a household was major business management experience. Logistics, health care, property management, you name it. She went back in to fill in an application right, this time.

    That’s my vague recollection. Sorry I haven’t got the story to send to you for inspiration. You have lots of experience in a wide realm of fields. Find a way to get that message across. Good luck! Gmar hatimah tovah!

  6. MSG says:

    I’m with the gals who said to include volunteer work and your writing! Anything you have done is fair game…
    I’m also happy to help with your resume editing (I have had many successful job finders after my services!)

  7. I hire people. I care more about what someone can do and who they are than the positions they held.

    Write a dynamic cover letter giving the reader your context: a sense of who you are and what is special about you for the job. Keep it short and to the point.

    Concentrate your resume on skills and past responsibilities. I like the example of Irma brombeck.

    I know you and you have a lot to offer. Just get thst across. I’m happy to review it with you.

  8. batya from NJ says:

    Would you be interested in substituting in YSV or the other local schools? I have friends who like substituting b/c it is per diem & you don’t have to make any long term commitments. What’s good about it as a mom is that you can be home in time for your kids & you don’t have to do it everyday. On the other, there certainly are drawbacks to subbing also but there are pros & cons to EVERYTHING in life!

    Hatzlacha with the resume writing & finding a job that suits your needs!

  9. Z! says:

    If you’re looking for an easy’ish’ desk/office job; some data entry; phone answering; minor bookeeping; filing and the like, expect to have competition with young people just out of highschool/university. The pay being offered will be low. 10-12-15 dollar range. What I would sell to the employer is two things.
    1. that you wouldn’t necessarily leave right away if something better/else came along. You won’t leave because you want to start a family.
    2. although you might not possess all the skills needed immediately, you are mature, intelligent and capable.
    I recommend doctor’s offices. They are always needing office help who are fast thinkers/movers and compassionate at heart.
    Good Luck!

  10. Surely this blog counts for something! You have quite a following … I’ve read your blog for about a year, and just a few moments ago I was googling something and a post of yours I’ve never read came up. That sort of thing should earn you POINTS! About.com is always looking for people to be contributing writers/guides on various subjects, although that’s not a full time “job” per se.

    I also know a number of single Jewish parents who could really use a book that speaks to their experience …

  11. Mike S. says:

    One error you made was to talk of a generic CV because you are interested in different types of jobs. What that calls for is not one generic CV’s but a family of CV’s, each emphasizing things that would make you attractive to for a type of job. For instance, if you are looking at, say, a bookkeeping job you might emphasize balancing the household budget , filling out household tax forms and the like. For positions involving writing, you might emphasize your blog. If you want to drive a cab (I know from experience that Monsey needs some good ones) you might emphasize your driving record, responsibility and ability to tell time (I include the last out of painful experience.)

  12. Sara says:

    Go ahead and put your blog experience, but don’t put your blog name. You never know what kind of a manager you’ll get and how they will respond to it. Better to keep your private and work life separate. Take an online typing test so you can put your wpm on your skills section. Get a general reference letter from one of your volunteer colleagues or managers and include it automatically with every application that allows “additional documents” to beef up your application. Read up on industry news in the area you want to be hired in. Put that information in your cover letter, “Currently subscribed to _____ listserve/magazine/journal/online digest” to keep abreast of current trends”. If you are interested in a administrative job, take some online tutorials in excel, word (not sure if the software used here is the same as there). Also, get at least a passing knowledge in current trends in file sharing and social networking, as these are becoming more and more common for admins to setup and update.

  13. Baila says:

    A friend of mine in a similar position to yours (only she’s not a writer) recently found a job as a school secretary. It took her a while to find something, but she loves it. She works with some other women, was given responsibilities, and as she puts it “gets to enjoy the kids but not have to teach or discipline them”.

  14. grace says:

    You do have a job- writing this blog! And from Montreal, so perhaps bilingual? You have done some marketing and public relations work on here, esp. thinking of your posts about frum clothing. You’ve done motivation work too- encouraging us to get out an exercise in particular.

    I could see you running a Curves gym- all women, healthy, taps into the managerial skills you must have to keep track of all those children. Good luck!

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