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On this page: Susan Ireland shows how a mother returning to work and changing careers can handle this dual challenge with her resume.

Sample Resume: Mother Returning After a Gap

LaDonna Davis (not her real name) always thought she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up.

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After she graduated college with a BA in Education, she got a job as a preschool teacher. Then, she had a child, dropped out of the workforce for five years, and changed her career goal.

Sample Resume with Employment Gap and Career Change (a new window or tab will open for all sample resume links).

About this resume:

During her fourth year at the preschool she became pregnant and decided to become a stay-at-home mom until her child entered kindergarten.

For the next five years her focus was on being a full-time mother, but to keep her teaching dream alive, she did sporadic volunteer work as an assistant teacher in her local middle school.

It was during this time at the middle school that she realized teaching was not the ideal career for her.

The problem: she didn't know what she wanted to do, so she hired a career counselor to help her figure things out. After some skills assessment and informational interviewing, LaDonna decided to go back to school in a few years to get a degree in psychology, with the goal of becoming a childhood development consultant sometime in the future.

In the meantime, LaDonna needed a job! She used a combination resume format to reframe her teaching experience and demonstrate that she would be an excellent Office Manager for a local small business.

She created two skill headings (Administration and Project Management) under her position at the middle school, which helped define her as an organized person who knows how to streamline systems and manage projects.

She purposely did not write about her classroom experience because that's the aspect of her previous work that she does not want to repeat.

Also, notice she did not use the word "volunteer" as part of her job title, thereby strengthening the perceived value of her experience.

This one-page resume is clean and concise. It delivers only the most relevant information, thereby painting the picture of a job seeker who will organize and manage a small professional office in a neat and straightforward manner.


About this author...

Susan Ireland is the author of four job search books including The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Resume, now in its 5th edition.  For more information about writing your resume, read Susan's books or visit Susan's Website SusanIreland.com.  For immediate help with your resume and cover letter, check out Susan's Ready Made Resumes and Cover Letters, an online resume builder to help job seekers quickly create an effective resume. Follow Susan on Twitter @SusanIreland, visit her on Facebook, circle her on Google+, and interact with her on the LinkedIn's JOBS Group (Job Openings, Job Leads and Job Connections!) in her ** Let's Talk Resumes ** featured discussion.