In our recent article Motherhood on your CV: Yes or No?, we discussed how raising children helps to cultivate skills which are useful in the workplace and why these absolutely have their place on a resume.
The truth is, being a parent requires an assortment of talents, from time keeping, multi-tasking, organisation and time management, to adhering to deadlines, negotiation, conflict resolution and problem solving. Pretty impressive, right?!
And there’s no doubt that these abilities are beneficial in any workplace, regardless of where you developed and honed them.
At MERJE, over half of our team are working parents and one-quarter are working mums, and we truly appreciate the value they bring to the business. In fact, we wouldn't be where we are today, celebrating some of our most successful performances to date, without them.
The working mothers among us couldn’t have put it better themselves…
Sally Cordwell, Principal Consultant - Front-Line Talent, said: “Demonstrating key skills, honed during parenting to potential employers is so important. I would absolutely encourage mothers to include them on their CVs.”
Ellie Sykes, Managing Consultant - Credit Risk & Analytics, added: “If potential employers are dismissing those applicants who have family commitments, they are missing out on the workforce’s best talent!”
So, what skills are employers looking for that working mums can demonstrate? And how can they be included effectively on a CV? Let’s find out…
Balancing the demand of a household and completing everything to deadlines is no easy task. Parents generally have to squeeze far more into a day than they did before having children and managing a multitude of timelines helps this, so don’t forget to shout about it to a prospective employer.
As a mother, you’re constantly acting as an advisor, mentor, teacher and counsellor to your children and these are all highly prized work skills. After all, a key part of most jobs is having the abilities to persuade, interview, listen and facilitate group discussions which are needed on daily in parenthood.
Managing a pre-school age child at home all day long can be more challenging than dealing with work colleagues. Because of this, mums pick up superior negotiation skills. These are honed throughout parenthood, from navigating the toddler tantrums and teenage tribulations to liaising with teachers, childcare professionals and more.
Every workplace needs problem solvers and parents come across new situations which need resolving every single day, some which you never even imagined existed! It’s not just the critical thinking and solution development that is important either. As a parent, you’ll learn when you need to step in to help your child and when to provide the means for them to figure it out for themselves, which is the cornerstone of becoming a good manager.
Juggling the family and household needs takes superb levels of organisation, particularly during times of change or upheaval such as renovation projects or booking a holiday. Planning, budgeting and coordinating a myriad of factors to ensure the smooth running of your day-to-day applies to both home and work life, and should certainly be referred to during job applications.
There is a huge number of opportunities to relate parenthood skills to the workplace. As well as handling your family day-to-day, occasions when you have organised school events, sat on the PTA, set up a social group, coordinated a fundraising event or similar experiences are all relevant to finding your feet in your next career move and can be brought up during hiring processes.
So, whether it’s on a CV or during an interview, be sure to:
Highlight the skills you have learned as a mother
Use tangible examples to demonstrate how they can apply in the workplace
Relate the skills you have against the job description to add further emphasis to your suitability for the role
One great way of doing this is to write down your achievements and spell them out using the SMART method; specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.
If you would like to discuss this or any of the topics covered in our articles, please get in touch.