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How to make a resume shine when re-entering the workforce

Wondering how to explain the time spent working for the most demanding client of your life? Our resume coach is here to help

How to make a resume shine when re-entering the workforce

So you're ready to re-enter the workforce. Let's do this, mama!


For many mothers, getting back to work after time at home raising kids can at first seem overwhelming. How do you explain the time spent working for the most demanding client of your life? And how do you address the gaps in your employment history in a straightforward, no-apologies way that still lets your skills set shine?

We hope employers one day recognize the value of all-nighters trying to close the formidable 'sleeping through the night' deal and the in-depth negotiations related to toddler eating! Until then, a few tweaks to your resume can help open doors and make an employer interested enough to invite you in for an interview. From there, your confidence, charm, and skills will surely land you the offer.

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So grab a coffee (or a glass of wine!) and let's get this resume party started by understanding the difference between the traditional chronological and functional resume formats.

Chronological Resume

You are probably most familiar with this popular format with sections for an objective and/or career statement, chronological listing of all of your employers listing your responsibilities and accomplishments, and educational and certification achievements. This format works great if you have a steady, consistent employment history in the industry for which you are now applying.

Functional Resume

In contrast, the functional resume format highlights your abilities such as management, sales, or hiring. A functional resume allows you to highlight the transferable skills you've acquired and helps an employer understand what value you can add to their organization without focusing on employment history. A summary work history is often left for the bottom section of a functional resume. However, because work history is not necessarily linked to your capabilities, this approach can leave readers questioning if you accomplished something last week or 10 years ago. Therefore, this format is best used if you have significant gaps in work history or are making a radical career change.

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So, what's a girl to do? What if you find yourself re-entering the workforce after only a couple years or perhaps making a career shift? How do you balance tradition with function?

The traditional chronological resume format works great for someone who's experienced and has a consistent employment history. However, if you've significant gaps in your work history, have frequently changed jobs, are transitioning into a new career, or re-entering the workforce, the functional resume is appealing. But is it enough to move you into the “yes" pile understanding it can lead to more questions than answers about your qualifications?

Well, hybrids aren't just all the rage in the car industry – the hybrid resume format may be just your ticket, too.

Hybrid Resume

This format makes a splash from the start with a strong profile and bulleted areas of expertise section at the top, immediately focusing the reader's attention on your capabilities. Next, the hybrid resume highlights experience and accomplishments covering both functional and chronological information. This section details your employment history in reverse-chronological order, leading with job function descriptions in brief paragraphs with achievements highlighted in bullets. Focus here on accomplishments rather than job duties and avoid adding information about jobs and tasks not related to your current career goals.

The hybrid resume ends with highlights on your education, training, affiliations, languages, and other relevant information.

Regardless which resume format you choose, keep in mind that it is a self-marketing tool with the purpose of effectively communicating your assets to a targeted employer in an easy-to-follow format. When done right, by the time a potential employer reaches the end, she's decided that your capabilities are a fit and is sold on interviewing you. We knew it!

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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