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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!

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

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

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My husband and I always talked about starting a family a few years after we were married so we could truly enjoy the “newlywed” phase. But that was over before it started. I was pregnant on our wedding day. Surprise!

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