Many women drop out of the workforce to become mothers and raise a family. And when the children have grown, these mothers begin looking again to return to the workforce.
But the evidence shows that for these women, it isn’t all that easy. Studies have shown that there is a built-in bias against hiring women who have left the workforce to raise children. In one study, researchers sent resumes to companies around the northeastern United States, those of mothers, and other types of applicants. The study found that women without children were more than twice as likely to be contacted as the mothers were.
This inherent discrimination is compounded by other issues, such as companies’ concerns about the erosion of skills by people who have been unemployed.
So, if you find yourself in this position, what should you do?
There are three things to consider – first, do you still want to work in your original career or try something different; second, what do you do about the skills you have lost over time; and third, how do you explain the work gap to employers.
If you have some time before you have to return to work, you can use it to determine what course you want to follow, to take the time to research new opportunities that appear attractive to you. If you have to get back to work right away, you may want to take a temp job so that you are earning money while you decide what you want to do.
Second, when you apply for a job, you might be surprised to learn about what has been happening in your field while you were away. Maybe you have kept up with your field while you were at home. If not, you have some catching up to do. You can accomplish this by taking classes or volunteering and conversing with others in your professional network.
Third, there is the issue of explaining the work gap on your resume. You may want to orient your resume around a functional template, which emphasizes your skills, rather than one that chronologically gives your employment. You can also explain the gap in your cover letter. One career expert tells people in this situation to simply give a statement about what you did. Do it in a positive manner and don’t feel that you have to apologize for doing it. After all, raising children is one of the toughest jobs there is.
If you are looking for work, send your resume to a recruiter at Winston Resources, one of the top staffing agencies in the city. We can help you get connected with some of New York City’s best employers. Contact us today.