How To Write The SAHM Blogger Resume

by Sandra Foyt on January 8, 2010

in Uncategorized

resume It’s been fifteen years since I last updated my resume, a long time and a lot has changed since I was a not-so-young graduate student.

I became a mom, for one thing.  And somehow traveling the world as a human rights advocate didn’t seem quite as appealing as staying with my family and making a difference closer to home.

Since I became a full-time mom, I’ve accomplished a lot of things that I’m proud of, not least of which is raising two bright, kind, and creative children.  However, when it comes to writing a resume, I was at a bit of a loss.

The Ugly Truth

It’s been so long since I’ve actively pursued a career that all my old resume files and writing samples were stored on a floppy disk.  A fifteen year old floppy disk is a sad, sad object.  It can’t be inserted into most of the computers in our home, not even the dinosaur in the basement that I can’t give away.  There is just one computer in our home with a floppy disk drive, and it doesn’t recognize any of the disk’s data.  Luckily, I still have paper copies of my resume.

Not that it helps much.  My old resume is so outdated, and out of sync with my current career interests, that it is as much of a dinosaur as the basement computer.  It’s easier to just start from scratch.

Why Write a Resume

I first started thinking about writing a resume when I discovered Linked In, the “world’s largest professional network.”  Unlike all the other social media sites that I frequent, the profile page requires you to upload or write a resume.  Clearly, this is a fantastic opportunity to improve anyone’s online image.

Right away, I put writing a resume on the top of my To Do List, where it languished until I wrote 2010 Writing Resolution: Get Published.  Having gone public with this intention, I needed to get on the ball and actually do something. I immediately thought of applying for freelance writing jobs.  Those could get published this year, right?

That’s when I realized that I would have to tackle the resume writing project to apply for those freelance writing jobs.

3 Steps To Writing a Resume

Susan Ireland, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Resume, breaks down the process into 10 Steps that boil down to just 3 little tasks:

  1. Select a job objective.
  2. Identify your audience to determine what potential employers are seeking.
  3. Craft your resume so that you match the strengths you bring to that job objective with those potential employers might want.

How I Wrote an Education Blogger Resume

I thought about writing a chronological resume.  That would have been the quick and easy solution as I could’ve summed up the last fourteen years into one entry:

The Foyt Project

April 1996 – Present

Raising two children, ages 10 to 13 years and managing all our household activities, chores, finances, maintenance, relocation remodeling/improvement projects, logistics and repairs. The skills I have strengthened while being at home full time include patience, compassion, delegation, organization, leadership, the ability to prioritize, negotiation, budget, project and time management and humility. (Paraphrasing Michelle’s SAHM entry on Leaving Excess.

Instead, I decided to use this chore as an opportunity to assess my strengths and weaknesses, while thinking about what kinds of jobs I might like.  To quote Susan Ireland,

Your resume is about your future; not your past.

I went back to Susan Ireland’s site and plugged in “Education Blogger” into the Indeed Job Search Engine to get a list of job postings.  There were a couple that looked promising, and I used those to generate my own record of skills and accomplishments.

Then, I had to figure out how to format the resume.  The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides good advice on what to consider when formatting the resume, as does Susan Ireland.  But, I must admit, I haven’t actually followed that advice as of yet since I’m not quite ready to send out resumes.

Instead, I pulled out a template from one of the choices in Microsoft Word so that I could start writing.  Then, I looked for sample resumes, both on Susan Ireland’s site and through Google, to see what other writers or bloggers had written.

I printed the most promising and kept them on hand for inspiration as I wrote my resume.  I also kept a printed copy of OWL’s Categorized List of Action Verbs, a most invaluable resource!

When I was finished (or as finished as you can be considering that each resume has to be tailored to the specific job application,) I uploaded the entries onto my Linked In Profile.

Value of Writing Resume

Now, you may be wondering why I’m not quite ready to send in those job applications.  This is where I realized that writing a resume is a strategic move that any stay at home mother should consider, even if she won’t be looking for a job until the kids are out of diapers (or off to college.)

It forced me to think about my goals and aspirations, and to take a hard look at my achievements.  When I dug through all my papers (resulting in several boxes heading to the recycle bin, another plus!) I realized that I’ve accomplished quite a bit that I can be proud of, even during these “unemployed” Mommy years.

I have to admit, I feel pretty darn good about what I’ve done for students and my community through all the volunteer work over the years.

The process also made me consider how and why I’ve been blogging all these years.  I was able to add a new reason to blog to my ever-expanding list: keeping up job skills.  As a blogger, I’ve published many articles and I’ve gained on the job training on all aspects of blog creation. (See details on Linked In Profile.)

Nevertheless, when I compared my record to potential hiring requirements, I identified some gaps worth addressing. Nothing major.  Nothing that can’t be fixed with a few blog tweaks, and a couple of new projects to gain applicable experience.

Easy, peasy!  Once again, the blog saves the day. Every stay at home mom should have one.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Fink January 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Great post! I’d love to see your resume someday, if you decide to share it.
.-= Jennifer Fink´s last blog ..She Said It Better… =-.

Sandra Foyt January 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Currently, you can see the resume on my Linked In Profile at http://fwd4.me/AfN. I’ll see if I can post the actual Word document this weekend.

Ann January 9, 2010 at 8:22 am

I remember floppy disks… real floppy ones and their smaller, encased versions… probably still have some around someplace. Now so much is in the cloud.

Thanks for the link… good article…

A

deb williams January 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm

great links and thanks for getting the wheels turning. i am diving into launching a non-profit, and had talked myself into not needing a resume, but after this, i realize there is a lot of merit in getting it all on paper.

Sandra Foyt January 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Ann – I’d be curious to know if you’re able to extract data from the ancient floppy disks.
Deb – Good luck on the nonprofit launch, be sure to keep up posted on how we can help!

Sandra Foyt January 9, 2010 at 10:22 pm

I’ve uploaded the current version of the resume into my Google Sites account:
http://sites.google.com/site/onlivingbylearning/documents

Dana January 10, 2010 at 9:32 pm

That’s great. And we share a similar goal, though I’m not exactly shooting for being published this year beyond perhaps a magazine article or two. I’m shooting for writing something publishable…I’d like to say this year but we’ll see. :)

julie September 27, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Hi Sandra, this is an excellent and educational description of how a stay at home mom can write or refresh her resume after time at home looking after kids or family. I’d love to excerpt some on our blog … we are trying to build up a library of resumes and tips that help moms do just what you’ve done.
Congratulations.
julie´s last blog post ..Project Working Mom gives 5 million worth of full-tuition scholarships

Donna April 30, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Hi Sandra,
I really like how you included your blog experience in your resume. I was a SAHM for 14 years, and although I’m back to working part time, and also blogging, I’m working on landing my dream job in the environmental field. I was trying to figure out the best way to include my blogging experience, and you’re help has been invaluable! Best of luck with your endeavors.

Donna

Resume Builder March 6, 2012 at 9:35 am

good article. hopefully one day i’ll manage to fill my resume with enough good stuff, so the only head ache will be too many job offers;)

Elena April 23, 2012 at 10:38 am

Hi! I’m a long-time follower and fellow SITSah. This post is just what I needed, as I’ve been looking for a way to incorporate my blogging experience in with my “traditional” work experience on my resume. Thanks!
Elena´s last blog post ..4 Eco-Friendly Tips to Beautify and Personalize Your Home Office…surround your home business with a personal, earth-friendly image

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