Many mothers who spend time raising children also spend time making valuable contributions to their communities. Chances are, you know a mom who has produced a school play, organized a fundraising event, or volunteered for a youth activity. Add them up, and these efforts demonstrate translatable skills for a resume.
The goal of this article is to help moms realize how their community contributions can have professional relevance. Mothering skills, like management skills, require leadership, critical thinking, and continuous decision making. If managers are logging their skills on LinkedIn, why shouldn’t mothers?
When future employers look for demonstrable activities during the child-rearing years, LinkedIn provides many options to showcase a colorful resume. Let’s take a closer look at how the LinkedIn platform accommodates a wide variety of skills for the modern professional profile. Clicking on “Profile” should display these options:
1. Volunteer Section
There is a specific section on LinkedIn for Volunteer experience. For parents this can be used to track school year commitments such as in class tutoring, event coordination, or PTA leadership. Logging a description of these roles could be important for long run resume building. One year I project managed the construction of a frog pond wildlife habitat at our elementary school. I learned an entirely new skill set during this process, which could provide plenty of talking points about past managerial experience during an interview.
Have you ever taken a community college or community center course while parenting? Track it! Whether it’s a cooking class or coding class, such courses demonstrate interests and dedication to personal development. Last year I took three courses in computer science at my local community college. I’d like my future employer to know that staying technically literate is one of my top priorities. Now, they can see this outcome on my LinkedIn profile.
Consulting assignments or specialized professional opportunities that don’t fall within a typical employee/employer framework can be recorded in the Projects section of LinkedIn. I’ve described my work on the App Friday program (an indie developer marketing program for kids’ apps) under Projects, and am able to link to these colleagues using LinkedIn connections. This shows how I still collaborate with others even during my time at home.
Have you been a Girl Scout Troop Leader, Mother’s Club member, or Humane Society Volunteer? Where are you a member? When I first stayed home with my girls, I joined our local Redwood City Mothers Club. It was such a helpful organization that I decided to lead a community program connecting neighborhoods. As a result of “Neighborhood Connections”, mothers all over the city had more help getting to know each other. I should log that work on my LinkedIn profile!
5. Honors & Awards, Publications
Do you have any certificates? Have you been asked to speak at an event? Have you written an article that was picked up by an online or print publication? When I first saw “Honors and Awards” I figured it was for esteemed honors like the Nobel Peace Prize. Then I viewed a friend’s profile who listed her speaking engagements in this section. What a great idea! Think of how you’ve been acknowledged publicly, and consider listing those acknowledgements in this section.
Aside from the profile sections, LinkedIn’s features also help maintain connections. Inviting others to connect, endorsing their efforts, or posting articles or updates are all ways to maintain and grow a network.
When I reflect on the years spent raising my daughters, I don’t want to think of it in terms of a black hole on my resume. Far from it, this period of enrichment is turning out to be remarkably diverse. It’s up to me to stay positive and active, while keeping track of the many opportunities around me.