47 Job search tips for returning to work after raising kids

Our #SAHM TwitChat was a huge success! Here’s a recap of some of the job search topics we covered, with thanks to our panel: HR expert and krexconsulting founder Kelley Rexroadcareer advisor and Introvert Whisperer Dorothy Tannahill-Moran; Nancy Grace contributor and work-from-home mom Meredyth Censullo; and stay-at-home mom-turned-TV-traffic-reporter Laura Byrne. Together, we built each other up, shared inspiration and reached more than 475,000 people, as we discussed the journey from stay-at-home mom back to career. Here are some of our favorite job search tips for stay-at-home moms.

Where to look?

  • ODesk has lots of work-from-home jobs.
  • Check out this list of companies that “get it” when it comes to working moms.
  • LinkedIn has the biggest job board. Aggregates from all over the web.
  • Look through Twitter followers to spark organic connection. Could lead to business opportunity later.
  • Don’t be afraid to work for yourself.
  • Check out this rundown of mom-friendly industries.
  • If you’re an introvert, don’t go to a networking event. Instead, have coffee with a former colleague or classmate.
  • Consider “low-hanging fruit.” What are small businesses in your community lacking? How can you help on a freelance basis?
  • Check out this list of the Small Business Administration’s development centers, which provide assistance to small businesses.
  • If you don’t need a full-time salary, think about how you can barter. @MeredythTV: I’ve had my hair done for YEARS in exchange for helping salon’s #socialmedia.
  • Contact the local Chambers of Commerce. Those are smaller firms, many times, who are looking for referrals to help them.
  • Consider opportunities that don’t pay, simply to gain experience. @MeredythTV: I sit in on a radio show each wk just to learn!
  • Look for ways you can help a company out. @krexclient just got job 11-1 at mailbox type place-solved the problem of lunch time coverage when busy
  • Use skills from your full-time career. @LauraHKByrne: I know video & editing–I donate the skills to #JuniorLeague.

47 Job Search Tips for Stay-at-Home Moms SheJustGlows.com

How exactly to network?

  • People hire people they know, even if through someone else. Referrals put you on top!
  • Use contacts with prior coworkers, church contacts, old neighbors, college alumnae groups and clubs, mom friends.
  • Use social media, like Twitter, to connect with companies you’d like to work for. Get them to know your name, your style.
  • On Twitter, create a list with companies you want to work for. Go through it from time to time, and then, engage with those companies.
  • Create social media profiles that showcase your skills, like @MeredythTV’s.

What to wear to the interview?

  • Wear something comfortable that you feel good in. Stay away from the latest trends.
  • Scarves can cover up a lot!
  • Wear a neutral outfit with a bold statement accessory like purse, shoes or a bag.
  • Don’t wear too much perfume. @LauraHKByrneDrove to Orlando for an interview and put perfume on in the car. Ugh-so bad. I couldn’t take it off! 
  • Before you go, test drive the Spanx, and bring an extra shirt in case of baby spit-up.
  • Get an idea of what people wear at the company. If you have to, sit in the parking lot to see.

What not to say in the interview?

  • “I don’t do (this).”
  • “I got fired.”
  • “I’m hungover.”
  • “What’s this job pay?”
  • Don’t say “I can get childcare” when asked about schedule.” Instead: “Yes, I’m free.” Childcare is your issue. They have a job to do.
  • Never speak badly about someone. @krex: I’m surprised how many people bash others in interviews!

How to refer to time spent at home?

  • Call your time away from the work force a “sabbatical” on your resume.
  • If out-of-work for a long time, call it an extended sabbatical.
  • Best ways to respond to this question: “How did you spend your sabbatical?”
    • @krexI had the opportunity to focus on my family’s needs. It was great & now I am ready to focus on this opportunity.
    • @IntrovertLeaderby pulling out transferable skills: organizing, planning, problem solving
Other tips:
  • Have confidence in what you know, even if you’ve been out of the workplace awhile. Find 1-2 things you do well, and focus on those.
  • If you have volunteer experience, add Community Leadership to your resume and LinkedIn profile. And, look for volunteer leaders to network with. For example, if you volunteer at the animal shelter, look to see who is on the board of the shelter.
  • Treat volunteer work as a job. (i.e. Junior League, homeowner’s association, etc.)
  • Scan social media feeds for articles pertinent to your career. Don’t have time to read? Email to yourself to read later.
  • Find a mom who has returned to work and ask for insights.
  • Put mommy multitasking skills to work. @MeredythTV: I’m TwitChatting while prepping for TV appearance.

47 Job Search Tips For Returning to the Workforce After Raising Kids SheJustGlows.com

Keep the faith! #MamaPower

  • @LauraHKByrne:There is NO SHAME in your time as a #SAHM. Own it! Be proud!
  • @LauraHKByrne: Don’t get down on yourself if you don’t get the job. I didn’t get the 1st job I wanted after becoming a #SAHM. #ShakeitOff
  • @krexNos just get U closer to yes! If U don’t hear anything -call.Dont write t novel in UR head as to why.
  • @MeredythTVAnd try not to take it personally when you’re turned down for a job. This one is hard for me!
  • When you’re turned down, @IntrovertLeader: realize it means you’re making progress.
  • @krex: #SAHM You are doing the toughest and most impt job in the world–you’ve got this!

This TwitChat was an outgrowth of questions that came from a previous post, about the 14 things stay-at-home moms need to know when reentering the job market. Check it out for more job-seeking tips!

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