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If you’re reading this, then chances are that you are a young mom who doesn’t really have any professional experience to speak of, and you’re wondering how you’re possibly going to be able to write a resume that will get you an interview, let alone a job. 

Well, I’m here to help you with that. I’ve been there myself, and hard as it was, I managed to get out of that situation. It took me ages to figure it out, but I’m hoping that everything I learned along the way will be able to help you find your way much faster than I did. 

So here are some very actionable tips for you to use when you write your resume. Keep these in mind, and you’ll see your results change drastically!

Don’t forget to download your FREE resume template below to skip the hassle of setting one up yourself!

 

1 – Brainstorm your strengths 

 

No matter how you turn things, you’ll never be able to skip this part in your resume. Your potential future employer wants to know why they should hire you, and what you will bring to their team. 

You may be thinking that as a young mom with no experience, you have nothing to bring to the table. 

Wrong. 

You’ve got a ton of strengths, and you just need to find a way to sell them to the company. And I’m not talking crass selling. I’m talking about changing your perspective on the way you see yourself and your achievements.

 

How to apply it to your resume 

 

By going over everything you’ve done in life so far that you are proud of. 

 

Hint: Being a young mom should be at the top of that list. There is so much that a young mother has to deal with that demonstrates huge strength. So don’t downplay it, and most certainly do not consider it as a burden or a disadvantage. Find a way to use it to your advantage in your resume. 

 

Good strengths can be for example: organizational skills, patience, flexibility, adaptability, quick learner, stress tolerance, financial management, initiative, and so many more. 

 

The strengths you put on your resume will need to be accurate, and need to fit with what the company is looking for, for that specific position. Even though financial management is a skill, don’t list it if you are applying to a receptionist position (unless it’s something requested!) as it’s probably not relevant. 

 

Take some time to sit down and list all of the things that you do on a daily basis, and think of how this translates into a strength a company would be interested in.

 

For example: 

  • Getting your toddler to stay in bed at night: strong negotiation skills
  • Making sure your baby is dressed and fed while ensuring you don’t run out of food: organizational skills

 

Though it may seem silly to put it like that, you get the point: everything you do translates to a skill that is valuable in the workplace. So change the way you view yourself, and start that list!

2 – Brainstorm your experience 

If you have no professional experience to speak of, it can seem very intimidating and off-putting to write your resume, because you feel like there’s nothing for you to put on it. 

 

And true enough, the resume you will write today will be very different from the one you write 2 years from now, let alone the one you will write 10 years from now. 

 

But if you’re applying for an entry-level position, this shouldn’t be a problem. You can probably even apply for a job that requires some experience, as long as you can show that you have some that applies. 

 

So how do you do this if you’ve never had a “real” job? 

 

Well, by remembering that they’re asking for “experience”, not necessarily “professional experience”. 

 

How to apply it to your resume 

 

Again, sit down and write down everything you’ve done in your life that has given you experience that could be of use in the position you’re applying for.

 

Have you ever been a girl scout? Organized a bake-sale for the school? Been in any sports team? Worked a few shifts at a local coffee shop during week-ends and vacations? 

 

Good; then you have experience in sales, organization and event management, you’re a team player and have strong work ethics.

 

Put this experience down on your resume. Try to phrase it in such a way that you’re telling them not just that you have experience, but how it will be of use to them (more on this a little later). 

 

But please, please keep in mind that you should not exaggerate your experience. It will be very obvious, if not in your resume then at the interview. Be honest, but don’t downplay yourself. There are many skills that you can hone outside of the workforce, which you can put down as experience as well. 

 

The exception to this is if they specify in their job posting that they want someone with experience in a company. If this is the case, try to think if any can apply to you (the coffee shop would work, for example), but don’t go overboard, and most certainly do not lie.

3 – Use the systems to your advantage 

 

What you need to know, is that for every job opening, a company can get hundreds of applications. Where before a human being had to scoure through them all, they have now put systems in place that do the first sorting to leave only “viable candidates” for the humans to do a finer sorting. 

 

So how does this work? Well, every application is going to go through a software that’s going to go over your file and “read” it, deciding whether you’re a good fit for the position or not. 

 

And the way they do this is by seeing if your resume and cover letter have any of the keywords they’re looking for.

 

You might be thinking that that’s terrible! How are you ever going to get in front of a human being and get a chance at an interview when a machine is sorting you out before? 

 

How to apply it to your resume 

 

Use this knowledge to your advantage. You see, it’s actually not that hard to do. The software is told which keywords to look for in your file. And which are the keywords? 

 

They’re the ones in that are in the posting for the job you’re applying to! It’s no more complicated than that!

 

If you’re applying to a position where they say they want someone with strong social skills, then put that in your resume. Word. For. Word.

 

They’re looking for someone who’s a team player? Put it on!

 

Don’t try to be fancy or creative with your wording, because though what you put in might mean the same, the software might not pick up on it, and you might go straight to the trash pile.

 

So don’t reword it!

 

But do be smart about it. Use it in a natural way that makes sense in your resume. Don’t try to stuff all the keywords in, either. Chose a few, the most important if you know which they are, and lightly sprinkle them throughout your resume.

 

But please, be honest! Don’t put anything on your resume that doesn’t apply to you. It might get you an interview, but you won’t go much farther and you’ll be wasting everyone’s time. 

 

 

Be smart about how you word your resume to get you that interview

4 – Make sure it’s visually appealing 

Yes, your resume is supposed to showcase your professional skills, not be a flashy show of colors and sparkles.

 

But it still has to appeal visually (this is even more important in certain fields, such as design or marketing). If you’ve just got string of information on there, chances are that even if it makes it through round one with the software sorting, you won’t go much further. This is because the human who now has your resume on their pile has already read 50 resumes today, and reading your bland and uninteresting one doesn’t appeal to them.

 

Yes, it’s unfair. You might be the most talented person out there, but if your resume doesn’t sell you, you might remain jobless. (Yes, there are exceptions to this, if you’re particularly qualified in a field where you are in high demand, you can pretty much put your resume on a piece of toilet paper and still get the job. But is that your case? I know it wasn’t mine…) 

How to apply it to your resume 

Make sure your resume is appealing and easy to read. Have sections easily discernable, with clear and explicit titles. 

Again, your resume is not the place to be creative and clever (unless you’re applying to a job where that would be the biggest qualifier). 

So don’t name your “prior experience” section “past employers who wished they still had me”. 

Be clear, and be obvious. 

And make it visually appealing. This doesn’t mean it has to be “pretty”. But it does mean that it had to be clean, airy, and that the person going over it can easily distinguish where to look for and find a certain piece of information, without having to go over it with a fine-tooth comb.

 

Take the time to do this properly. I know, it’s a pain, but you only have to set it up once. Once it’s done, use the same template for every other job you apply to; easy-peasy.

5 – Make it about them

What?? But isn’t my resume where I talk about me and my experience?

Yes. But do it in such a way that you are telling them why they want you. Instead of telling them about how you worked in a coffee shop every weekend for a year, tell them why it matters, which skills you’ve learned that will help them.

Very often, people make the mistake of saying “Extensive experience with customer service.”

Good for you.

But if you say “Had the highest spend-per-head rate amongst employees at 15% over average,” or “suggested changes in customer service that increased customer loyalty by 15% in 6 months”…

Well. That makes a difference, doesn’t it? Now you’re telling them why they need to hire you, and what you are capable of achieving. And perhaps more importantly, they know what they will miss out on if they don’t interview you.

How to apply it to your resume

I know you may be worried right now, thinking but I don’t have any experience right now. That’s why I’m reading this post in the first place!!

I know. I understand. My point in the previous paragraph was to show that you need to switch your perspective from YOU to THEM.

So the experience and skills that you’ve brainstormed about in first two points? Switch your perspective on them. How do they apply to the position you’re applying to, and how will they make the company’s life easier?

It can be tough to make this switch, but it’s absolutely necessary in today’s job market.

So take some time to really put yourself in their shoes, and find how your skill-set and experience is going to help relieve a pain point of theirs.

Even if you feel that at the moment there’s nothing that would, spend some time on this, because I can guarantee you that there IS something you can help them with. You just have to find what that is, and leverage it.

 

There you have it!

Those are the 5 tips that made a world of a difference for me, and finally got me my first interview and job! I really hope they’ll do the same for you.

Take the time to apply them. I know you may feel like you have to send out your application right now or you will be missing out.

But the truth is that taking those few extra hours to refine your resume is SO worth it. Taking that extra time might make the difference in getting you that interview, or in you ending up in the bin.

So take the time!

What about you? Any tips on writing your resume? Did you apply these tips and did they help you get an interview? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear!!

Take care,

Jen

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