Resumes for Homemakers

When tough financial times hit home, one-income households can sometimes use a temporary boost to help them make ends meet.  Homemakers often find themselves scrambling to update their resumes, but they frequently don't know where to start.

In this article, we're going to focus on resumes for homemakers.  As part of that process, we're going to talk about the three styles of resumes in use today.  We'll also explain why the functional style is usually the best choice for homemakers.  Finally, we're going to provide some practical examples, including a resume that can be downloaded free of charge.

Resume Styles for Homemakers

There are three main styles of resumes in use today:  functional, chronological, and combination.  Each of these resume styles has its strengths and weaknesses as listed below.

  • Chronological:  a good choice if someone has been working for several years, and believes their work experience is more important than the skills they've acquired over time.  This type of resume is usually a poor choice for a homemaker without a lot of recent work experience.
  • Combination:  the most marketable of the three resume styles in use today.  If the job applicant has a lot of experience, and possesses strong skills, then this is arguably the best format to use.  Once again, because the combination resume emphasizes work history, it's usually not a good choice for a homemaker.
  • Functional:  a good choice for an individual that is just starting out in the working world, or someone that is trying to step up into a role from a junior position.  Since the functional resume emphasizes skills and knowledge, and not work history, it's typically the best resume format choice for homemakers.

Special Considerations

The working assumption here is the homemaker (housewife or househusband) has been out of the working world for quite some time, or is looking for their first job.  Since the layout of the functional resume does not emphasize past employment, this style is a good match for homemakers.

The list below outlines the various sections of the functional resume.  When composing the document, the first draft should consider the following:

  • Name / Contact Information:  when applying for a job, the resume needs to include various contact information such as a telephone number.  Consider providing a phone number that is readily accessible, such as a cell phone.  Since potential employers or recruiters will hopefully call, it's important to answer the phone professionally at all times.
  • Education:  nearly all jobs will specify either minimum or a desired level of education for an applicant.  Candidates that are not qualified due to a lack of education will be screened out of consideration early.
  • Honors / Certifications / Licenses Held:  this section is common to all functional resumes.  Long-time homemakers may have let past certifications or licenses lapse.  If this lapse occurred more than a couple of years ago, then the best approach might be to exclude this section.
  • Careers Skills / Knowledge:  the skills and knowledge listed in this section can mean the difference between being asked to come in for a job interview or being passed over for an opportunity.
  • Career Achievements:  this section also needs careful consideration before sending a document to potential employers.  Don't be afraid to include community or volunteer work that can help highlight past accomplishments and capabilities.

Resources

Before circulating a resume, make sure that it's as close to perfect as possible.  Some of the other articles on this website that may be helpful include:

  • Resume Wizard:  runs through the pros and cons of using an automated software tool to build a resume
  • Electronic Resumes:  walks through the process of preparing a resume that can be scanned into a human resources department's database
  • Resume Power Words:  contains an alphabetical list of key terms and words to use on a resume
  • Resume Writing Guide:  outlines the process of constructing, polishing, and printing a final document

Homemakers may have been isolated from the working world for quite some time.  When putting together a resume, stick to the plan.  While many working friends may offer advice on how to write a resume, their approach is usually not effective since their level of experience will be considerably different.  The help needed from trusted friends includes proofreading the document to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors.

Sample Resume

The sample resume constructed for homemakers is in the functional resume style that's been modified to accommodate the suggestions made in the above paragraphs.  The following is a link to a downloadable Word document in the functional format:  Homemaker Resume.

Finally, a resume can be thought of as an advertisement for someone's professional services.  That's why it's critical to place the important information early in the document.  This is exactly what happens when homemakers use a functional style resume.


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