Thursday, April 21, 2016

Returning to the Workforce - Use Job Titles Effectively

Reentering the workforce after raising your kids and becoming an empty nester is a difficult thing to explain in a resume. 

These are my notes from another book idea from the Resume Psychology series.

Remember the narrative of your story is yours to craft. 

Who are you? Guess what? You decide. 

Whatever you decide, it has to "feel" authentic and genuine to you. 

In presenting your narrative realize "they" don't really care one way or the other. 

Think about it, if they want someone re-entering the workforce, what you are is unimportant compared to who you become working for them.

Be consistent, prepared and own the narrative. 

Be open to testing variations until you start gaining traction. 

Job Titles for Parents/Spouses

  • Stay at Home
  • Work at Home
  • Spouse
  • Mom
  • Dad
  • Parent
  • Empty-nester
  • Career changer

Pseudo Job-Title or Job Function or Transition Statement

  • Re-entering workforce
  • Seeking re-employment (among the adult population)
  • Seeking new employment (for pay)
  • Seeking employment

Stay-at-Home Parent
Reentering the work force
Targeting entry level [insert-job-title] positions

This is a little long. But – is very clear or obvious. The reader will see "Job-Title" quickly as it trails down from the word "force." Probably my favorite option, initially. 

Reentering the work force; former stay-at-home [parent, spouse, mom, dad, empty-nester]
Targeting entry level Analyst opening

"Reentering" is more important compared to mentioning the home-status. This means, it should come first on the line or first in the paragraph.
The word “openings" is vague on purpose (the one time being vague is allowed). This allows the reader to fill-in the job-title; which will be based on their bias, habit, needs… all timing related.

Sample - 3
Reentering the work force
Targeting [Job-Title]
(Empty-nester seeking re-employment)

Now - I do not recommend using parentheses in an email signature; but we frame the most important things first (reentry/Job-Title) and the parenthesis allow us to explain a great deal without over burdening the eye or short-term memory with more “letters.”
The risk - they never see the empty-nester [pseudo job-title] which may or may not be a bad thing.

Former Business Analyst
Reentering the workforce
Targeting entry-level Scrum opens

This is an effort to present the previous work experience while explaining the current situation; being as fact-based as possible.
Jobs are important, so show some respect by avoiding all the cutesy or euphemistic attempts at humor to soften the truth/details of your previous work-status being a time-machine trip in your career history.

AND - It explains the situation and the goal (landing a J.O.B.) in very short order.

Recruiters and hiring managers can respect that.

This can keep you top-of-mind for future openings if they appreciated your approach and can leverage it to their advantaged (cheap labor).

This example may have become my new favorite. Why?

The reentering telegraphs the truth! You have been away from that job.

And - no one will be surprised about when you were that-job. They will check.

If it was a mom & pop operation, a now out-of-business company or legacy-vendor merged into something new; you are stuck with their bias. You can sell it as an advantage easier by being real at the start.

But they see early on, you were a working person, turned work-at-home parent (versus prison time, extended medical leave, alien-abduction), and now the kids are off to college, you are on the good-meds or the aliens requested a refund... whatever the case.

To your best resume yet,

Dirk Spencer
Recruitment Consultant
Author of Resume Psychology and The Candy Maker Resume

The Candy Maker Resume: Resume Writing Hacks by Dirk Spencer; ISBN-10: 0692652698 and ISBN-13: 978-0692652695.

Resume Psychology - Resume Hacks and Traps Revealed - Beat the Machine. Be Seen. Get Hired! (ISBN-10: 0692525602 and ISBN-13: 978-0692525609 print and Kindle eBook)

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Examples of Great Customer Service

Keeping in Touch with Candidates:

Should You Re-Apply to the Same Job:

You May Be an Outdated Job Seeker If…:

Six Unlikely Places to Find Jobs

Be a Better Recruiter:

Curve Ball Interview Questions:

Resume Psychology Blog Posts:

The 3-Rs of Resumes:

Resume Help - Fiverr.Com and Others:

Questions for Hiring Managers - What NOT to Ask:

Questions for Hiring Managers - Potential Insights:

Questions for Hiring Managers - Checking Your Field Position:

Questions for Hiring Managers - Get Their Back-Story

Questions for Hiring Managers - Go Deep or Go Home:

Questions for Hiring Managers - Generic Questions - Make Them Your Own:

Professional Summary – Make It Count:

Detail Vs. Granularity & What is the Big Deal?:

Will This Get Me Hired?:

What is Your Goal?:

Your Resume is Your Career Anthropology:

What is Resume Psychology?

SlideShare Presentation by Dirk Spencer

Think Like a Search Engine Find User Groups for Leads:

Freelancing Online (e-Lancing):

Using LinkedIn for Job Search:

Interview Psychology - Preparation Attracts Offers:

The Candy Maker Exercise:

Resume Psychology - The Resume Playbook:

Resume Kiss of Death (K.O.D.) - Killing Vague Resume Content:

Finding Open Jobs with Job Boards:

Your Resume Action Plan - Resume Boot Camp:

Resume Psychology – Get the Offer lecture 2011:

Book interviews I paid for using Fiverr.Com Resources

Resume Psychology: Resume Hacks & Traps Revealed - Beat the Machine. Be Seen. Get Hired! – Amazon World Wide:

The Candy Maker Resume – Resume Writing Hacks - Amazon World Wide:


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