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How do I explain gaps in my CV at a job interview when I've been a stay-at-home mum?

How do I explain gaps in my CV when I've been a stay-at-home mum and am going for a job interview? By Rachel Green, world-class job interviews coach.

Have hope! Mums are very skilled people.

Here are three tips for your job interview and job application. (They are only general in nature so you will need to apply them to your specific job requirements):

  1. Explain your strengths - just because you have been out of the workforce does not mean that you have not accumulated relevant experience. You will have developed strengths and skills and experience and knowledge. You just need to package your explanation of these in the job interview to the job description and the essential criteria and desirable criteria.
  2. There is no stay-at-home parent who hasn’t developed the ability to organise and prioritise and time manage, is there? Explain how good you are in your job interview at juggling responsibilities, meeting time-lines, being flexible and dealing with the unexpected - and embracing the need to learn new skills.
  3. Being a stay-at-home mum will have allowed you to develop empathy for other people, to show grit and perseverance in getting through difficulties and new situations, and you will have developed understanding of other parents and the difficulties they face. This could help you to be an excellent manager or supervisor in the workplace. You need to mention aspects such as these in your job interview, depending what type of job you are applying for.

Whatever you do in your job application or your job interview do not undermine yourself and suggest you have "only been a stay-at-home mum". Go sell yourself and win that job!

Lots more top job interview tips for you in our job interviews self-coaching guide.