Resume for Mom Going Back to Work Full Time

Jennifer is a sales professional and a mom with two children. When her children were young, she worked part time. Now that her kids are older, she's looking for a new full-time sales job. Here's the resume question she had, followed by my answer.

Should I Explain Why I Went Part-Time on My Resume?

Dear Susan,
I have been with the same company for six years.

I started out in a sales position, managing a territory (one year), then I was promoted to a manager where I supervised reps who were responsible for territories throughout the country (three years).

Two years ago I stepped down from my position because the overnight travel became a problem as I had two small children. The company allowed me to work part-time and resume my sales position with a defined territory. The kids are now in school full-time and I am looking for a full-time sales position in a different industry.

What is the best way to show that my last two years have been part-time and that I chose to no longer maintain my manager role for personal reasons. Should I just list my total years with the company and the two specific roles without indicating the exact years in the position? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

Resume for Mom Looking for Full-Time Work

Hello Jennifer,
Congratulations on juggling so much while being a full-time mom. That, in itself, is an achievement!

Here's how I see it: It all depends on what industry you want to move into. Is it related to children or not?

If the new industry is related to children, then you should list "Parent of two children" in you work history along with your paid positions. (See sample resumes for parents re-entering the workforce.) In your cover letter explain that your children are now in school and you're available for a full-time job. Because your parenting supports your job objective it makes sense to highlight it in this way.

If the new industry is not related to children, then you should downplay your motherhood and mention it only if it comes up in your job interview. On your resume, list your job titles without saying that they were full- or part-time. Again, that issue can wait until the interview. In your cover letter, don't bring up your parenting, as it's not relevant to the job you're shooting for.

In either case, consider using the combination resume format to emphasize the skills that are relevant to your job objective. If you're looking for a management job, highlight your administrative and leadership skills. If you're going for a sales rep position, downplay your supervisory experience and play up your sales achievements.

Best of luck to you!