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If you're a stay-at-home mom considering a return to the workforce, this blog is your companion every step of the way - from discerning your career direction to preparing your application and addressing your resume gap, this is the perfect place to start.

Kick off your 2024 Job Search: A Checklist for Moms

developing job applications job search Jan 02, 2024
mom with job search checklist

Entering into a new year often prompts reflections on personal and professional aspirations. For many moms, 2024 might mark the beginning of a journey back into the workforce after a career break, it's essential to start this journey equipped with a plan. 

As the new year begins, it's a perfect time to set clear job search goals and strategies to support your career goals. Whether you've been away for a few months or several years, the transition back can feel daunting. However, with a well-structured approach and targeted goals, this transition becomes not only manageable but also empowering. 

We know that there’s likely a lot on your mind as you start making your dreams a reality, which is why we are sharing a job search checklist for moms.  Having a 30,000 foot view on the job search process can help you organize your process, schedule time effectively, and begin chipping away at your job search to-dos.  This checklist can also serve as a roadmap, guiding you through essential preparations, skill enhancements, networking strategies, and confidence-boosting techniques.  Whether your goal is to find a role with flexible hours, dive back into your previous industry, or explore new career avenues, this is a great starting point to help you organize your process.  Let’s dive in! 

Mom’s Job Search Checklist 

1. Self-Assessment & Career Exploration 

  • Skills Audit: Create a list of skills acquired during your break (e.g., volunteering, freelance work, caregiving).  Use this list for step 2 when updating your resume, LinkedIn and other application materials. 
  • Identify Preferences: Determine preferred work hours, flexibility needs, ideal job roles, and target companies.  Keep these things in mind and use them to guide your job search as you begin looking for roles that you’d like to apply for. 

2. Skill Enhancement 

  • Research Skills: Identify skills you may need to improve or learn that align with the jobs you’re targeting. 
  • Online Courses: Consider taking courses, trainings and/or certifications to update skills in your field or learn new ones.  

3. Update Professional Materials 

  • Revamp Resume: Consider using a hybrid resume format to highlight relevant skills and experiences. Position your career break as a strength and focus on the skills you’ve developed during your time as a mom.  If you’d like some additional support with your resume development, check out our Resume Roadmaps for Moms and Personalized Resume Review to ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward! 
  • LinkedIn Profile: Update your profile, connect with former colleagues and recent contacts, join relevant groups, and follow industry influencers and target companies. 

4. Networking 

  • Networking Events: Attend industry meet-ups, seminars, and webinars to connect with professionals. 
  • Utilize LinkedIn: Maintain relationships with your contacts by connecting with others on LinkedIn to keep in touch. 

5. Job Search Strategy 

  • Targeted Search: Focus on companies offering the flexibility/work arrangements that will fit best for your family or returnship programs for individuals returning to work. 
  • Use Job Boards: Explore platforms that cater to flexible or remote work opportunities.  One of our favorites is FlexJobs. 
  • Utilize Networks: Reach out to former colleagues, friends, and acquaintances for job leads or recommendations. 

6. Interview Preparation 

  • Practice Interviews: Prepare responses for common interview questions, including how you navigated your career break. 
  • Professional Attire: Update your wardrobe with appropriate interview attire. 

7. Flexibility and Negotiation 

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Be clear about your needs for flexibility during interviews and negotiate terms, if possible. 
  • Salary and Benefits: Research market rates and be prepared to negotiate for fair compensation and benefits. 

8. Post-Application Follow-Up 

  • Thank You Notes: Send personalized thank-you emails after interviews to express gratitude and reiterate interest. 
  • Follow-Up Calls: If there's no response after applying, consider following up politely to inquire about the application status. 

We know that the job search process is quite involved and requires a lot of time – often time that moms don’t have!  If you’re looking for ways to save time and maximize your efforts as you navigate these steps of your job search, we’d love to support you every step of the way with our Complete Job Search Guide for Moms – designed specifically with moms in mind to streamline your efforts and land a job quicker with less hurdles along the way.  And if you’re looking for opportunities to connect with other moms who are job searching, check out our upcoming online workshop series! 

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