Dear [insert Prospective Employer]:
I am sending you my resume in the hope that you do not care that I took a decade off from my career to raise three wonderful boys. I know the economy is tight, and you have received hundreds of resumes for this position. The resumes, I am sure, come from bright young stars who have been paying their dues this last decade while I have stepped away. Their skills have kept up with constantly evolving technology, and they are hungry. The only thing they care about is doing well by the Company and rising in your ranks.
I know you feel like I rejected you for the call of motherhood. I know I am not up to date on the latest industry trends. And yes, I will always leave work if my sons need me. I will ask to come in late so I can read stories in their school library. I will ask to leave early to see them play in a concert or dunk in a basketball game.
Still, you should hire me. Ten years ago, I was getting a promotion every six months because I was so good at what I did. And frankly, I did not deserve it as much as I do now. Motherhood has made me a much stronger candidate:
1) My negotiation skills are certainly in the top 99th percentile. I have resolved countless arguments over who gets to go first, who gets the toy, and who gets to sit in which seat of the car. The mediation is quick, decisive, and there are never lingering doubts about the course of action o follow or hard feelings.
2) I can multitask with the best of them. I have a high-energy, physician-husband, three wild and loud young boys, and a 60-pound, slightly insane puppy. I can help with homework, cook delicious lettuce wraps, respond to requests for a snack, break up a fight, help the youngest in the potty and convince the puppy to drop whatever toy she is eating… all at the same time.
3) I am a consummate listener. I do not need everyone to hear me roar. I have learned that listening to the needs of others gets me further. The second I hear a slight whine in my eight year old boy’s voice, I know he needs to eat something. Hearing that empowers me to strike preemptively and avoid hours of obnoxiousness. This will prove invaluable in building and maintaining your client relationships.
4) I can project manage my way out of anything… even without your new project management software. I just packed the entire family up for a two-week vacation and did not forget a thing.
5) I am one of the quickest learners you will find. I have kept up with my boys’ Internet and social media skills – and they move much faster than large organizations – before they stumble upon things they shouldn’t or hack into the school’s database…or worse.
6) I have adopted stellar stress management tools since I packed up my office. Since getting my oldest through third grade “Job Reports”, I have gained confidence that all deadlines get met. And you don’t have to pull all-nighters to do it. No stress.
7) I am comfortable in a leadership position. I have been ruling a small dictatorship since you saw me last.
8) My commitment to a mission has been tested in the extreme. Almost 14 years of marriage with three boys, and I didn’t run out when my husband brought home the already mentioned 60-pound insane puppy.
So, [insert Prospective Employer], while I understand that the ten-year gap on my resume scares you, and you doubt my commitment to your team – both completely reasonable, I admit – I am your girl.
You couldn’t make a better hire. The last ten years of motherhood are proof.
One more thing – I now wear the cloak of optimism, because as a mother I have seen that everything has a way of working out. I still believe that you are going to call, and I would love the opportunity to put on a 10-year old suit and a new pair of heels for an interview.
All the best,