A resume is a piece of paper you give to someone who is interviewing you for a job. It lists all of your personal information, including education, past work history and skills.
If you think about it, this resume is probably one of the few places where you really want to brag, explain, and polish into a professional ‘diamond’.
Unfortunately, what a prospective employer is looking for on that resume is an education with letters behind it, computer software proficiency, and a past employment with name-brand companies that are surrounded by blinking neon lights.
If you are brave enough to dare listing ‘Homemaker’ as a profession, your resume will more than likely end up in the trash can.
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The Dangers of Ignoring a Homemaker’s Resume
What HR directors today don’t realize is that a homemaker would probably be a better employee than most. Their skill level is out of this world, and their education is more rounded than most college graduates.
Homemakers have mastered skills that most people do not think about, or feel aren’t important in a professional office. However, no matter what position you are hired for, the ability to do your job efficiently and effectively is only limited by the skills you have.
In many cases, some of these skills are hidden, or aren’t listed in the specific job requirements. However, there is also a caveat, usually written in fine print that states:
“And any other duties as assigned.”
This is where a homemaker’s resume shines. He or she is well versed in that hidden qualification. Their resume could easily blow the rest of the applicants out of the dish water, onto the table and filled with homegrown, home-cooked, home-canned food faster than their nervous knees can knock once in the waiting area.
And yes. I did say ‘he or she’. The term ‘homemaker’ is often thought of as a woman’s position. However, you might just be surprised to know that in 2016, 17% of men opted to stay at home, compared to 10% in 1989. And the numbers seem to be growing.
To help you understand exactly what I mean, allow me to submit to you my Homemaker’s Resume. In order to keep it short (a true homemaker’s resume could end up being about 10 pages long), I am only going to list a few skills and education – and even some of those will be combined.
The Homemaker’s Resume
Skills / Education:
You may not expect to see this as a required skill on a resume, but having it comes in handy. All homes have a group of rules, which can easily be translated into ‘laws’. In order to ascertain that these laws are followed, homemakers have learned the art of running their homes like a court room when necessary.
The first step is acting as the ‘arresting officer’. If it is a first offense, we often serve a warning that comes in the disguise of a gentle rebuke, with an explanation of why the ‘crime’ committed is wrong, or unacceptable behavior.
The second offense may either come with a stronger warning, such as ‘I don’t think so!’, or ‘What did I tell you about that?’ Those warnings are usually accompanied by the threat of potential ‘jail time’ – ‘You will be grounded for a week’, “Aggravate your sister just one more time and you will be doing her chores for a month!” or “Stop it now, or else!”
It’s that ‘or else’ that signifies certain incarceration for the foreseeable future. As with most adults, kids fear the idea of being locked behind bars – whether figuratively or literally.
Since most of us don’t have a jail cell built into a spare closet (I mean, really, who even has a spare closet???), those bars are usually figurative, but no less daunting.
If even given a third chance, at the point of the infraction for the third time, the homemaker turns into bailiff, judge, jury, prosecuting attorney and the executioner – all at the same time.
If they are really good, not a word will need to be spoken. Just a finger pointing in the general direction of the cell. The ‘criminal’ will usually hang their head, walk themselves to the cell, and shut the door behind them.
The good thing about this (unless you are the ‘criminal’) is that is can all be executed five minutes or less. No case backlog, no waiting for the jury to return with a verdict. Just issue the ‘ticket’, pronounce the guilty verdict, and execute the sentence.
Home management takes a number of skills. From cleaning, grocery shopping, gardening, mending, and so much more, you need to be able to set priorities, when and to whom to delegate if possible and complete the paperwork.
Although the money aspect of it falls under accounting skills, just as each department in a corporation has to abide by a budget, so does the homemaker. Each section of the home requires expenditures from time to time. The need to know how much can be allocated is crucial.
Time management is probably one of the most crucial skills to have. In my case, I would much prefer sitting on the back porch, curled up in a rocker with a good book and a glass of lemonade. But unfortunately, that just won’t work.
The only other ones here during the day are the dogs, (they don’t have thumbs), the cows (who don’t have a drivers’ license) and the chickens (who make a bigger mess than to start with). So it is left up to me.
I start with a schedule of things that need to be done. Considering I also work from home as a blogger, I have to consider meetings, webinars and research. So scheduling can get tricky.
Each hour of each day is allotted to some task. Early in the morning is dedicated to a cleaning walk-through. Once finished, I check the weekly menu and take anything out of the freezer I need.
From there, I walk outside to feed, do any garden or yard work, and get the sprinkler’s going. The next six to eight hours is dedicated to blogging.
The late afternoons are usually filled with dinner prep and small tasks. After dinner, while visiting with the Country Boy, I do any mending or work on crafts.
Schedules have to be rigid enough to keep a homemaker organized, yet flexible enough to add, delete and adjust as necessary. Most homemakers can do this in their sleep. (And usually, that is when the schedule is done. Why else keep a notebook and pen by the bed?)
This is where the money meets the road. Not only do we have to do a budget for all areas of the home, but we also have to keep track of where it is coming from and where it is going, with an Income & Expense Spreadsheet.
Since budgeting is all about estimations and percentages, we need to have advanced math skills in place. We also have to have a streak of creativity, fiction writing, and circus juggling in our skills bag just to make the numbers work.
We pay bills, know at a glance if they are too high, and can tell you our bank account balance within five cents and never have to pull it up on line. And somehow, some way, we always manage to have just a tiny bit left over at the end of each month.
In addition to just the ‘basics’, we also need to have a better than working knowledge of taxes, insurance, payroll (allowances), and donations. We need to have an eagle eye to be able to spot a penny in a parking lot five rows over, and be able to scrape a dime that is stuck to the pavement with chewing gum with nothing more than the heel of our shoe – and leaving all evidence of the gum behind.
After all, every little bit helps. And we, as homemakers, need all the help we can get.
Doctor, nurse, psychiatrist, mental health professional – you name it, we as homemakers have done it. We learn early the ingredients in every OTC medication and prescription. Our herb gardens are filled with natural remedies, and our hearts are filled with compassion.
Bandages are kept within easy reach for the smaller boo boos. A full first aid kit is opened with one hand while the other is dialing a doctor or hospital with the other for larger emergencies. Our driving skills can easily rival Mario Andretti and Danica Patrick combined if immediate transport is necessary.
We can offer comfort and sympathy, served with a mug of hot chocolate, or administer a good dose of tough love without blinking an eye. And career and life coaching is an area we are already experts in – so anyone who is asking better be ready for an answer.
Unless applying for this exact job, most people don’t add this to their corporate resume. But these skills definitely fit under the ‘hidden’ requirements.
In most households, a telephone is a link to the ‘outside’ world. We as homemakers can talk with the receiver pinched between our shoulder and ear, carry on a conversation, and multi-task all at the same time.
And woe to the telemarketers that dare to interrupt our schedules. They can be dealt with swiftly, and never get the first word out.
We also make schedules and keep calendars for every member of the household, as well as a general one tacked and up-to-date on the refrigerator.
We handle correspondence, respond to RSVP’s and keep everyone in the ‘waiting room’ content and up-to-date on appointments. We can also teach software designers a thing or two about their programs. Efficiency is every homemaker’s middle name.
There is also that little hidden skill that can dispatch an unwanted visitor to the office with just one look, and bring an errant employee to their knees with a twitch of the lips. Both are quickly dispatched without even one hair shifting out of place.
How many times a day is a homemaker asked to give assistance? From homework to holding a ladder. From clothing repairs to ‘hand me that______ (fill in the blank with the appropriate tool). A homemaker’s resume can take up three pages alone, if they were asked to detail the specifics.
They are also quick with a reminder, a finger pointing someone in the right direction, or reading the directions after all else fails. Actually, the homemaker has already studied the directions so they can gently indicate where Part A fits into Section XYZ when the moment arises – IF they haven’t already assembled it themselves.
Most homemakers know exactly how far any given destination is from the home. They know the back roads to avoid traffic and detours, and the time it takes to get there. In most cases, they know where every pothole is in the city, how to avoid it, or just how slow you need to move if it is unavoidable.
They know gas mileage, the cost per gallon, and the exact amount of money it will take to get from Point A to Point Z, and every other alphabet location on the list. They are well versed in creating a map in their heads that will keep them from doubling back, and the exact time they need to leave the house to still arrive at their destination five minutes early – regardless of traffic.
It is also a known fact that a homemaker knows exactly how much gas is in the vehicle when it is parked at home. That means, if you are thinking of sneaking out with the car, you had better know, to the last drop, how much gas is in the tank, because to keep him/her from figuring out you ‘borrowed’ her/his car, you will need to replace that exact amount of gasoline.
Oh, who am I kidding? He/she is going to know regardless, so don’t even try to borrow the car without permission.
A vehicle really doesn’t want to break down on a homemaker’s watch, thinking they will be stranded for hours. In most cases, they have already done preventive maintenance.
In other cases, most homemakers have a tool kit in the back of the car, along with extra oil, water and transmission fluid.
A dead battery won’t even make a homemaker blink. They can have it replaced five minutes after they walk out of the store – if she hasn’t already tightened the cables and added water to the cells, or poured ‘Co-Cola’ (the Southern version of Coca-Cola) over the terminals to eat away the corrosion.
(And yes, all homemakers have a bottle of Coke in their car maintenance crate for that exact reason. So do NOT drink it!)
A homemaker has a jack and knows how to use it. It will only take about two minutes or less to determine if Fix-A-Flat will do, or if the spare needs to come out.
And if it does require a tow truck, then she has a small ice chest in the back filled with snacks, drinks and a good book to help her pass the time.
Try adding that skill to a business resume. They would probably only laugh at you.
You can easily add Chef on your Homemaker’s resume. From designing a meal plan, supply lists and execution, a homemaker could probably work circles around the best chefs in the world.
Their goal is to provide healthy meals that everyone in the family will eat, without becoming a short-order cook. To do so, meal plans are strategically designed. On top of that, there also needs to be an idea of how to use the leftovers, to keep food waste at a minimum.
A grocery list is cunningly prepared only after a search of the pantry is completed. Each item is listed according to aisles, so her time in the store is limited.
Coupons are kept on hand, cost comparisons done, and the wheels on the buggy are moving so fast they are nothing more than a blur. The homemaker’s buggy driving skills are so good, race car drivers study their techniques to improve their own skills on the track.
A good homemaker also has a garden to provide as much fresh produce as possible. They know that not only are home-grown and home-preserved foods healthier, but also much more cost efficient.
Fresh bread, main meals and a pot of soup have all been mastered to the point that a homemaker can create a delicious meal without even thinking about it.
And if the oven goes out – a homemaker just reaches for the tool box. It may take a few minutes out of their day, but nothing will stop them from putting dinner on the table.
Homemakers usually have a cleaning schedule that can leave a home spotless in the matter of an hour or less. From a daily walk through, to weekly, monthly and annual chores, they know what needs to be done and when.
Most homemakers have an arsenal of ingredients to create cleaning products that will wash dishes and clothes, scrub bathrooms, and dust furniture. With three or four simple ingredients, there won’t be a speck of dust or dirt left behind.
Record keeping is also a part of running a household. Most homemakers have lists for everything. Medication and prescriptions? Emergency contacts? The color number of the paint used in the living room? A guest’s likes, dislikes and preferences? All you have to do is check the list.
They also have a running list of what is in the pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Overnight guests are a joy, as a homemaker already has a gift basket strategically placed in a warm and welcoming guest room.
And the garden outside is planned, planted and producing. A homemaker is ready for any emergency, unexpected disruptions or helping a neighbor.
A homemaker is organized, and armed to the teeth with a clean house and notebook full of lists.
(Are you interested in having a notebook filled with all of these charts, worksheets and lists? Check out my Ultimate Manual for the Art of Homemaking!)
Mediation & Hostage Negotiation –
Ah, the dreaded skill of mediation and hostage negotiation. Nowhere is this ever listed on a ‘professional’ resume. But this is an area where most homemakers excel. They are used to having a war going on – whether it be siblings, a spouse or the family dog.
A homemaker can quickly assess the situation, determine a guilty party, and put things back to a normal atmosphere in the matter of a minute or two. (You may want to refer back to the Legal Skills here…)
As for hostage negotiation, a homemaker usually has a gentle, comforting voice that can defuse any hostile situation. These can range from children playing ‘keep away’ with a toy, a spouse who is angry and is holding communication hostage, or a snake in the grass that has a child or animal trapped.
That toy would be snatched out of the hand of the instigator in less time it takes to blink. The homemaker has a ‘distraction’ arsenal to get a spouse to speak again – and forget all about what made them angry in the first place.
However – if I were that snake, I think I would slither away faster than the speed of sound. You see, a homemaker usually comes equipped with a very sharp hoe, straight out of the garden. Before that snake could uncurl, they would have it de-fanged, chopped into pieces, and the blood cleaned up.
And with a quick brush of her hands, she would comfort the child or animal, and head back to her daily work, almost as if nothing ever happened.
Pu that on your resume and see what happens.
These are only a few of the skills a homemaker’s resume can list. There are so many more out there. In truth, an HR director would be foolish to pass up any resume that states ‘Homemaker’ as a skill and/or education entry.
But maybe part of the reason HR Directors don’t entertain the idea of hiring a homemaker has to do with the salary level. According to Investopedia, the median salary for a homemaker is $178,201.00 annually. I mean, they have to stick to a budget, too.
Yep. We are worth every penny of that amount, and so much more! Now, the trick is to actually get paid even half that!
Are you a homemaker, or considering leaving the corporate world for a simpler, slower pace in life? Then let me welcome you to the club! Stick around for more posts – from recipes and gardening, to homemaking and learning to live a simple life.
You will find some delicious, delightful and satisfying skills to add to your own Homemakers Resume!
And while we are on the subject – can your Super Power beat that of a Homemaker? Probably not. A homemaker probably taught the classes in Super Hero School.