mom credentials…..on Linked In

There is always this talk and that talk about credentials.  What qualifies you to do what you do?  What qualifies the person that you are hiring to do such and such?  When looking at qualifications, I generally think people fall into one of 2 camps.  Some people do business with others who have fancy diplomas and letters after their name.  Others connect with people who created amazing opportunities for themselves with little or no resources.

Now, I am NOT referring to investigating medical professionals, legal professionals, or in general, the types of positions that absolutely require a few letters after a person’s name.  Just talking about the proverbial usstart-up biz people.

This has been on my mind a lot lately, and even more so as I spruce up my Linked In Profile.  We all know that Linked In is the ultimate in credentialing and professionalism of all the social media sites – especially in the area where they ask you to upload your resume.  AND, there you have the crux of the problem – my actual resume. 

If I uploaded my resume, how would explain the lapse in time between older positions and when I stayed home with my boys.  Which begs the question?  Where do I put all my credentials that did not necessarily evolve from behind the cubicle or out in the professional arena?

This is one of the hardest stumbling blocks for Stay-at-Home Moms looking to relaunch, get back out in the “real world,” or simply what I like to call – Get BackNGroove!  There is no space on Linked In to include the parent/teacher event that you planned and hosted at your house during which your dog ingested something lethal and was barfing in the basement, your kids were in their room supposedly reading but really watching a movie on the iTouch, and you stood up in front of the crowd and ran the evening.  In my mind, if you can handle that stress, you can handle ANYTHING! (editor’s note – this is a true story)

That is why I always encourage mompreneurs-to-be to sit down and take notes about all their crazy skills and how they relate to real-life scenarios.  I bet you that you will be able to LINK more than you realize!  

For example:  Needing to negotiate with doctors, occupational therapy people, speech therapists all to get your child some necessary speech therapy is a tremendous learning curve.  I am sure that if you experienced this you learned many valuable skills, such as advocacy, persistence, and documentation.

The real message here is do NOT discount these experiences.  Realizing value from all your unique experiences of being a mom can help you establish an amazing position or business for yourself.  You may not have a lot of official positions to insert under that tab on Linked In, but I bet you that you have one hell of a skills-set to list under skills.  There are many other small business people out there that will take a chance on you because what you have grown out of your skill set and not because of a fancy title.  Be PROUD of all that you know!

As for me, I have a few fancy letters to put after my name, but really feel strongly that life experiences have shown me how to get things done, how to balance it all, and stay looking calm and cool while doing it.  Of course, I always continue to draw on my original educational experiences, however, it is my mistakes, the screaming kids in the background, and my multitasking skills that have placed me where I am today.

What is the one crazy MOM experience that gives you a leg up?


{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Nicole Fende August 11, 2011, 9:45 AM

    You’re not gonna kick me off Backngroovemom for having initials after my name are you? LOL!

    I had never considered the issues you raise here, however this post is incredibly insightful. Full time SAHM have an enormous skill set that I think everyone fails to appreciate.

    If you are a SAHM and not sure where to start try this exercise. List out ALL the activities in a typical day or week. Just brainstorm. Once you are done, next to each item write down all the skills and abilities it took to do that successfully. You’ll realize how awesome you really are!
    Nicole Fende recently posted..Don’t be the MilkmanMy Profile

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  • Carol Fishman Cohen September 13, 2011, 1:59 PM

    Hi Rachel – One thing to be really careful about when interviewing is that you don’t know the perspective of your interviewer or the viewer of your resume. That person may also be a parent and possess the same mom skills, but have not taken the career break. Show your ability to handle stressful situations by being calm in the interview and describing specific experiences, paid or unpaid, which best demonstrate a good fit with the job requirements.

    On the resume, focus on describing volunteer and other un-paid experiences in the same way you list your prior work experience – highlight specific accomplishments, use actions words, quantify whenever possible. LinkedIn now has a new category for volunteer experiences and recently published results from a study showing that these unpaid experiences can be the reason someone hires you.

    Carol

    ps I love your blog!

    Carol Fishman Cohen, co-founder, iRelaunch

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  • Rachel Blaufeld September 13, 2011, 9:34 PM

    Carol – You bring up excellent points about interviewing and including ALL experiences. As always, I can count on you for the “real deal” when it comes to relaunching. I am so glad that you love the blog – means so much to me! Rachel

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