How to Write the Stay-at-home Mom’s Empty Nester Resume (or how to get noticed by employers after 20 years of doing nothing notable)

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1. Collect the various versions of your resume, which you’ve failed to complete because, seriously, would you hire a glorified babysitter who can’t seem to get the dishes washed or the laundry folded? One who drinks on the job (most days she DOES wait until five p.m.!) with her co-workers?
2. Note that your resumes are so visually boring that even you need to refill your wineglass twice before you’re able to muster the concentration to read beyond the first few lines.
3. While fielding calls and ever-frantic texts from grown kids about how to fill out a lease and how to ask a new employer to start a day later than requested (Dear X, Can I start work a day later than you requested?), set up coffee dates to pick the brains of friends who didn’t stay home full-time with their spawn.
4. For coffee meetings, put on non-spandex clothing and 10-year old makeup and hope your friends know of a tailor-made opportunity that will get you in front of the decision-maker, without need for a resume.
5. Answer the first question everybody asks—Do you have a resume—with a nod and deep humiliation about the quality of what you, a writer, has thus far produced. Sip your coffee and smile as to appear not flummoxed by the truth that there is a deep ravine between having a resume and getting where you need to go.
6. Search Pinterest for successful modern resumes and admit that you aren’t going to spend money on resume templates nor will you figure out how to do the necessary design work on your own.
7. Create a functional resume that excludes dates and lists job titles under categories, all in an attempt to distract employers from noticing your twenty-year work gap. Pretend they won’t see through this obvious manipulation.
8. Accept offer from your first born, who recently accepted her dream job, to help you fill in the gaps in your resume.
9. While waiting for a response from your accomplished daughter, decide it is hopeless because technology has changed everything. If you need this much help creating a one-page document, how will you fare when faced with multiple assignments that require a basic understanding of the gig economy?
10. Google “gig economy” and giggle at your ability to pluck random phrases from the recesses of your mind and use them somewhat appropriately. Consider putting this skill on your resume.
11. Decide whether you should laugh or cry when daughter comes back with this: “I can’t help you fill in the gaps if you don’t have any dates on your resume.”
12. Gratefully accept the beautiful Pages template, which your daughter has partially filled out and attempt to plug the visible holes. Include dates but keep the “functional” organization.
13. Beam when one of your most trusted working friends admires the attractiveness of your new resume before she actually reads it. Three days later, snap at everybody because an admiring friend, who said she’d get back quickly with feedback, has ghosted you or maybe—but you’re not buying it—she has responsibilities that take precedence over your desperation.
14. Print out your visually not-boring resume that your friend still has not critiqued and carry it around the house with you, stopping frequently to notice its beauty. 
15. Email job listings to yourself that you might apply to once you have your friend’s critique.
16. Agree that you have to play to win, but continue to wait for your friend’s feedback because a part of you fears getting past the gatekeepers. 
17. Practice walking in pointy-toed shoes. Get your hair cut in a style. Buy work outfits or at least a pair of not-faded, not-too-tight black slacks. Do Pilates, or start running, or at the very least, do your physical therapy exercises so you’ll be able to lift your arm. 
18. Discover Chief Happiness Officer is a job. Acknowledge that you are most skilled at keeping people happy so that they can achieve their goals, something you’ve developed and refined over the 20 years you’ve spent catering to demanding kids, spouses, parents, in-laws, school administrators, plumbers, insurance agents, telephone reps, car repairers, fundraisers, random crazy people, and all the working parents who believe you spent the bulk of your days at home eating bon-bons. 
19. Oooh! Bon-bons! 
20. While you wait for feedback on your resume, practice eating bon-bons, undisturbed, in every room of your empty nest.

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