It’s time to go back to work, but you have one important decision to make: would you be best served by a SAHM resume or a career website?
Many of us SAHMs will return to work in one form or another at some point in our lives. Here on Scattered Woman, we’ve already talked about the importance of keeping our resumes up-to-date (including how to create your own Mom Master Resume), how to handle the SAHM employment gap on your resume, writing an effective SAHM cover letter, even how we moms tend to create a Mosaic Life for ourselves instead of pursuing that elusive, linear career path.
So, let’s assume for just a minute that you’re ready to go back to work. Regardless of whether you’re interested in pursuing a WAHM option (like network marketing, freelancing, or starting your own business) or you’re ready to head back to the corporate world, you have one major decision to make: will you be best served by a traditional, SAHM resume or a career website?
This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service through these links, I may receive a small commission, which helps to keep my family and this blog afloat. Your price, as always, stays exactly the same. Thank you for your support! View my complete terms & conditions here.
Let’s take a quick look at the pros & cons of having a traditional resume:
Pros of a traditional resume:
1) Expected for most jobs
For just about any corporate job you apply for, you will be expected to upload a traditional resume. Even many freelancing jobs require some form of a resume document to pass along to potential clients. In MOST scenarios, having a resume document is just what has to be done to get a job.
2) Lots of help for creating one
Because traditional resumes are expected in nearly every job search situation, there are a TON of resources out there for resume tips, free or paid resume templates (you can snag my FREE SAHM Resume Template here, if you haven’t already!), and thousands of professional resume writers (myself included) are ready and willing to help you craft an interview-winning resume.
Cons of a traditional resume:
1) Juggling paperwork can be a hassle
If you’re in a field which requires a lot of networking and attending events in order to make connections, keeping a stack of crisp, up-to-date paper copies of your resume can be a major pain.
Or what about when you just happen to meet someone at the park who is looking to hire someone exactly like you? I’m willing to bet you aren’t going to have a paper resume neatly stashed away in your diaper bag.
Often times, in those situations, we end up exchanging phone numbers, emails, or (if we’re REALLY on the ball) business cards in those hurried encounters, then we have to keep track of the information and actually remember to follow up! And if you’re anything like me, your bag is a bottomless pit that eats pieces of paper for breakfast, and your phone loses important notes & numbers like they were never input to start with.
2) Some fields don’t NEED traditional resumes
It’s true! There truly are some fields nowadays that just don’t need traditional resumes. If you are an entrepreneur, a network marketer, or even in some professional fields, a traditional resume isn’t going to do you much good. People more need to know how to contact you and learn more about you – not necessarily your employment history or what you studied in college.
You should be aware, however, there are some professional fields where colleagues may ASK you for a traditional resume still (because it’s still the industry standard – see Pro #1), but it still isn’t necessarily the best way to get them the information they want, which is your background and experience.
A friend ran into this problem during some recent networking events where a few of the more experienced professionals in her field were interested in collaborating with her and asked for her resume, which she didn’t have on hand or even updated at the time!
Now, note: these people were not interested in HIRING her. They simply wanted to know more about her background, so they could consider COLLABORATING with her on a professional level.
For situations where having a physical resume is either not practical or not the most efficient way of sharing your experience, I recommend creating what I call a “career website.”For the moments that a paper, SAHM resume is impractical or ineffective, a career website may be the way to go. Is it right for you? Click To Tweet
The Career Website
While a traditional resume is designed to quickly layout your employment history and accomplishments in a 1-2 page, easy-to-scan format, a career website functions more like a professional portfolio which lets visitors get to know you and your work in a deeper way.
We touch on the concept of a career website a bit in Blogging for the Job Hunt, Part 1 and Part 2, but a career website doesn’t necessarily have to include a blog.
You could include:
- a complete personal and/or professional biography – which would include notable work experiences just like a traditional resume would,
- examples of your work – especially written pieces, graphic design or photography samples, white papers, etc,
- media “clippings” – if you have been featured in any online or print media for your professional or humanitarian contributions,
- a personal mission, belief, or ethics statement,
- a list of professional references,
- how best to contact you – including an easy-to-use, embedded email contact form,
- a regularly-updated blog that showcases your expertise and provides more examples of your work and work ethic, and
- anything else that might be helpful for a colleague or potential client to know.
Obviously, you can pick and choose what types of pages and information would work best for your unique situation.
Let’s take a quick look at the pros & cons of having a career website, instead of (or in addition to!) a traditional resume:
Pros of a career website:
1) Adaptable & easily updated
We moms typically need to add accomplishments, job changes, or new experiences to our traditional resumes fairly frequently. Our jobs, interests, and even entire career fields are constantly evolving and changing to create that Mosaic Life moms are famous for. ?
Regardless of what career path you are pursuing, a career website can easily be adapted to meet your latest needs and goals. Plus, you won’t then have to toss out a stack of outdated paper resumes and reprint new ones!
2) Completely portable & easily distributed
The beauty of having a career website is that instead of carting around a stack of resumes and trying not to wrinkle them in the depths of your bag or in the trunk of your car, you can simply print up your website address on a business card and keep a small stack in your purse. Business card cases are small, sturdy, and easily fit into even the smallest clutch, so you can always have your professional information ready to hand out at a moment’s notice.
Tip: If you have a memorable (and easy to spell) website name, it makes it even easier for your contacts to find your site!
While I love and adore these pros of having a career website, there are a few cons to keep in mind:
Cons of a career website:
1) Technical know-how
No matter what type of website you choose for your career website, you WILL need to have a small amount of technical knowledge. Depending on the host and platform you choose for your website, the amount of tech-spertise needed could range from “if you can add a picture and hyperlinked text to your emails, you’ll be fine” all the way up to “you should probably have a good amount of experience with coding and programming languages.”
That said, Scattered Woman is a self-hosted website that I run as a one-woman show. I have tech support through my hosting provider that I can run to when I have a question, but in general, I’ve been able to figure everything out pretty much on my own. And I am NOT the most tech-savvy person in the world. (Just ask my former students! ?)
There are plenty of ways to create a website with very few technical skills, but you SHOULD at least have BASIC computer skills. ?
(And if tech stuff scares you, don’t worry! I have an idea for you in just a minute!)
2) Annual or monthly costs
While it may be fairly inexpensive to print out a traditional resume – even on expensive resume-quality paper (which, btw, isn’t generally recommended anymore!) – there will be some annual or monthly costs involved in creating and maintaining a professional career website.
At a minimum, you should plan to pay the annual or monthly cost for hosting your website (which could be a large company like SiteGround or a smaller provider like the one I use, LyricalHost) and around $15/year to register your chosen domain name. It is reasonable to expect to pay anywhere from $100-150 up front to get your site up and running. (Even that cost isn’t terrible given that it would be a yearly expense – and even less terrible if you plan on using it to drive clients or customers into an at-home/online business.)
While you may be able to offset those costs by offering freelance services through your website, selling your own products, or even posting ads, it takes a long time to build up enough traffic to earn any noticeable income from a website. So, while it IS possible, I wouldn’t plan on your site supporting itself right away – especially if you are not planning on turning it into a business in some way.
Not sure if a SAHM resume or a career website is right for you?
We can talk through your career background, ideas for future work (even if you aren’t sure what you really want to do yet!), and which experience profile would be best for your situation — either a traditional resume or a career website.
For some, a traditional resume is going to be the best option, but for others, a career website really does make the most sense. And I’m here to help you with whichever direction you decide to go! (That includes helping you get your website up & running if the tech stuff scares you! See? Told you I had an idea for you! ?)
If you’re ready to take the next step in your career journey, schedule a time for a FREE phone or Skype Career Exploration call via my online scheduler. You pick the date and time that work best for you. Simple & easy!
I can’t wait to hear from you!
As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.