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Should I mention children in job application?

(29 Posts)
ShatterResistant Wed 05-Aug-15 22:14:49

In the last 2 years, I've taken 2 lots of 6 months maternity leave. Since then, I've gone part time, and been comprehensively sidelined at the company I've been with for 10 years (a whole nother story) so I'm now applying for new jobs. As I write my cv and covering letter, it's becoming clear to me that it appears that I've gone from being an international high-flyer to pretty run-of-the-mill with no explanation. It almost looks like I've been demoted, which is absolutely not the case. So, should I mention the children?

Your advice greatly appreciated, and any other thoughts.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 05-Aug-15 22:21:14

Yes I would mention them as they are the reason you have gone part time etc which is completely justifiable. You need to present yourself in the most positive way you can.

AgentProvocateur Wed 05-Aug-15 22:23:00

No! Not appropriate.

bambooyoohoo Wed 05-Aug-15 22:26:06

I don't think you need to mention the maternity leave, but I guess you could mention them to explain the change from full to part time, whether on your CV or in the covering letter.

ShatterResistant Wed 05-Aug-15 22:30:11

You say not appropriate, agent, but it feels as if I'm somehow lying, or at the very least, omitting something. I feel that would make me way less likely to be invited for interview, don't you? I've been in recruiting positions myself, and you can always tell when there's something not quite right.

AgentProvocateur Wed 05-Aug-15 22:34:48

I think the time to mention it would be in the interview "change of family circumstances". I always feel, rightly or wrongly, that candidates (always women in my opinion) who mention their children on an application form or CV are taken less seriously.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Wed 05-Aug-15 22:38:26

Can you get someone impartial to look at your covering letter and CV to see if they agree that it looks fishy?

How would you put in a letter, though? It's not really selling you very well to use up precious words saying that you have gone part time because of having children, whereas in an interview it is easy enough to mention it if raised or at a suitable point without it becoming the focus.

Husbanddoestheironing Wed 05-Aug-15 22:43:36

Maybe find a suitable-sounding euphemism for the cause of the 'down-size'? I always cite leaving a good job that I loved after only 3 years (in a slow-moving profession) in my CV as 'left due to family relocation' as I feel it needs explanation. i.e. It was the potential 400 mile commute that made me leave, not that I couldn't do it -as DH earns more than me, he got a better job, and it worked for me to have a year at home with the kids. They can ask for more details at interview if they need to know.

Bilberry Wed 05-Aug-15 22:47:13

I would say absolutely not apart from maybe an oblique reference to why you want to be part-time in the covering letter. An employer would want work to be your priority during work hours so you shouldn't suggest it might be otherwise by referencing your out-of-work priorities more than necessary.

ShatterResistant Wed 05-Aug-15 22:52:36

Hmm, I see what you're all saying. I'm uneasy because I work in a job where dates are very identifiable. So I've gone from being involved in ALL the main things to only doing quite low-key stuff, iyswim- therein lies my worry. I'd put it in the covering letter, towards the end, something like "for the last 2 years, since having my children, I've been working part-time. However, I now feel it's the right moment for a new, bigger challenge, and I'd be thrilled to join your team." But probably in slightly better words than that. No?

ShatterResistant Wed 05-Aug-15 22:53:42

P.s. I'm happy to work full time for a new employer. I don't think it can be any other way, sadly.

EBearhug Thu 06-Aug-15 00:46:25

I wouldn't mention it on the CV, but I might mention it on the covering letter in terms of you are now available for full-time work and a more challenging position. You could say that was down to changing family circumstances, but if I were recruiting, I'd be more interested in whether you want to do part time or full time now, not what you've been doing previously (obviously the experience you've had previously is relevant, but whether it's been part time or full time less so, if you see what I mean.)

Yukky Thu 06-Aug-15 01:23:37

I'm currently applying for new jobs and do not plan to mention that I've had 2x12m of mat leave, nor that I was PT at any point.

Would you not just list all the duties/achievements under the one role? So that you don't really separate out the pt from the ft as such?

Unfortunately I think there are still too many discrimination issues against women in the workplace and IMVHO I suspect outing oneself as a working mother just adds fuel to that fire.

Unless you specifically need your future employer to be aware if your family situation I wouldn't mention anything at all.

ShatterResistant Thu 06-Aug-15 07:49:51

Really interesting to get your opinions, thank you so much. I think I'll go with something oblique, like "family circumstances". Fingers crossed! Really appreciate your help.

Umbrelladilemma Thu 06-Aug-15 07:56:54

I'm with yukky - just list everything under one role and don't specify whether part time, full time, etc.

Itsbloodyraining Thu 06-Aug-15 08:11:29

This is really helpful, I'm about to start applying for jobs after children. I'm going to go with, change in family circumstances too!

flowery Thu 06-Aug-15 08:48:35

Does the application form really ask for what hours you worked?

ShatterResistant Thu 06-Aug-15 09:58:01

Flowery, there is no application form. I'm asking for advice on what to put in my covering letter.

Bubblesinthesummer Thu 06-Aug-15 10:04:09

I would mention it somewhere.

Within my working life I have looked at hundreds and hundreds of CVs and I would question long periods of unemployment or a huge change in job direction, if there is no explication somewhere.

Bubblesinthesummer Thu 06-Aug-15 10:04:36


Thurlow Thu 06-Aug-15 10:08:54

I wouldn't mention it. Maybe at the interview if you are clearly asked about the changes to your job description. But not on a application form.

Though to be honest, if I was looking at an application from a woman anywhere between 20-50 and it included changes like you've described, I'd just make an assumption that they had probably been on maternity leave or gone part-time because of childcare issues. I'm sure that's probably a completely wrong assumption to make, but hey.

Mutt Thu 06-Aug-15 10:15:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mutt Thu 06-Aug-15 10:17:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flowery Thu 06-Aug-15 12:11:18

Why are the hours you happen to be working relevant then? Where are you mentioning those?

Are you doing a completely different job now, different job title/responsibilities, which looks more junior?

Sorry, just struggling to see the need for an explanation at all.

PiggyBeekman Thu 06-Aug-15 12:36:05

Why are you mentioning hours? Why are you mentioning children? I don't see the need for it at all. List your previous roles on your CV and leave it at that. The hours you worked in past roles are irrelevant and if I was hiring I wouldn't want to know, I'd only want to discuss what the hours were for the role I was recruiting for.
Just checking, you also aren't leaving gaps in your CV for mat leave?
Just focus on this role, what you can offer and bring to the company. You sound like you feel you should apologise to them for having children.
Good luck with it anyway!

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