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SAHM for 13 years, references and interests?

(7 Posts)
Chinsup Thu 16-Aug-12 18:31:53

Can I ask what you are meant to do for employment references when you haven't been in paid employment for many years? I'm going to start helping out at my DS's school more regularly soon so hopefully in a few months I can get a reference from them but I've just seen a job that would be great now.

Also I can't remember ever putting interests on a CV apart from perhaps getting into my old company in the first place my - promotions were internal and I never needed to list them. Walking the dog, having a nosey on FB / Twitter, reading chic lit and going to numerous children's sporting activities doesn't sound impressive to me blush Apart from getting a new life, how can I make myself sound a bit more interesting ?

lljkk Fri 17-Aug-12 14:45:09

Have you done any volunteer work? Coordinator could be a ref, I think.
Not sure about interests, but I think walking a dog & helping out with your children's clubs are far from worst things you could note down.

SnakePlisskensMum Fri 17-Aug-12 18:16:16

I've just returned after 8 years out. I gave the HR department at my old company as a reference, they could at least confirm that I'd be employed there. They also accepted a personal reference. I think after 13 years away, they have to accept that your most recent employer may have changed somewhat and they have to take a chance on you, unless you do have references from volunteering, maybe a group leader, type of thing.

1stMrsF Sun 19-Aug-12 21:33:41

I have been SAHM for 4 years. Am using last employer (but a carefully chosen line manager who I worked with for years) and someone from twins club where I volunteer, and for an application which insisted on work references from the last 3 years, which i could not supply, a friend who is a qualified solicitor who I said could verifty the reasons for my gap in employment. I've got wn interview next week, so that must have been OK!

volunteerexp Wed 19-Sep-12 11:00:23

Volunteering is a very good way to boost your experience, your CV and your confidence. There are lots of opportunities locally from admin. to school governors to name a couple. You could do something you have done before or try something new. The charities involved should also be able to write you references. Alternatively, If you have business expertise to offer why not use it to help not-for-profit organisations in your area. To find out more in Buckinghamshire please visit for general volunteering and them move onto the Expert Volunteer page if you would like to offer your business skills.
If you live outside that county visit the Volunteer England website to see what's available near you.

takeonboard Wed 19-Sep-12 11:08:17

most people can list: reading, music, cooking, eating out, cinema/film, walking, travel, socialising with friends and family, as hobbies.
and maybe - decorating, DIY, craft, cake decorating, charity work (school events?) swimming, keep fit, other sport

You should also add that you are CRB checked - if you are.

you can also add the work you have done at the school as volunteer work and coaching/organising kids sports teams......its easy to make it all sound busy and exciting even if in reality it seems boring!

alphabetti Fri 21-Sep-12 20:50:34

Until recently I worked in a recruitment agency and dealt with many many references. I would advise you to use a character reference. If you have helped out at school/playgroups then ask permission from a member of staff that you have helped as most are willing to do so. Another option would be to ask a parent of one of your childrens friends to be a character reference. They can just state that they are happy for their child to be left in your care as they feel you are a responsible person etc

Also if you have big employment gaps make the most of positives on your CV/application and let future employers know that you feel that you are well prepared to return to employment and are able to commit to the role.

As for hobbies many people just say they enjoy reading, swimming, going to live music events. Things such as I like to watch television and talk to friends on facebook don't help.

If you are looking for voluntary roles then hospitals are always crying out for help. (I used to work in voluntary services dept) They will put you through a CRB and just ask that you commit for at least 6 months, although you are obviously not tied to it. They have lots of different opportunities ranging from admin to sitting with chemo patients. Good luck with your job search.

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