Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


To mention the children or not re: a CV (?)

19 replies

Winnie · 25/04/2001 21:03

It is a dilemma but do I mention that I have children on my CV or not? I've only been out of work for eight months for the birth of my son but am changing direction. My past employment experience has been quite negative with regard to my employers reaction to my having children (i.e. working through my pregnancy was a nightmare), should I mention them or not? My heart says yes my head says no.

OP posts:

Batters · 25/04/2001 21:20

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jbr · 25/04/2001 23:11

The thing is, would a man mention he had children? That is the way I always look at it. Sometimes they ask on equal opportunities forms, but I don't put it on a CV.


Suew · 25/04/2001 23:18

My husband mentions it on his CV. His puts his marital status and that he has one child. The first thing he mentions under Interests is 'family'.

Whenever he is negotiating a new contract (he's an independent IT consultant) he requests that he have a three day weekend when working away from home. Will still do the required number of hours in four days.


Marina · 26/04/2001 08:19

Batters is right Winnie. People have a horrible habit of jumping to conclusions when they see gaps in CVs and assuming you have been in prison - I have been on interview panels where this has been discussed. I guess there are always going to be dodgy employers out there, and my heart would say take the misogynist so and sos on, but would you want to get your toe in the door and then find they are difficult about emergency time off etc...
You say you are changing direction. Perhaps you should try being upfront initially and then if you feel you are not being shortlisted for posts that you know you meet the criteria for, maybe think again?
I would always mention my son and so would my husband if he had not apparently taken root at his current workplace. (Anyone who thinks the "jobs for life" culture has gone should step down to SE London). I think successfully rearing children in today's stressful living conditions is a fantastic achievement that enhances any CV. Good luck and let us know how you get on if you can bear to...


Sml · 26/04/2001 08:30

if you don't mention your children, how are you going to account for the gap in your CV when you weren't working? I carried on doing a college course through the birth of my first two children, so when I applied for my first job, I didn't have to admit to having children, and I didn't mention them when I was job hunting. In retrospect I am happy with this decision, because I was very upset about leaving them, and that would have come through when I was talking about them.
Of course, we would all like to work for employers who don't follow the old stereotypes (children make a man more responsible, and he NEVER has to leave work early to take them to the doctors, but a woman with children is always taking time off because of them!) but in practise it isn't always possible. On the positive side though, my impression is that the job market is changing. It is only 6 years since I worked in a place where I heard the managers agreeing that they couldn't possibly recruit a woman with a small baby for a manager's job. They included her in the interview shortlist because her qualifications were so good she couldn't be ignored, but they definitely had no intention of choosing her. There were several excellent male candidates.
She got the job!
I really get the impression now though, that employers are starting to realise that parents, both male and female, are responsible people who are more likely to stay in one place for longer, and want to build a constructive future for their children. I have heard the words "family oriented company" bandied around as a plus point, which is really encouraging.
On the same point, it's really important to be alert to what sort of companies you are applying to. Do they make excessive claims about how quick their response to customers is for example, and will you be the one stuck late delivering this promise? Do they have a macho Real-men-stay-til-9pm culture? Are the managers single or married with children? do they have young children? etc etc.


Twinsmum · 26/04/2001 12:32

Hi Winnie, I would just stick to your experience/ qualifications in main section of CV but then mention family/children in your interests. If anyone asks you at interview whether having children will affect your ability to do the job you can either:
a/ threaten to contact a tribunal OR
b/ calmly emphasise your professional attitude and explain the childcare you have arranged. If they ask the classic 'what if one of your children was ill' you can respond with : 'as with all employees ... if a member of my immediate family was ill then I may need to work more flexibly for a short time....but I don't see it as a particular issue for me'.


Azzie · 26/04/2001 14:10

Hi Winnie,

I think Twinsmum is right to suggest you calmly explain the childcare you have arranged if asked. When I was looking for work after having child number two I was very upfront with my (now) employers, which they appreciated. My job involves some travel (a day or two every couple of months or so) and I was able to reassure them that, with sufficient notice so that my husband and I didn't clash, I could even manage this. I was also able to tell them (they didn't ask) that in the event of a child being ill, my husband and I would share the child care, depending on who had important deadlines etc. All this depends on having a husband as committed to the family as mine is, of course!

You have to fill in the gaps on your CV - be honest, but don't raise the issue unless they do, then be ready with a professional-sounding answer. I think sounding professional is the key here - as Twinsmum says, if you give the impression that it really is no problem then they'll have faith in you.


Sml · 26/04/2001 14:14

Another thing, if someone mentions that you might have to have extra time off you can sweetly say "at least I won't be crawling into the office with a hangover after a night out on the p**s!"


Winnie · 26/04/2001 14:22

Sml, loved the last bit, but thanks everyone for the advice. The CV is done and I have mentioned the children... last night my partner pointed out to me that he always has mentioned them on his CV. You have all made so many valid points and if holding a job down whilst studying and raising my eldest child doesn't convince them that I am worth employing, they don't deserve me!!

OP posts:

Jbr · 26/04/2001 19:51

I was once asked "what have you been doing since you lost your job" and I stupidly said "looking for another one!" Why do you always think of the best things to say AFTER the interview?!


Winnie · 02/05/2001 08:24

Just to let you know; the CV worked (with the references to the children) and I have interviews! Fingers crossed...thanks everyonex

OP posts:

Twinsmum · 02/05/2001 15:13

Great news Winne. Good Luck with the interviews!


Winnie · 06/08/2001 15:29

Finally, after going around and around in circles with the pro's and con's of it all I have been offered a position and I've accepted! Any advice on settling a baby into a childminders would be greatly received...thank you everyone you've kept me as sane as I'll ever be and you've kept my brain active when I was beginning to think all was lost (ha ha) ... Winnie x

OP posts:

Star · 06/08/2001 17:42

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

Batters · 07/08/2001 10:30

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Winnie · 07/08/2001 11:57

Batters, thanks for the advice. The job is for a conservation charity. Ds is now ten months and quite clingy so we are doing as much as possible to get him used to not having me by his side 24 hrs a day. I think he will enjoy being with two other children. Fingers crossed!

OP posts:

Tigermoth · 08/08/2001 15:35

Winnie, great news - though I well understand the sense of apprehension about returning to work again. Been there, done that!

As Batters says, writing everything down, going for a few hours the first days and taking a favourite toy are good ideas.

Also consider taking favourite drinking cups and blankets.

Get your childminder to write down you son's day-to-day routine - sleeping, feeding, dirty nappies etc. It's very reassuring and helps you seamlessly enter a good bed time routine - eg: prevents you feeding him a big supper at 7.00 pm without realising that he had a meal at 5.00 pm - and clearing up the resulting mess when he sicks it up in his cot! ( I speak from bitter experience)

It's a good idea for your son to see you are very happy with this new person in his life, before you leave him alone with her, so be extra friendly when you first introduce your son to her. You could also think about leaving something familiar, like a scarf, to reinforce the fact that you are coming back.

Now I hope the following point is not too much of a downer, but it concerns something that's happened to me twice, so I thought I'd pass it on.

Assuming you like and and trust your childminder, be really supportive and ultra aware of any concerns they raise. By the time each of my sons hit two, their respective childminders gave in their notice. I was probably just unlucky. But in each case, much of the reason boiled down to the fact that they found my son too much of a handful. It wasn't that they felt my son had problems, or that I could have done more my end, but their transformation from relatively easy baby to more-lively-than-average toddler was simply too much for them. In each case I offered more money or a reduction in hours. No joy!

Both sons appear to have suffered no ill-effects from having to change childminders, but obviously continuity of care is desirable.

It's worth bearing in mind that both these childminders were good, but fairly inexperienced. One was a friend and neighbour, the other was registered. If I was choosing a childminder again, I'd definitely look more favourably on one who's been doing it for years.


Winnie · 09/08/2001 07:13

Thanks Tigermoth for the advice. I am rather anxious about leaving him I have to admit. However, I am trying to keep this in perspective as I know I will be a better parent when I no longer feel confined to the house! I am only working 4 days so we will get a day together which I am sure I will cherish! The conflict between wanting to go out to work but not wanting to leave ones child with somebody else is terribly hard and childcare is terribly difficult to negotiate. As for possible problems it is always better to be forewarned.

OP posts:

Azzie · 09/08/2001 08:28

Good luck with the job Winnie. I know how you feel about the conflict of wanting to work but not wanting to leave your child, but I think you're right about being a better parent for not being confined to the house. I work 3 days a week (sometimes more, but 3 days is my goal). I really look forward to the days I spend with the kids. I have days (when work isn't going so well!) when I think "why am I bothering with this when I could be spending time with the children", but in my more rational and objective moments I know I'm a nicer person and have more patience with the children because I also do something other than be a mother. There are also days (when the children are particularly trying!) when I am guiltily rather glad that tomorrow they're going to nursery!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?