How to Write a Cover Letter for Stay-At-Home Moms

Mom sitting in front of a laptop using her apple pen to write her stay at home mom resume on her iPad with her young child wrapped around her

As a parent of four, I know the effort involved in raising children. The cliches exist for a very good reason – there truly is no tougher job than being a mom. In many respects, working in a professional setting is a less challenging task. I watched my wife go back to work as a nurse in a hospital after staying home for six months after our daughter was born. She not only handled the professional transition with ease, I’d argue that she was even better at her job (and pretty much everything else) than she was before.

If you’ve spent the last few years at home doing the valuable work of raising children and you’re now ready for a new challenge, keep reading. The thought of breaking back into the workforce may seem daunting, but a strong cover letter is the best place to start to get things moving in the right direction. Here’s how you can write one that showcases your skills, highlights your past experience, and helps a hiring manager see you’re an excellent candidate.

What Is a Stay-At-Home Mom Cover Letter?

First, a cover letter is a formal document that accompanies a job application alongside your resume. It provides additional information about your background and motivations for seeking the role to which you’re applying. 

Think of it as your personal introduction to the manager or recruiter who will read it. It’s an opportunity to let them know exactly who you are and why you’re applying while describing the skills and experience that make you a great candidate for the job. A well-written cover letter will tell your story in a manner that will compel the reader to take the next step and schedule an interview.

Why it’s Important for Moms Returning to Work

Taking time off to raise children is a valid reason for a gap in work history that hiring managers will embrace. Your cover letter is essential in conveying that you’ve been doing something worthwhile during your break in formal employment. Use being a mom to your advantage in the competitive hiring process.

Explains employment gap

In addition to being a father, I’m also a staffing company owner who knows all too well the look in a hiring manager’s or recruiter’s eyes when they see a gap in employment. Believe me – the bias is real. When you’re a stay-at-home parent, your cover letter serves as an important tool to preempt any negative assumptions about the employment gap on your resume. It helps a hiring manager understand the reasons behind your job search and what you can contribute to their company.

Highlights relevant strengths

When positioned correctly, your time as a stay-at-home parent can be an asset to you as a candidate. Your cover letter should demonstrate how you’ve been exercising skills that will serve you in the role, like time management, organization, communication, and critical thinking. 

Conveys confidence

Reentering the workforce is a major commitment. A hiring manager wants to feel certain you’re up for the challenge and secure in your decision to return to work. Your cover letter should convey enthusiasm for the job you’re seeking and confidence in your ability to succeed in this new career phase. 

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When Should You Send It?

When you’re ready to announce that you’re returning to work

Use a cover letter to help you break back into a former employer or previous industry, or to follow an entirely new career path. It’s an opportunity to tell your story the way you want it to be shared. Send it to friends, professional peers, and new contacts alike. It’s a perfect networking tool for letting everyone know exactly what you’re looking for in a new role.

When you need to explain a long gap in your work history

A cover letter answers questions related to your employment history before a hiring manager or recruiter needs to ask. Use it to explain your motives for staying home, and reasons for rejoining the professional world. A well-written letter can be a powerful tool for displaying commitment as both a parent and a prospective employee.

When you’re looking for a part-time job

If you’re looking to supplement your household income with a part-time or contract role, a cover letter can position you as a capable, dependable candidate. Customize the letter for individual jobs and companies, letting them know why you’re a great fit for the particular opportunity.

What to Include

  • Introduction: State your name, the job you’re applying for, and any relevant information about how you found the role, like if a current company employee referred you. 
  • Background information: Briefly explain your employment gap and your motivations for reentering the workforce. 
  • Strongest skills: Emphasize the qualifications that make you a strong candidate, giving specific anecdotes to illustrate these skills wherever possible. 
  • Personalization: Your cover letter is different from your resume in that it’s written in your own unique voice. Use this strategically to show the hiring manager your passion, enthusiasm, and investment in the field. 
  • Conclusion: Invite the hiring manager to contact you for further discussion and sign off with a professional closing. 

What You Should Omit

Excessive personal details

Don’t over-explain your employment gap or share too much information about your individual story as a stay-at-home parent, as this may set you apart from other candidates in a negative way.

Making apologies or excuses

Being a stay-at-home mom is never something to apologize for, especially when returning to work. Don’t undervalue the time spent at home with your child(ren). Instead, highlight the transferrable skills and lessons you’ve learned.

Lack of confidence

Avoid expressing doubt about your ability to hit the ground running when you return to work. Instead, express confidence in your experience and knowledge. Use the cover letter to show enthusiasm to prospective employers.

Sample Cover Letter for Stay-At-Home Moms

Mr. Gagliano, 

My name is Cindy Schumacher and I’m writing to be considered for your certified nursing assistant position. Deborah Minor in your rehabilitation department is a close friend who referred me to the job. 

For the past five years, I’ve been a stay-at-home parent to my two children. During that time, I served as my children’s primary caregiver while managing our household finances, coordinating schedules, preparing meals, and completing housekeeping duties. For the past two years, I’ve volunteered as a patient advocate for Taconic Nursing Center in my spare time, helping patients and their families understand their care and make informed decisions. 

Before having children, I spent six years as a CNA at Grand Rehabilitation Center, a job I was passionate about. Now that my children have entered school, I’m eager to return to the workforce and bring my skills as a dedicated, dependable caregiver to a new set of patients. I believe my commitment, organizational skills, and empathetic nature would make me an asset to your team. 

Please contact me at 999-000-1234 to discuss the position further. I look forward to speaking with you. 


Cindy Schumacher

Highlighting your relevant skills and experience in a personal letter tailored to the job you’re seeking will help alleviate any concerns about your employment gap and show the hiring manager why you’d be a good fit for the role. 

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn