Resume entry relating to death of family
February 21, 2011 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Need assistance for a resume entry to recognize taking care of deceased parents affairs.

Both my parents died last fall (36 days apart) and as a result I've taken some time off from the world of employment to take care of their affairs. I'd like to keep my resume up-to-date but I'm not sure how to make the entry for what I'm doing right now.

Currently I have an entry that says - "Administration and management of deceased parents’ affairs."

I think that sounds a little dry but the reality is that I'm taking care of their stuff and also getting my life/world back in order. And just taking a breather to explore my next direction in life.

Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated! :)
posted by sandpine to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
"Executor and administrator of a private estate"?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:49 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

And I am sorry for your loss. Agree that administering an estate calls for all of one's business skills!
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:50 PM on February 21, 2011

I wouldn't put anything. The resume is a sales document, not a life history. Unless you are looking for jobs in the grief counseling industry, time off to deal with your parents estate does not help you get a job. Leave it off entirely, and if asked about the time in an interview, explain then. Alternately, if you are really worried about the gap, you can explain it in the cover letter.
posted by COD at 3:52 PM on February 21, 2011 [12 favorites]

I wouldn't mention it either.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 3:56 PM on February 21, 2011

How difficult this period must be! I'm sorry and hope you have help and support.

I would add "suddenly" or "recently" deceased. But there's really no need to say more on paper. You can describe pertinent details as you see fit in the context of a specific job interview or networking meeting.
posted by paindemie at 3:57 PM on February 21, 2011

The resume is a sales document, not a life history.

This is a good point. But if you do have to do a life history, "Executor and manager of a private estate" is probably the right thing to put. Otherwise just put your job history, and they will ask what you've been doing when they interview you.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:03 PM on February 21, 2011

this is a personal event, not a job history entry. it doesn't belong on your resumé unless you do this in a professional capacity.
posted by violetk at 4:05 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

if you are asked about the time period, you can mention it then.
posted by violetk at 4:05 PM on February 21, 2011

Sorry for your loss, but alomst everybody goes through it and most don't put it on their resume.
posted by fixedgear at 4:09 PM on February 21, 2011

Best answer: I think it's worth mentioning because it caused you to leave your job last job permanently--you didn't/couldn't take a leave of absence, and it did require relevant job skills.

In which case, list the skills/tasks that it entailed. Make sure it really is job-like. (In other words, more than just cleaning out an apartment, writing some checks, and selling a car--which is all very taxing, but hard to justify leaving a job for.)

If it isn't, then don't present it as a job. Instead, maybe at the end of your most recent entry, a line to the effect of "Resigned position to execute parents' estate following their deaths." That way the hiring person will know you had a pretty darn good reason to leave a secure job in this crappy economy.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:14 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for all the quick replies. I like _thinkingwoman_ the best so far.

FWIW, they lived in another state, I am the only child, and they were married for 60+ years, so there was a LOT of things to take care of. They basically had been in a general state of denial that anything would ever happen to them. But it's been an interesting process, to say the least.
posted by sandpine at 4:22 PM on February 21, 2011

I think you should explain it either in the resume or the cover letter. People saying this is a "resume," not a "life history," are off base. To a large extent, a resume is a history of your life. It's just a history focusing on events that are relevant to whether someone should hire you. In your specific situation, the fact that you've been doing something really important, despite dropping out of the work force, is relevant to whether someone should want to hire you.
posted by John Cohen at 5:57 PM on February 21, 2011

I think the way you phrased it in your question sounds fine as an honest way of explaining a resume gap. IMO Sidhedevil's version is a little too cutesy, as if you're trying to pass off this experience as a job. I'm sorry for your loss.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:04 PM on February 21, 2011

"Resigned position to execute parents' estate following their deaths."

Not to pick nits, but 36 days apart (particularly after 60 years together) seems to meet the minimum standard for rewording the above sentence to end with "death." rather than the plural form. To me it reads more easily, isn't intentionally misleading, and I can't imagine for the life of me that you'd ever get any questioning along that line.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:35 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

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