Were you laid off due to COVID-19 reasons? You’re not alone. Unemployed has skyrocketed in these times and all of this started earlier this year. There are many companies doing layoffs and furloughs that one of the main questions becomes, “How do I explain that I was laid off due to COVID-19 on my résumé?” Of course, you don’t want to look like you were fired from your job. The truth of the matter is, you were laid off due to reasons beyond your control. Whether it’s a company doing layoffs to cut down on expenses or a company simply not needing enough force due to business being down.
Many of Jolt Journal partners have been working hard to try and assist as many people in as many industries as possible. We’ve been hard at work to assist those in great need and to bring empowerment to the résumé’s.
There are millions of workers that are being laid off as we go through the COVID-19 pandemic, but know this; You are not alone in this and not alone on your current employment status. We’ll discuss how you can brush up your résumé to easily explain to your potential employers why you were laid off and the situation you were dealing with.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: YOU ARE NOT ALONE
First, you need to know and understand that you haven’t done anything wrong. Layoffs are normal and you were laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most companies will not hold this against you, but you need to make sure to be upfront and honest about this. If you show your date date any time after March 2020 as your layoff date, there’s a good chance most recruiters and hiring managers will know and understand that your layoff was due to COVID-19.
While you may show that your layoff was after March 2020, it’s best to make sure you’re communicating and put to rest any uncertainty your potential employer may bring up. Be open about your résumé.
PROVIDE DETAILS IN YOUR COVER LETTER
You don’t necessarily need to include anything about being laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic in your résumé. You can bring it up in your cover letter, to start. Your résumé can include details on your employment dates, but not reference the layoff.
Your cover letter can provide you the space you need to explain your situation to your potential employers. You don’t need to provide in-depth details, but rather just a mention, such as, “I was laid off due to a company-wide expense reduction efforts caused by COVID-19.” This will do the trick and give recruiters and hiring managers an understanding of your situation.
UPDATE AND INCLUDE YOUR LATEST WORK EXPERIENCES
If you don’t feel comfortable including your reasoning for layoff in your cover letter, you can include it in your résumé. You can add it as a bullet point to your previous job, providing a clear explanation, like this: “Laid off due to company-wide efforts of expense reduction related to COVID-19.” This will suffice and let your potential future employer know what happened at your last job.
By adding a simple bullet point in your résumé, you make a clear point and explain why you’re no longer working with your previous employer. Through this clarity, you make it known that you weren’t fired or quit for some unknown reason. The last thing you want is your employer to think negative of you.
CONTINUE TO IMPROVE UPON YOUR SKILLS AND WORK ON YOUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
While you can include indicators in your résumé that you were laid off due to COVID-19, your future employer may ask you what you’ve been doing since layoff. Most employers was to see you use your off-time productively, meaning you’ve been working hard to increase your efforts for self-improvement. This could be things such as gaining a certification, a degree, or even freelancing to gain experience.
While laid off, if you have been studying, advancing your skills, or even obtaining certifications, all of these will make great additions to your résumé. Make sure to add when and how you added the certification to your resume. For example, if you were laid off in April 2020 and you went and obtained your certification for AWS Cloud Practitioner in May 2020, make sure to include the dates so that your employer knows you have been working hard.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to know for sure what a hiring manager or recruiter may think when seeing your application. You should remain proactive and do everything in your power to make sure you’re eliminating as many concerns from your resume as possible. Take the above tips into consideration and implement them into your résumé and cover letter.
If you need help building a résumé, you can try some of the following tools: