You were chugging right along at your job, doing well, meeting expectations, and then – BOOM! COVID-19 hit and threw the business world and economy into a tailspin. Through no fault of your own, you lost your job or were furloughed. It’s been several months and you’re still having trouble landing a job.
The big question now becomes, how do you handle this gap on your resume?
First of all, don’t panic. When employers see that your job ended in the spring or summer of 2020, they probably assume it was due to COVID-19. They may have had to scale back their own workforce during that time and are now finally able to ramp back up. While this gap is not desirable, it is understandable.
Don’t Use the Pandemic as an Excuse
Millions of people have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Recruiters and hiring managers understand that, but they want to see how you responded.
- Be honest.
It’s okay to put that you were furloughed on your resume and still have it as a current employer. But if you were laid off, don’t try to cover it up. Include an end date on your resume. You don’t want a potential employer to call your supposed current employer only to find out that you lied and no longer work there.
- Show what you have been doing during this time.
Have you picked up some freelance or contract work? Did you volunteer and use your marketing or website design skills to help a nonprofit? Include any relevant work experience and projects on your resume whether you were paid for them or not. Even if they were short-term, it still shows initiative and that you were keeping your skills sharp.
- Highlight new training or certifications.
There are a plethora of online programs and courses to take where you can earn certifications and develop your skills. Did you brush up on your coding? Take a class on SEO? Finally earn that PMP designation you’ve been wanting to complete? Professional development can make you a more desirable employee and show that you were putting that unexpected free time to good use.
- Reframe your experience.
If you worked in travel, hospitality, food services, or one of the many other industries that has taken a major hit, you may need to look at other opportunities. Focus on how you can use your experience in a different way. Customer service experience from working at a hotel can easily transfer to another type of business where you’re interacting with clients or the public. Can you transition your leadership experience to training, office management, or project management? Just because it’s something you haven’t done, doesn’t mean it’s something you can’t do.
Keep an open mind and be willing to learn new things. Position your resume to show your adaptability and transferable skills. Help employers to make the connection between what you did before and what you are applying to do now.
If you need help figuring out how to re-brand yourself and shift into a new industry, contact the professionals at Grammar Chic. We will work with you to polish up your resume and present yourself in a positive light to potential employers. A new resume can renew your confidence and motivation as you pursue your job search. Contact us today at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!