Getting laid off or terminated can be difficult enough, figuring out how to explain the gap in the resume so that you land a new job. Because the gap in the resume will raise some doubt, it’s important to know how to address a layoff on your resume.

Since the outbreak, 27 million youth in age group of 20-30 years lost their jobs. Now, that is shocking, and it underscores the urgency of returning swiftly and safely to work. But hiring managers will be no stranger to your situation. They know millions of peoples have been laid off or furloughed many by no fault of their own.

In other words, the context of this crisis will speak for itself. However, you also have an advantage since your layoff had nothing to do with your performance. Highlight this fact in the story you tell potential employers – via cover letters, resumes, and interviews – and you will position yourself for success.

1. Show how Constructively you used Layoff Time

If your former company left you unemployed for a while, how did you use your time? Have you filled the gap, even partially, with contract, voluntary or self-employed work, or with further studies and work related to career development? If so, draw attention to this when you discuss your layoff in a resume or cover letter list these experiences as you would have done with other roles or education. Doing so puts a good spin on your termination and shows that you’re the type of person who’s up to the challenge. Having a layoff gap in your job history could raise some red flags for prospective employers, but using your time out of work productively will potentially increase your marketability.

2. Employment Period

When you list the dates of employment, you have the option of simply listing the years (not including the months). This can camouflage the length of your job gaps, but it can also be a red flag for potential employers. You might be better off listing the specific months of your job. Doing so is more clear and transparent. When the employer performs reference checks, he will still discover the actual dates of employment. And don’t ever write the end date as “Present” as in “2018-present”. That’s misleading, having a layoff or a job with short tenure won’t eliminate you as employers also understand the job market and business environment.

3. Rework your Resume

Whether you’re hoping to jump back into the same role as before, or if you’re planning to make a career change, every job search requires a restart.

After a layoff, spend a day creating an updated resume that reflects the skills and experience you’ve gained in your most recent role.

Include data and numbers where possible to show your achievements. This step is never more important than after a layoff when you are eager to prove your value to a new employer.

4. Mention lay-off in Cover Letter

If a position requires a cover letter, that may be an even better place to mention and briefly explain. Emphasis on “briefly” because you can’t fix the past. Instead, focus on the future because employers care more about how you’re competent for the job and a fit for their culture.

5. Highlight Your Accomplishment

You should always highlight your achievements with concrete figures in any resume or cover letter. But when you’ve been laid off, it’s even more important to emphasise how you’ve made an impact in your previous positions.

Prove that you’re a star employee, including numbers that show how you improved processes, boosted monthly leads, saved business time, reduced costs, or raised newsletter opening rates. Hold your attention squarely on the positive value you’ve achieved.

Bottom Line

You can’t just ignore being laid off or fired, but neither should you allow the loss of one job to stand in the way of the next. By using the right resume format and focusing on an honest and positive promotion of your great skill sets and achievements, you can create a resume that minimises the importance of being laid off or fired in the past.

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