With 11 million people out of work, knowing how to address a COVID-19-related layoff is a far too common problem to have these days. A layoff can cause an uncomfortable gap in your resume, so addressing the issue is important. This article will help you understand how to address a COVID-19 layoff during your job application process.
Tip: Don’t Address Your Layoff in Your Resume
Experiencing a layoff can leave a gap in your resume that you may worry will deter employers from considering your candidacy. It could also make your last job look uncomfortably short-term. So, you have to address it, but perhaps not on the resume itself. Use the resume to focus on a one-page summary of your successes. Keep it positive and instead use your personalized cover letter to address gaps, layoffs, furloughs, or short-term jobs.
Note that you don’t have to address a COVID layoff until the interview process. However, since so many people have experienced the same thing, it’s okay to address it. It will eliminate any red flags that may keep a recruiter from calling you for the interview. Keep in mind that many people started new jobs in 2020 only to lose them during the pandemic.
So how should you address this in your cover letter?
Tip: How to Craft Your Cover Letter to Account for COVID
When addressing your COVID layoff in a cover letter, you should be concise and positive. For example, you could say:
“In early 2020, the company announced layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and my position was eliminated. Before the downsizing, I was a top employee, and I plan to continue my track record of success in my next role.”
In addition to tailoring the cover letter to go with your resume, it’s a good idea to revamp your resume just slightly to fit the job you’re applying for. This is particularly important if you’re looking for jobs in industries that aren’t your targeted career choice. For example, there are a lot of restaurant and hospitality workers looking for work these days. Consider reworking your resume to highlight crossover skills that make you a better candidate. Some tips for reworking your resume include
- Review your resume format and add keywords from the ad you’re applying to. This makes it easier for recruiters to match your credentials to the job description. You may want to avoid the standard chronological format, which helps show your longevity in a job. A more functional resume format could highlight your relevant skills while deemphasizing any short-term roles you may have had.
- You may want to add a resume objective where you explain why you’re seeking a job in warehousing, say if you’ve been in the hospitality field. Emphasize how your skills could help the company you’re applying to.
- Make your resume concise and easy to read. Lead with action words in every sentence and explain key metrics and how you achieved them.
We know it’s been a difficult year, especially if you’ve experienced a layoff or furlough. IES is standing by to help you find work. Contact us today.