With the unexpected Covid19 pandemic that hit the world, some of us were left more vulnerable, others furloughed and thirds were kept! However, this is not something we can control, but in fact we can make it worthwhile.
During the closures, we had the opportunity to:
...Take a step back...
...And re-evaluate what we’re doing!
Many of us, found new inspirations, did something meaningful, took control back in our hands!
Now we’re going to let you know how to handle the covid career gap on your CV!
Fighting The Stigma
Because many people believe that being unemployed during the pandemic will result negatively on their CVs, and in the search for jobs, it actually turns out to be exactly the opposite! During a LinkedIn poll answered from hiring managers, it turns out that 96% of them are more likely to hire a candidate that was left unemployed during the pandemic.
Having gaps on your resume during lockdowns is not the end of the world, they are outside of your control and employers know and understand it. The most important thing here is learning how to handle it and turn it to your advantage.
Now let’s see how to navigate this situation in a positive way…
6 Ways To Tackle The Unemployment Gap On Your CV
Be Honest About It
Don’t try to hide or lie to recruiters about being laid off from work. If you’re not being transparent you risk losing trust and this will affect your ability to find a job. At the end of the day there are 2 choices - you can either leave it and make excuses of why it has happened, OR you can do something about it.
If you’re being furloughed then take this advice from Hari Kolam (Findem CEO):
“Next to your employer, put your start date to present, and then put furloughed in parentheses next to it. Your cover letter will provide an opportunity for you to explain what’s driving you to job search while technically furloughed. You’re subject to recall, and that means you’re valued and wanted.” - Forbes.com
Fill The Gap
Putting aside the problem of why you are in between jobs, if you’re a self-motivated person who is used to being active, we doubt it, that you were doing nothing during the pandemic.
If you have any of these activity examples during lockdown pop them up on your CV:
- Volunteering work (e.g. helping vulnerable people, doing their shopping)
- Charity fundraising
- Helping younger people during pandemic, looking after someone (showcase responsibility)
- Any online courses you might have done (great way to show that you were keeping yourself busy and didn’t give up)
- Any new interest and hobbies that you found interesting during pandemic
- If you have attended any webinars pop the details on the CV
As you can see there are many ways you can showcase your new found skills or “work” during the hard times and highlight them!
Use Your Network
In the previous blog we gave more context about the importance of good networking skills. Keeping in touch with like-minded people during rough times can bring you many benefits, because you never know, they can aid you during the process, or introduce you to hiring managers and be a trusted reference for you during the period.
So, never underestimate the power of networking!
You can ask previous employers to write you a reference as well! As you know, professional references vouch for your ability and recruiters can see that you are on good terms with your previous employers, furthering your chances of getting a new job.
Give More Context In Your Cover Letter/Interview
As we all know, we have limited spacing in our CV’s to fill everything we need to say, but on the bright side we can bring more details of our situation in cover letters, or interviews when asked!
In cover letters explain the situation in a concise and honest manner, why you’re making a career change, how the so far experience has guided you to this decision, what more you can bring to the company even though you suffered a cut off or furlough.
We know cover letters are a struggle because some companies tend to neglect them, so be prepared to expect this question during the interview process as well!
If you let this gap bring you down you won’t achieve anything, that’s for sure! Remember, to do the previous 5 elements correctly and you will see results coming. Don’t forget:
- Have an upbeat attitude
- Practice explaining why you had this gap on your resume
- Show confidence when speaking to hiring managers
Recruiters know that there are millions of professionals on the search for jobs and understand one thing:
If a person sees this gap in a negative way, then this isn’t the right atmosphere for you to work in, it’s not your fit!
The interview process goes both ways and don’t hesitate to move on, even in this situation - find an employer who recognises you and believes in your worth.