How to reflect a layoff on your resume

It’s an uncertain time. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing are far-reaching and deep across society and the economy.

As a result, many people have faced layoffs almost overnight. If you’ve been laid-off, my thoughts are with you right now.

Rest assured that life will go back to normal at some point. And once it does, you might be looking for a career change.

But how should you write about the layoff on your resume? Depending on the specifics of your situation, find two different options for how to cover it below.

The first scenario is being temporarily laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, and eventually returning to the same employer. This might also be referred to as being furloughed. If this is you, I don’t recommend mentioning the layoff on your resume. This would be similar to how you’d treat any other leave of absence, such as a maternity or parental leave.

Another scenario is an employer not hiring an employee back after a layoff, making the layoff permanent. If this describes you, be sure to be as transparent as you can when sharing this with a potential employer. I wouldn’t suggest that you write that COVID-19 was responsible for your departure right on your resume, but you might want to consider mentioning what happened in an interview or in more informal communications with the hiring manager. The idea is to let the hiring manager know that you weren’t terminated for a performance-related reason.

Remember that everyone is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way at the moment. As such, it’s be hoped that a future potential employer would be understanding and empathetic if you’re honest about the impact it had on your career.

Do you have other questions about handling a layoff on your resume? Please share in the comments.

Image credit: Polina Zimmerman from Pexels.

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