How to List a Furlough or Layoff on Your Resume

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It’s been a challenging season for companies and employees alike. If you’re one of the workers who has been furloughed or laid off through it all, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, in October 2020, the national unemployment rate was 6.9%. Around the same time last year, it was a mere 3.5%.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that even if you lost one job, there are still many employers out there looking to hire people like you. You simply need to polish your resume and start your search. To help you handle the situation properly – and position your experience in the best light – here are some resume tips to follow:

Review and refresh your resume.

If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your resume, it likely needs some updating. Read through it and make sure your experience, achievements, and accolades are all up to date. Also, add any volunteer activities or continuing education opportunities you’ve completed. Finally, make sure your resume is ATS-friendly and visually appealing.

Update your Work History section.

There’s a difference between being laid off and furloughed. If you were laid off, there’s a permanent separation between you and your former employer. However, with a furlough, there’s an expectation that the situation is temporary and you’ll have your job back after a period of time. It’s why you need to list them differently in your resume’s Work History section.

If you were laid off, for instance, include your past employer’s name, your job title, and your beginning and end dates of employment. If you were furloughed, on the other hand, you don’t need to include an end date for the position since you’re technically not laid off. You can also keep your job description in the present tense rather than the past as you would with a layoff.

Highlight recent activities.

Whether you were furloughed or laid off, it’s important to discuss what you’ve been doing since. For instance, perhaps you’re taking an online class to get certified in a certain area. Maybe you’re consulting or accepting freelance or temporary assignments. Whatever you’re doing, you want the hiring manager to get the sense you’re taking the situation in stride, making the best of it, and continuing to learn and gain skills throughout it.

Always be honest.

If you were laid off or furloughed, it’s not a reflection of you or your work performance. It’s simply the reality of a global pandemic that’s been damaging to the economy. So don’t try to hide it on your resume or in your cover letter. In fact, make it clear the situation is COVID-19 related. Countless other candidates are in the same position, and hiring managers understand it is out of your hands. It’s, therefore, nothing to be ashamed of or to lie about.

The bottom line?

Many candidates, like you, are out there grappling with an unexpected employment gap. During it, your goals should be to stay active, continue learning and gaining experience, and highlight this on your resume so hiring managers know you’re productive despite unfortunate circumstances. You’ll stand out and get noticed as a result.

Ready for professional help with your resume updates?

ResumeSpice is here for you. We are professional resume writers passionate about helping job seekers. We know how to put together a resume that works and resonates with hiring managers with options ranging from feedback and edits to a resume written from scratch. If you’re ready to learn more, call 832.930.7378 or contact us online.