According to economists, more than 1 million workers are expected to lose their jobs by the end of the month due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means a lot more than just unemployment and mounting bills. It also means trying to deal with a resume gap for an unpredictable period. If it’s your first time having a career gap, it can feel even more stressful.
Here are three ways to handle communicating an unforeseen gap on your resume in 2020:
Be Truthful About What Happened
This is an unprecedented time and employers know this. Don’t hide the gap in your resume. Put a blurb in the job details about being laid off due to COVID-19. It will put a prospective employer on notice that you were impacted by the massive layoffs. You will also feel confident that you can explain with complete transparency and honesty. Give yourself flexibility and focus on the daily affirmations of moving forward while also being confident, patient, and positive about the road ahead in your job search. Remind yourself that it’s not your fault that this happened.
Create and Innovate
Start innovating your own project-based assignments. It’s better to disclose on an interview that you were working on home-based organizational projects as opposed to vegging on your couch for 12 hours a day watching the latest Netflix documentary. The idea is to show that despite this disruption in employment, you’re resilient and still committed to being productive. Don’t rule out getting in shape or finding a new health routine. This can also attribute to bettering your mind, body, and spirit.
Focus on the Skills You Do Have
Look to explain your career or work gap by highlighting your strongest hard and soft skills. Consider enrolling in free online courses to boost your knowledge and create new pathways into new industries. Ramp-up community involvement and consider volunteering with local organizations that show a current need. Reach out to former mentors and bosses and see if there are opportunities for you to pitch in and serve in a per diem capacity. This shows commitment on your part to be adaptable to tough situations and focused on solutions and problem-solving.
Each of these above-mentioned items can better explain a gap in your resume and work history during an unforeseen circumstance such as COVID-19. Be sure to consider reaching out to your most recent boss or a trusted colleague for a personal or professional reference and recommendation. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance in conducting a job search during the coronavirus outbreak. As a whole, remain focused, positive, and confident. Remember, you are not alone.