Managing COVID-19 gaps on your CV

You are not on your own and employers, will be aware of the impact the recent pandemic has had on our industry.

As reopening dates are in the horizon, many individuals are working on their CV’s and one of the main concerns is having gaps on their CV’s as a result of COVID-19. My advice is, don’t be worrying! 2020-2021 will always be remembered as the year the world was put on hold. All career aspirations and businesses were halted as a result of the global pandemic.

Here are some tips to manage this and build your confidence:

Important to note: If you’ve been furloughed, you have technically still been employed as you remained on the payroll.

Always be honest:
The simple most important thing to remember, is to always be honest when dealing with a gap on your CV should it be due to COVID-19 or other. Honesty is always the best policy, and I would always recommend you apply that thought and principle on CV, interviews & LinkedIn.  While you may be tempted to leave out your employment gap on your CV or make up an excuse as to why you were out of work, always be honest with potential employers about your employment gap.

Include a note on your CV / Cover letter about your job due to COVID-19:
Potential employers and good recruiters can quickly identify gaps on CV’s. It’s always a good idea to give them the information they’re looking for, rather than leave them to speculate the reason behind your gap.
Many people have been affected by redundancies throughout the pandemic, and recruitment managers are aware of this. We recommend you include a small snippet in your CV regarding your job loss due to COVID-19 and clarify it with complete transparency and honesty.
Own it and take the worry away. It’s nothing to be ashamed about!

Remain focused and positive:
Being made redundant is a daunting experience and can leave people feeling discouraged and impact their confidence about job searching again. Many won’t have ever experienced a gap on CV’s before this. It’s important you remain focused and positive throughout this time and not let this experience dishearten you on your job search. You are not on your own and employers, will be aware of the impact the recent pandemic has had on our industry.

Put emphasis on your skill set & experience:
The best way to approach any job application is by painting a good clear picture of your skills and experience to match the job you are applying for. Potential employers and recruiters will be interested to hear about the value you will be able to bring to the job – so focus on your skills and accomplishments, not your employment gap.

The better you demonstrate your skills, the more you are creating awareness of your best assets and attributes that you can bring rather than forcing on the employment gap.

Your LinkedIn profile:
Ensure your LinkedIn profile reflects your CV, remember it’s your online CV presence and can lead to multiple opportunities as recruiters and potential employers search for potential candidates. Check your LinkedIn setting is set to ‘open to job opportunities’. Let your connections know you are open to discuss opportunities and are ok to be contacted.

A top tip is to indicate that you have been laid off due to COVID-19, you can put “The Coronavirus Job Gap” to your LinkedIn profile as a ‘company’. An anonymous user created this so that employers would be aware of this employment gap.

Set goals and look after yourself throughout the job search: 
Set a daily or weekly application goal to stay on top of relevant opportunities, read jobs descriptions in depth ensuring you match all essential criteria before applying, you don’t need more knock backs, that will make you question your ability.
Look after yourself and mental health along the job search journey.

It’s important to stay patient and positive by taking breaks, practising self-care and investing in skill development as you search for jobs. There are many online courses being delivered by Spring Board Charity & colleges (many fully funded) other industry bodies to help assist upskilling throughout these times.

Finally, remember that one CV will not fit all roles or company cultures, always tailor your CV to the company and role you are applying for!

Best of luck and remember to believe in yourself, the past year has been a year which many have used to stop and reflect, now it’s time to start putting those goals back in place and looking to restarting the career journey!