Job seekers with an employment gap should be honest, creative, resourceful and flexible

Posted December 17, 2020 by

By Laurie Hollister, Director of Career Services at New York Institute of Technology

It is no doubt that we are all in this together. Recruiters are well aware of company layoffs and will not be surprised when they see a gap in your resume during 2020. However, with the large number of unemployed, 10 million in the U.S. alone turns the job market into a highly competitive space.

My recommendation to job seekers with an employment gap is to be honest, creative, resourceful and flexible. In your cover letter and resume, write your pandemic story and own it. On your resume, add a line of italics text under the company name with details about the job loss: Company was hit hard by the pandemic laying off thousands of workers.

Do not stop there; think about how your skillset is transferrable to an industry that is in full swing during the pandemic and how your knowledge, skills and abilities translate. If a gap in your skills is preventing you from applying for your next opportunity, invest in yourself by gaining those skills. Today we have access to a variety of free skills training courses online. Use your unemployment as a time to reskill and add this to your resume and cover letter story. Company was hit hard by the pandemic laying off thousands of workers. Used this time to take xyz course(s) where I learned xyz. My new knowledge combined with my current skills and experience make me a great candidate for your position.

Now is the time to be flexible with your job search criteria and not to fixate on your dream job. If money is of major concern, there are many positions available with large retailers and supply chain providers. Think about your own community, where are people shopping and who is making deliveries. LinkedIn published a great list of companies hiring. Also, know that that college hiring for jobs and internships is moving forward. According to a recent NACE survey article on Class of 2021 recruiting schedules, 65 percent of employer respondents said they are maintaining their standard recruiting schedule. Another 11 percent said they are moving the bulk of fall 2020 recruiting into winter/spring 2021 recruiting.

Do not let pandemic or a gap on your resume keep you from applying. Opportunities are out there. Use the resources at your college career center, attend their events, engage with employers and alumni and learn as much as you can about how to be the best candidate for the job.

Laurie Hollister is the Director of Career Services for the New York Institute of Technology

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