I Was Laid Off, How Can My Resume Showcase My Job Skills?

If you’re one of the millions laid off in the midst of COVID-19 and the aftermath, you’re not alone. 

With the lasting economic damage from the pandemic, unemployment claims are at an all-time high. While companies are trying to recover, layoffs and furloughs are still an unfortunate reality of the job market today. 

For a hard-working employee, a layoff can feel devastating. But don’t give in to despair — layoffs are due to company restructuring, and not a lack of your skills and expertise. With the right strategies, you can use your resume to your advantage and highlight your most important job skills and showcase the value you can bring to the table. 

Below are some of the ways you can leverage your resume to make the most of your job search.

Don’t Panic — But Don’t Hesitate

When you get laid off, it’s critical that you don’t panic. A layoff can be a setback, but it isn’t the end of your career. You have time to get back on your feet.

However, it’s also important to get back into the job search as soon as possible. Depending on how long you worked at your prior job, your resume is probably out of date. Take the time to update it and get it polished for your next job application. You might even be approached about an opportunity on LinkedIn — so you want to make sure your resume is ready to go for any new opportunity that comes along.

Focus on Your Value ‌

Layoffs can come from a variety of reasons — an economic downturn, cost-cutting, relocation, mergers, and more. If you’ve been laid off as opposed to being fired, it means that it wasn’t about you or your work performance — it was about the structure of the company. Even top-performing workers can get laid off, especially in the post-pandemic economy. 

That means when you’re looking for your next position, you need to highlight all the job contributions you brought to the table. When reflecting on your prior work experience, don’t just talk about your job and what you did in the role. Think deeper about the value you brought to the company. 

Here are some more specific questions to consider: 

  • In what ways did you exceed your employer’s expectations? 
  • Are there any measurable outcomes that you were responsible for? 
  • Did you handle multiple projects while still delivering high quality? 
  • Did you take on new responsibilities or learn new skills on the job? 
  • How did you go above and beyond to get results? 
  • What kind of challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? 
  • Did you implement any procedures that improved productivity or efficiency? 
  • Were you recognized with any awards, accolades, or commendations from your coworkers or employers? 

Whether you took the initiative to improve workplace efficiency or you successfully led a team to complete a project, be specific about how you created value for your employer while in your role. Instead of coming across as a red flag, this will make it clear to your new employer that this layoff was purely organizational — and that you can are a powerful asset. 

Make Sure Your Resume is Comprehensive ‌

A resume shouldn’t just showcase your work experience. You also need to include all of your skills. This includes both the hard and soft skills that your employer is looking for

Hard skills tend to be more job-specific. They include direct experience or knowledge, like:

  • Speaking another language
  • Handling a certain type of computer software
  • Having a particular certification

Soft skills, on the other hand, are harder to pin down. They show your interpersonal skills, including how you operate in the workplace.

This might include things like:

  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Being a team player
  • Acting as a leader in the workplace
  • Being an expert at time management

W‌hile soft skills are more subjective, they’re just as important as hard skills. Soft skills show the employer that you’ll fit into their workplace culture. 

When crafting your resume, you need to perfectly balance both soft and hard skills. You also need to target the specific skills needed in your industry — and, more specifically, the ones needed by your employer. 

Getting Back Into the Job Search With a Strong Resume 

Getting laid off might feel like a significant setback. No matter the industry you work in — or if you’re looking to branch into a new one — you know that you can bring valuable contributions to the table. It’s just a matter of showcasing those contributions.

With the right resume in hand, you can highlight all your best attributes and make a powerful impression in your job search. 

Whether you’re updating your old resume or starting completely from scratch, Capstone Resume Services can help you meet your career goals during uncertain times. Our resume consultation can give you the edge you need to get to the top of a hiring manager’s list. Learn more about what we offer or schedule a resume consultation today.