Millions of jobs were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that women in particular lost over 4.5 million jobs alone since February 2020, resulting in workforce participation rates as low as they were in 1988. If the economy continues to gain jobs at the current rate, it is estimated that it will take 28 months for women to recover to pre-pandemic workforce levels.
Some workers that are currently out of the workforce are not yet looking to return. One of the most common reasons, especially for women that aren't returning to work yet, is childcare. Until schools are re-opened fully, they aren't able to work as they had before the pandemic.
On the other hand, many people are looking to find a new job at this time. And while it may be reassuring to know that those looking aren't alone, it also means that job seekers need to take steps to make sure they edge ahead of the competition. Consider the following tips:
Evaluate Your Career Goals
If you have been out of work, now is a great opportunity to determine if you want to return to the same field or try something different. Is your goal to regain the position you lost or left in 2020? Or, is your goal to seek something new and different? Before you craft a resume or apply for jobs, you should be sure you really evaluate where you want to be now and in 5 years.
Explain the Job Gap
Utilize a cover letter to explain why you have been out of work. No need to write a long, detailed explanation...just a sentence or two will suffice. It is best to be forthcoming about your career gap, as it will be apparent on your resume. Be upfront and honest.
Highlight Any Skills Gained
If you happened to have gained any skills, took classes, or held a relevant volunteer position during the time you were out of work, feel free to highlight these growth experiences. You can point them out in your cover letter in addition to including the details on your resume. This can help you stand out compared to others that also have a career gap due to the pandemic.
Hire Revision Resume
Crafting a resume is difficult even without a career gap. Time out of work makes resume creation even more challenging. Consider hiring a professional resume writer to help ensure the resume you submit is optimized to show your skills and minimize your time out of work. Contact us to learn how we can assist you as you re-enter the workforce!