How to handle redundancy on your CV

Author: Sam Shinners

An unfortunate consequence of the continuing pandemic and the economic chaos it has created, is that many companies have had to make their staff redundant.  

The latest figures released by the ONSshow that the UK unemployment rate for May to July was at 4.1%, up from the 3.9% figure seen in the previous 3 month period. The Labour Force Survey also reported 240,000 redundancies up until June. However, there are signs that things are improving, as the ONS reported that the employment rate is rising, and the economic inactivity rate has fallen. 

It’s important to remember that if you have been made redundant, you are not alone and you will find another position. There are lots of people, of all levels, from highly experienced executives to entry level grads, that have also lost their jobs due to the economic impact of Covid. You should also be confident that employers will not view redundancy as a red flag on your CV. 

Here’s my advice on how to handle redundancy on your CV and improve your chances of securing your next role: 

Focus on what you can offer to future employers 

First things first, you do NOT have to include your reasons for leaving a role on your CV. Infact many employers look at so many CVs that they prefer them to be concise and easy to read, and focused on the transferable skills and experience you can offer their business. They will most likely ask you later in the interview stage. So make sure that your CV highlights the positives, which are your skills and achievements. Think of your CV as a sales pitch, it has to stand out, so sell yourself as the best person for the job you are applying for.  

FR Marketing Recruitment Lead, Guy Walker says “CVs are personal, and everyone’s is different, but there are a few guidelines which could help. CV needs to display your previous achievements and what you could bring to a new employer, it needs to retain the reader’s interest so please cut out anything irrelevant for the role that you’re applying for and it needs to be a positive reflection of your personality. 

Be honest 

If you feel that you want to include the reasons you left your previous company on your CV, or if there has been a large gap since your last role ended, then you could include a brief 2 line explanation under the position title explaining the impact Covid had on your employer and the reasons they had to let you go. Whatever you do, don’t make it look like you're still in the role you've left, this can raise questions about your honesty later down the line. 

Cover letter 

You could also provide a cover letter which provides more detail on your redundancy. But keep it brief and again focus on the positives, such as the fact that you're immediately available. You could also mention your achievements during lockdown, such as any courses you’ve completed, webinars attended and new skills you’ve acquired (don’t mention that you completed Netflix though!). This conveys your motivation to work hard and continue learning. 

Be prepared to answer the question in the interview 

The best approach in this situation is to always be open and honest with your potential employers. Whether you have mentioned it on your CV or not, they will ask you in the interview why you left your last position, so be ready and be honest. Explain the situation, how Covid affected your previous company and how you are turning something negative into a chance to challenge yourself with a new role. Don’t blame or talk badly about your previous employer because it only reflects badly on you. 

Whatever your situation, whether you’ve recently lost your job or you’ve been looking for a new role for months, then don’t give up hope, stay positive, stay focused and keep going. 

If you would like further CV advice head over to the candidate area on our website and if you need support finding your next marketing digital or tech role then get in touch! 

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