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CV tricks to find a job while on furlough

by John Saunders
19th Feb 21 10:40 am

Millions of people have been furloughed throughout the pandemic. It can be a tricky time that brings up anxiety and doesn’t provide reassurance in your job. Whether you’ve been furloughed for a while now, or have recently been put on furlough, if you think that your job role may be in jeopardy, it may be a good time to look for another opportunity. Here are some CV tricks to find a job while on furlough.

Take stock and reflect on your skills

Firstly, you can use the additional time you have away from work to take stock and reflect on what you’ve achieved in the role you’re currently in. Think back and pinpoint where you’ve had the most impact in your role, and any new skills that you’ve gained over the last few years. Reflect on your career highs where you’ve achieved something you’re proud of, and see what this may tell you about your key skills that stand out and help to get the job done. Identifying these moments will help with your CV writing when you come onto it. You’ll have a bank of your key skills and strengths to draw on when updating your CV.

Mention new skills

The time spent on furlough, and away from the demands of the office, does come with its challenges, however, it is a perfect time to develop yourself and your skills on your terms. This is a great time to listen to those podcasts or read those books that you hadn’t got around to, or to complete an online course – there are many free options available online. Use this time to invest in yourself and your learning to enrich your knowledge.

Once you’ve taken advantage of this time away from work as an opportunity to develop yourself, include those new skills and learnings on your updated CV. It will come across well to prospective employees to see that you’ve invested in yourself even in difficult times and are open to learning new skills and constantly on the lookout for development opportunities.

Tailor your CV

Whilst it may be more common to have one set CV that you apply for jobs with, and a tailored cover letter. If you have some additional time to work on your CV, it could be a good idea to tailor your CV to certain roles or industries. Research what roles are out there that you’re interested in, and think widely about whether this may be time for a career shift of some sort. Consider all of your options, even if they lie in a different industry from the one you’re currently working in.

When researching the roles, take the time to identify what key skills they’re looking for and what experience is needed. When drafting your application for the specific roles, adapt your CV to accurately reflect the key skills that the role has mentioned. For example, if a specific role mentions being detail-orientated and good with deadlines as key requirements, put those skills front and centre of your CV and use examples that directly demonstrate when you have shown those skills effectively. If you have the extra time to commit to tailoring your CV, it could have better results in your job search.

Should you mention on your CV that you’ve been on furlough

In some cases, you may not want to mention the fact that you’ve been furloughed on your CV, as it may get in the way or complicate matters unnecessarily. Make sure that you don’t lie if asked directly, but this is something that doesn’t need to be mentioned straight away on your CV and can be spoken about further down the line.

However, if you do end up losing your job after a period of furlough, it may be wise to include this upfront on the ‘experience’ section of your CV. This can work to ensure there’s no doubt about the fact that you were let go due to coronavirus and not because of your performance. Be straight forward and matter of fact when including this information. For example, you could say ‘My previous department was reduced by 40% due to the pandemic, as a result, my role was made redundant.’

Conclusion

Although it’s hard to stay positive and motivated during a period of furlough, it can also be thought of as a time to reflect, learn, grow and re-centre yourself. When doing this, you may find that it becomes the perfect time to find a new job, and use the hours not spent in the office to work on your CV to make it up to date, fresh and relevant to the specific role you’re applying for. Hopefully, these tips will help you get a new job and you can put your furlough days behind you.

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