How to Avoid Common Resume Mistakes After a Layoff

Your resume shouldn't hold you back in landing a new job after being laid off. Keep reading for the most common resume mistakes and tips from professional resume writers on how to avoid them.

Losing your job can be a very difficult and stressful experience. Many people make mistakes in their resumes that can delay landing a new job. Here are the most common resume mistakes made by people that are laid off and what to do instead:

Resume Mistakes When Laid-off

There are several mistakes that people make when updating their resumes after being let go. Avoiding these mistakes understands with knowing what they are. Here are the most common mistakes that can tank your job search after being laid off.

Hide the fact that you've been laid off

The top mistake is trying to hide the fact that you were laid off. This is a mistake on your resume because you will have to tell people when you are interviewed. And, if you wait to disclose that fact, it can look dishonest or that you are hiding more. Worse, holding off on telling people that you were laid off can look like you are desperate.

Dwell on the negative

Employers want someone that can help them and is focused on the future. Focusing on the negative on your resume or cover letter when you are let go can look like you aren't ready to move on. Instead, focus on the positive and what you can bring to the new company.

Lose confidence

Your resume is your first impression on potential employers. Losing confidence in yourself and your abilities will show through in your resume. Instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened, keep a positive attitude and be confident in yourself.

Forget to update your skills section

Chances are if you've been laid off, it's been a while since you've had to update your resume. This is when most people forget all of the things they have done. Make sure to keep your skills section updated with your most recent experience.

Make it all about you

When you're writing your resume, it can be easy to make it all about you and forget your audience - potential employers. Forgetting your audience is the quickest way to lose them when they skim your resume and don't find what they want to see.

Use an unprofessional email address

Your email address is one of the first things potential employers will see on your resume. Using an outdated email or one that isn't professional will give people the wrong impression of you.

Forgetting the basics

When you're updating your resume, don't forget the basics. This includes things like making sure your contact information is up-to-date including your phone, city, state, and LinkedIn profile. You must also check for spelling or grammar errors to prevent looking sloppy.

Underestimate keywords

When you're writing your resume, it's important to use the right keywords for both the job you want and for the applicant tracking system (ATS). If you don't use enough keywords or the right ones, your resume will be in the 75% that get stuck in the black hole and never seen by a person.

Ways to Fix these Common Resume Mistakes When Laid-off

Now that you know the most common resume mistakes people to make when they are laid off, what can you do to avoid them?

1. Own your lay-off

Take the potential weakness of being laid off and turn it into a strength. You can only do that if you tell everyone that you were laid off and that you are using this time wisely. Be strategic about what you do while not working to network, build your skills, and look for the right fit. Employers will see that as smart and you will thank yourself for taking the time to do it right.

2. Stay positive

It can be hard to stay positive when you have been laid off, but it is so important. You want employers to see that you are a positive person that is excited about the future. The right employer will recognize that you have what they need.

3. Customize your resume

When you're job searching, it's important to customize your resume for each position you apply for. This means adding the right keywords and tailoring the content to match the job description. It may take a lot of time, but this will result in more opportunities to actually land an interview instead of spending a lot of time going nowhere.

4. Use the right keywords

As mentioned earlier, using the right keywords is key to getting your resume past the ATS. This means using both general and specific keywords related to the position you are applying for. To find the right keywords, you need to think about what you want to do rather than merely what you have done. This means focusing on the future and not emphasizing things that you don't want to do in the future.

5. Remember your audience

When you're writing your resume, always remember who your audience is - potential employers. This means customizing your content to match what they are looking for. Use the job description as a guide and make sure your resume highlights the things that are most important to them. This also means removing the jargon that was specific to your prior employer or industry if not applicable to where you want to go.

6. Create strong achievement statements

Your resume should be full of strong achievement statements that demonstrate what you have done in the past. This will show hiring managers your strengths and create talking points for the interview. Be specific and use numbers when possible to really drive your point home

7. Highlight transferable skills

When you're laid off, it's important to highlight the transferable skills you have that can be applied to other industries or positions. This will show employers that you are adaptable and someone that can bring value to their organization.

8.Take care of the basics

As mentioned earlier, make sure the basics are in order before you start job searching. This includes making sure your contact information is current, checking for spelling and grammar errors, and ensuring that your resume is formatted correctly. All of these things will give employers a good first impression of you and make it possible for them to reach you when they want to schedule an interview.

9. Be patient

The process of job searching can be long and frustrating, but it's important to be patient. The right opportunity will come along if you keep at it. In the meantime, focus on networking and building your skills.

10. Get help if needed

If you find that you aren't making the progress of your colleagues that were also laid off, then you should reach out for help. It could be that your resume is holding you back. In that case, a professional resume writer will be able to spot the issues quickly and build you a message that gets through the ATS. A great resume writer, like those at The Contingent Plan, will also know what hiring managers want and can help you build a resume that gets past the resume bots and connects with the people in the hiring process.

Losing your job is never easy—but with the right strategy and mindset, you can bounce back and land an even better one. Just make sure your resume is in tip-top shape before starting your job search! And if you're not sure where to start, our team of professional resume writers can help. Submit your information below and our team will be in touch to discuss how we may be able to help.