How to build a CV after redundancy

By Rebecca, Work It Out volunteer • 24 August 2020

Rebecca Clacy-Jones is a volunteer with our Work It Out service. In this blog she shares some tips on how to build a CV after redundancy.

Rest, recover, recuperate

You may have a whole range of emotions following redundancy and taking some time to process them is really important. A prospective employer is likely to respond better to you when you are energised and positive and that will show through on your CV, so if you can take a moment for yourself then do it. Finding a new job will require action, positivity and a clear head.

When you are ready, starting work on your CV is a great place to start as it’s something you are in control of.

Look forward

Being made redundant can be scary, but it is important to remember to take this time to look to the future and don’t panic. Spend some time thinking about what you want from your next job and then compare this with what is realistic at this moment.

Does the job that you have just left still exist in other sectors? Or is your redundancy an indication that you need to look at a different industry or a different job role? Do some research, read the news and look on job sites to get an idea of which sectors are still hiring.

Celebrate your successes

Spend some time identifying the best things that you did in the job you have just left. Think about:

  • What did you grow, change, develop or start?
  • What did you add as an individual over and above what the job description demanded of you?
  • What made you stand out?
  • How did you know you were successful? Think about targets you hit or positive feedback you received.

Write out bullet points of your achievements, starting with an active verb, and drawing attention to the impact of what you did. For example:

  • ‘Managed staff rotas to ensure full coverage for the busy customer facing department’
  • ‘Increased department sales by 10% per year by consistently exceeding sales targets’
  • ‘Supported a team of five people to complete XX task on time and to budget’

Focus on showing how your skills fit

It is important to focus on showing how your skills and experience are relevant. If you’ve decided to apply for jobs in a different sector, focus on how the skills that you’ve already built can transfer and demonstrate how you would apply them to the new role.

If you do find that there are some gaps in your experience then there are many free or low cost online courses that you can take which will help you learn new skills. Opportunities for work experience or volunteer work can also demonstrate commitment to potential employers.

Explain the gaps, don’t be ashamed of them

When it comes to gaps in your CV the key is to provide clear and simple information which shows what you were doing when you weren’t employed. This could include caring responsibilities, volunteer work or skills building that you undertook when you weren’t employed.

Most employers expect that you will take some time out after a redundancy to find a new job, and coronavirus has created a whole range of situations where work has stopped so don’t be nervous about gaps in your CV.

If you are looking for help with your job search after being made redundant our free Work It Out service can help you, by providing personalised support on your CV, cover letter or job application.

Sign up for Work It Out