pandemic lay-off


There were 20.6 million jobs lost as a direct result of the pandemic. In a LinkedIn survey 84% of respondents who became unemployed from March to October 2020 believe there is a stigma associated with being out of work due to a pandemic lay-off. Two-thirds of those respondents assume the stigma will affect their ability to find a new job. The good news? Another LinkedIn poll said 96% of hiring managers would hire a candidate who was a victim of a pandemic lay-off. Here are some job search strategies to use if you were a pandemic lay-off.

Be Honest

“Best to rip off the Band-Aid and own the fact that you were a pandemic lay-off,” says Executive Recruiter Nancy Darian. “When an applicant isn’t up front about why they are unemployed, it can make a hiring manager wonder what else the applicant isn’t being up front about.” Of course, you don’t have to stay with a chronologic resume that would put your pandemic lay-off at the top. Start your resume with a skill section and move your most recent job below that. If you were furloughed versus let go, note that on your resume as well.

Be Positive

No one has enjoyed the pandemic, and those who lost their jobs have even more reason to feel miserable. But who wants to hire a miserable person? Job applicants who can stay positive and find the silver lining in the free time they had this past year are far more desirable hires. Be prepared for every interview by researching each company, each job and each person you will be meeting. Showing your enthusiasm for the position you are applying for goes a long way to getting the job as does your level headedness while under the pressure of a pandemic lay-off.

Take Initiative

Even without a job you may have been pulled in ten different directions during the pandemic. Coping with child care, elder care, health care and even just putting food on the table was very time consuming. If you haven’t done so already, choose to expand your skills through online coursework and reach out to every contact, prior employer and prior associate you have in your target industry. Keep building skills and your professional network while you look for a job. Reskilling, networking, freelancing and even volunteer work all can be crafted into a narrative that showcases your professional skills and attributes. It will pay-off, and you will bounce back from this pandemic lay-off much faster.

Interested in starting a job search? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Data Science and Analytics Executive Recruiter, Nancy Darian at


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