CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2 is Working for Chicago and bringing you advice from a career coach each week.
With millions unemployed, how do you address a layoff in a job interview? CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas asked the expert.
“With so many people out of work. I want people to know that it’s OK to feel comfortable to talk about why they were let go,” said career coach Lynée Alves, president of Interview Like an Expert.
Alves said the stigma around unemployment has vanished.
“It’s perfectly fine to let a recruiter or a hiring manager know that you were let go due to COVID-19 or you were let go due to a corporate restructuring, for example,” Alves said.
Alves suggests not mentioning a layoff on your résumé. She said it is best to bring it up during an interview.
And when you have those tough conversations, Alves said, “Keep it really short and sweet.”
She advised using simple explanations such as, “I was let go as a result of COVID-19, and, “I was impacted by a corporate restructuring, or I was impacted by layoffs at my company.”
Regardless of the reason, Alves said, follow up with a positive.
“Let the person know you’ve got a positive outlook about what’s happened to you, and that’s going to make a really great impression on that potential employer,” she said.
When it comes to LinkedIn, Alves said not to write “looking for new opportunities” in your headline.
“What you want to have in that area instead is your desired job title and some of your key strengths and skills,” she said.
That is because recruiters search for positions and capabilities.
“In my case, I’m a career coach, so that’s really the first thing I have in my headline,” Alves said.
She further lists her skills, like “interviewing expert,” and “LinkedIn consultant.”
Alves said you can also post that you’re out of work and looking for a new job.
“The more that you connect with others and network with others virtually or otherwise, the better your chances of finding your next professional role,” she said.
CBS 2 is committing to Working For Chicago, connecting you every day with the information you or a loved one might need about the jobs market, and helping you remove roadblocks to getting back to work.
We’ll keep uncovering information every day to help this community get back to work, until the job crisis passes. CBS 2 has several helpful items right here on our website, including a look at specific companies that are hiring, and information from the state about the best way to get through to file for unemployment benefits in the meantime.