The economic damage from Covid 19 has resulted in record high unemployment claims across the country. Despite modest levels of economic recovery, most thought leaders believe higher than normal levels of joblessness will remain, as companies are forced into laying off and furloughing employees.

As one of the millions potentially laid off, furloughed, or fearful of such, the following post offers some narrowly-focused tips and advice for updating your Resume after being laid off or furloughed.

Being Laid Off vs. Furloughed

First, it’s important to understand the basic difference between layoffs and furloughs. Both are unrelated to your work performance. Layoffs represent a permanent separation from the employer. Whereas, furloughs are temporary separations. Paid-furloughs and non-paid furloughs exist; often depending on the company’s financial solvency.

Updating Your Resume After Being Laid Off or Furloughed

  • Reassess the opening section of your document (career profile) to ensure alignment with your desired target based on your seniority level, occupation, and industry specialization.
  • If laid off, add an end date (month/year) for that job and write the description in past tense. If furloughed, do not include an end date (since you’re technically employed) and keep the description in present tense.
  • Reflect on your positive experiences and accomplishments in the role and then document your key highlights, projects, or quantifiable achievements while they are still fresh in your mind.
  • Update your cover letter to include additional context on why you were laid off or furloughed to make clear it wasn’t performance related ( i.e. company’s economic downturn in the wake of the Covid 19 crisis).


Updating your Resume after being laid off or furloughed requires precision and thoughtfulness. Hopefully this post shares some helpful insights into handling your Resume updates. Regardless of your status, it’s important to have an ATS-friendly and visually appealing document that positions you for job search success. Need help? Resume Refresh is a popular service for professional assistance with refining and improving your existing Resume.