How to update your CV if you have been furloughed

CV expert Emma Alkirwi gives some advice if you are on furlough and need to top up your earnings.

Supermarket retail


We have had more and more individuals who have recently been furloughed seeking our guidance, particularly those from the hospitality and travel industry. Many are in management roles – despite the government’s financial support through the furlough scheme they are finding themselves on less than half the salaries they were once on. Therefore, they are now hoping to fill their time and supplement their earnings, but they are unsure of what is the best way to approach this.

Before you start applying for work, double check the furlough clauses from your current place of employment. Some employers may state that you cannot work elsewhere. While other employers may be fine with this, but you must formally let them know when you have taken a temporary role and with what employer.

The next step is to update your CV and here are some tips:

Tailor your CV

If you are in a different industry to the one you are applying for then you will likely need to tailor your CV to what you are applying for. The industries most likely to require temporary staff at the moment are: supermarkets, delivery driving and there is some temporary administration work available, although there are other sectors recruiting at the moment.

Professional profile

This section will need to be amended and tailored to what the job requires. This can include being customer-service focused, able to learn new working practices quickly, having a good geographical knowledge of the local area (for driving roles), a confident telephone manner, or experience in conducting various administrative tasks including correspondence, social media and database management. Then finish the professional profile with ‘currently seeking a temporary role due to being furloughed where existing skills and experience can be utilised’.

This allows the recruiter to see straight away that you have the relevant experience for the role and the reason you wish to apply.

Key skills

Study the job advert in detail and mirror the skills required. In your current CV this may have a completely different focus, particularly if you are in a more senior role or different sector. It is important that you do not assume that the reader will know you have the skills required, but adapt this section accordingly.

Career summary

Normally I would recommend showcasing your key achievements in this section, but it is important to keep this section relevant to the role. If you are relatively senior, you do not want the reader worrying that you may come into the role and try and shake things up. So, it is best to provide a short summary of your responsibilities and remove the key achievements. Although they will be very impressive and you may feel uncomfortable removing this section they are unlikely to be relevant to the role you are applying for.

After this you should now have a shorter, snappier and to-the-point CV, thereby allowing the reader to quickly offer you an interview!

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