Repairing Your Cover Letter And Resume After Getting Fired
9/9/2008 1:20:24 PM
September 11, 2014
By Heather Eagar for BioSpace.com
Being fired from your job can be extremely difficult. You not only have to think about how you will put meals on the table and pay your bills, but also how your pride and belief in yourself as an employee has been affected.
No matter the reason you were let go, it can be more than a notion trying to start over again. But if treated with the right attitude, the application process can be very similar to before you were fired. So to help you get started, let’s look at some ways you can pick yourself up and get back in the workforce.
1. Focus on the positives when writing your resume.
You may feel obligated to come right out in your resume and tell a prospective employer why you left your former employer. But in all honesty, the resume is not that place. Your goal in the resume is to spell out where you worked and how your active responsibilities and skills made a difference during the time you were there.
In other words, focus on the positives. You can create a section titled “Attributes and Qualifications” to highlight the ways you were able to make a difference in the company. In that section you can very specifically name projects that showcase the highest points in your career. This way, you can help the employer focus on how you will be an asset to their company—not the opposite.
2. Let your cover letter tell a great story.
The last thing you want to do when opening your cover letter is say the words “The reason I’m applying for this position is because I was fired from my previous one.” Instead, you want to focus on the strengths in your area of expertise that have encouraged you to apply for the job. In fact, there is no need to mention being fired at all in the cover letter as it will leave tons of questions in the hiring managers’ minds about why you were fired instead of focusing on why they want to hire you.
What can you do instead? Treat your cover letter like you would any other. Explain with passion why you really want this position. Let them know how you can enhance the company’s mission with your expertise. And sell yourself as a great asset. You will have your chance to explain why you were fired; but dwelling on it in the cover letter is not the best place to do it.
3. What about references?
If you can avoid using a reference from your previous employer then it would be a good idea to do so. However, if you must reference the employer from which you were fired, you might want to try a manager with whom you had a good relationship, despite how you departed. That way, they can focus on your personality or work ethic (if it was good) and not so much on why you were fired.
Getting fired does not have to be the end of the world. So keep pushing toward your goal of finding employment. You’ll see that with the right attitude—and a solid cover letter and resume—you’ll land another job in no time.
About the Author
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. If you need a resume service, compare some of the top ones in the industry at http://www.resumelines.com.
Help employers find you! Check out all the jobs and post your resume.
Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - September 11, 2014.
Sign up for the free weekly Career Insider eNewsletter.