Fessing Up to Being Fired by an Ex-Employer

Published: Oct 03, 2013

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October 3, 2013

Termination - How to Deal With it on Your Resume

By Erin Kennedy, Certified Professional Resume Writer

Your employer just let you go. You need to find another job, but how should you handle your termination on your resume? The days when you signed on with a company and stayed with it until retirement are gone. In today’s climate, employers are much more understanding when they see a less-than-perfect work chronology, but you still have to be careful how and when you present a termination.

1. Do not put the termination or the circumstances surrounding it on your resume. You will have a much better chance of impressing hiring managers if you deal with this question in face-to-face interviews.

If you were recently let go, resist the urge to keep your position listed as “to present” on your resume, giving the appearance that you’re still employed. You will have to explain yourself later on, and potential employers might think you tried to mislead them.

2. It’s a different matter if you were laid off instead of fired. In this case, you can mention the lay off in your cover letter. Employers are more forgiving of layoffs, so mentioning this might work in your favor.

3. Focus on your accomplishments in your resume. Your goal is to wow your potential employers by highlighting those accomplishments and skills. Even if hiring managers are wondering why you left a certain employer, your resume should be strong enough for you to receive invitations to interviews in which you can explain your situation in person.

4. Be confident that you could do many of the job duties of the interviewer just as easily in the pre-computer generation. That doesn’t make you stupid. Many people couldn’t do a lot of jobs if it weren’t for computer programs helping them along.

5. Be sure to list all of your contributions about a previous employer, even any that laid you off. This too can be a red flag to hiring managers. Talk about your responsibilities, overall contributions to the company and if you received any awards or special recognition. All of this will go a long way in your favor and that’s what you want.

About the Author

Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc., home to some of the best resume writers on the planet. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 10+ best-selling career books. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals. http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.

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