Being let go from your job for any reason can become a tricky situation to deal with when editing your resume for submission to new jobs. However, if you were fired from your job, the situation becomes even more frustrating to deal with. You may wonder how to share this information on your resume with prospective employers. This article will address several factors involved with how to handle a job termination on your resume and increase your odds of getting that interview.
1. Balance Your Honesty
Honesty is always the best policy. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule; especially when crafting a resume and dealing with a job termination. It is important that you do not broadcast your termination on the resume. Doing so would be a sure way to get passed over for a job interview. The goal is not to lie to prospective employers. Rather, you want to find a way to balance your honesty. For example, during the interview process, you can weigh the direction the conversation is headed and share more details in that meeting. It is immensely easier to impress the prospective employer in person rather than on paper. This is especially true when it comes to effectively handling a termination issue. Now, it is also important to be honest with regard to the current status at your last position. For example, you are not going to list your employment status there as still “present”. Instead, you should list the start and end dates of employment, while leaving out the reason why you left. Obviously, the hiring manager will notice that you are no longer working there and will most likely question you about it during the interview.
2. Change Your Perspective
Regardless of the reason for your termination, it can be a devastating blow to your self-confidence level and even hinder your future success. First, you need to change your perspective and make a decision to leave the past and all your mistakes behind you. Of course, there will be consequences for your actions. However, those consequences do not need to dictate the course of the rest of your life. While you are editing your resume, pay extra attention to your actual accomplishments and ascertain whether or not you can highlight them more. Remember that your resume is the first impression that the prospective employer will have of you. If your resume is not strong enough to stand out from the crowd, you will not get called in for that interview. We’ve already established that the hiring manager will be wondering why you left your last employment position. However, you need to create such a striking list of accomplishments that the hiring manager will not focus solely on the reason you left.
3. Review Your Skillset
During the process of changing your perspective and editing your resume, you need to spruce up your skillset content on the document. Of course, you are not going to over-embellish your accomplishments. However, you need to set the bar high so that when you go in for the interview, the hiring manager will be more focused on your skillset and achievements than the reason why you left your previous job. Don’t get stuck in an emotional rut and feel sorry for yourself for getting terminated. Seek out the advice of trusted friends or colleagues who know the real you and can remind you of why you’ve come so far. Getting encouragement and support from trusted friends is going to give you the added sense of self-confidence that you need to complete the task of editing your resume to handle the termination issue. You need to be reminded of what skills you have that set you apart from the competition. Ascertain what key elements you contributed to your previous place of employment before being terminated. Be sure to include any awards or other professional recognition that you have received on the job.
4. Utilize Your Cover Letter
The last factor involves possibly utilizing your cover letter to explain your situation. However, this would only work if your termination was due to a lay-off and not poor work performance. If you were terminated due to negligent behavior on your part, you should steer clear from sharing that information in your cover letter. Again, as with the resume, that is an issue which can be discussed during the interview if the hiring manager asks questions. If you were terminated due to a lay-off and through no fault of your own, you may want to consider mentioning that in your cover letter. A prospective employer will most likely not hold it against you if you were terminated due to a lay-off. You could mention something to the effect of addressing the fact that your company recently laid-off several employees and your job was one position that had been eliminated. Express your sadness with having to leave your employment. Stress that you had consistently received positive ratings from your managers. Share your (measured) enthusiasm that you are excited to perform with the same level of accomplishment at your new employment.
See also: Resume Etiquette You Should Know About
Handling a job termination on your resume can be a tough task. However, if you follow the simple steps as outlined in this article, you will make the resume editing process proceed more smoothly and increase your chances of getting that job interview.