OVERCOMING LIABILITIES: Resume Writing Tips – How to Handle Being Fired or Laid Off

Many of my clients have been previously fired or laid off. Over 50,000 people are let go from their jobs each day in the U.S, so there is a very good chance most professionals will experience this unfortunate event at least once in their careers.

This does not have to be a point of contention with potential employers during your job search though, and it does not have to detract from the accomplishments of your career or your strengths. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Don’t mention being fired or laid off in your resume. There is absolutely no benefit that I can think of that would justify mentioning a lay off or firing on a resume. Period.
  • Identify exactly why you were laid off or fired prior to your interview. Develop a SHORT, clear script of what happened and why. Be sure not to go on and on – that can open a can of worms and create more questions than answers.
  • Was your department eliminated? If your company restructured or moved overseas, simply say in your cover letter, “My company restructured,” or “My company recently moved its operations overseas.”
  • Get multiple testimonials from the company in which you were let go. This is one of the most powerful steps you can take. Third party testimonials and endorsements reinforce your work history, build trust, and quell suspicions and assumptions faster than any other marketing strategy I know of.

If you want more tips and strategies (or even online custom resume templates), grab my e-book, The 21St Century Resume.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of CEOresumewriter.com and Maryelizabethbradford.com and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

If you are a Director, VP, CxO, or Board Member interested in an executive resume package or working directly with Mary Elizabeth, click to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call.