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Tag: fired

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.

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How to Discuss Being Fired from Your Last Job and STILL Look Like a Star Candidate

People get fired for lots of reasons. Some are legitimate, based on performance issues, and some are completely unjustified. Regardless of the reason for being let go, there are solid methods for communicating the circumstances without hurting your candidacy with potential future employers.

In fact, many of my clients who were previously “let go” went on to land better positions with a sizable increase in total compensation. One of my clients secured a whopping $60,000 in additional salary after being fired as a result of getting caught in between some ugly corporate politics.

The following are three solid steps you can take to have successful interviews after being fired.

Step #1: Give yourself time to decompress.

This is the most important step you can take. If you have lost your job, you will most likely go through a grieving process similar to other significant life losses we all experience. If you interview prematurely, you may inadvertently “wear your grief” and/or find yourself unable to talk about your last employer with the kind of convincing detachment and discretion you will need to keep interviewers focused and excited about the value you offer them.

What if you need to begin interviewing right away? To speed up your “grieving process” while still honoring that time cycle, take a ceremonial weekend vacation, book a round of golf, take a spa day, or a family picnic by the lake. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s fun and relaxing, because this is your decompression time… just for yourself! Title your outing: “Your Ceremonial Moving On.” This is a physical process that evokes very real physical and mental benefits.

I have seen this “moving on ceremony” work wonders with my clients and I promise it will work for you too. In fact, I have used it myself. When I left my last employer, my husband threw me a congratulatory dinner and I bought myself a big decadent slice of carrot cake, stuck and candle in it, and we spent the evening talking about the future. It was wonderful!

Step #2: Identify your allies.

You want to contact any and all allies you have and had with your last company. These can include past colleagues, people that worked for you, key executives, clients and vendors – anyone that can attest to your strengths, your attributes and anything positive. If applicable, individuals who can diplomatically hint that there were problems beyond your control with your last company can be especially helpful. Remember, references can be provided by lots of other people besides your past “boss.”

You will want to gather as many WRITTEN references associated with this position as possible. If you are in my job search coaching program , you can listen to my audio coaching call on how to get and use jaw-dropping references. This call goes step by step through how to ask for these references, whom to ask and exactly how to use them once you have them (you’ll find that the payoff for you is nothing short of amazing!).

Focus on short, written quotes, and if you are on LinkedIn (you should be), you can ask for endorsements and then use them. Not only does this enhance your LinkedIn profile, but repurposes it as part of a reference page you put together for your “marketing collateral.”

Step #3: Prescript a BRIEF, but clear, statement.

Develop a brief statement about the reason you were fired and practice saying it. You can use it in your upcoming interviews. Keep it short, simple and clear. Here is an example:

“Unfortunately, I had no choice but to leave my last employer.

When I originally took the position, I was excited about ________.

At first blush, it seemed that their recent merger was going well. I had no idea there was such internal animosity amongst upper management. Perhaps in my excitement about the opportunity, I missed the subtle signs. Now I am focusing my attention on moving forward and I am quite excited to be here to talk with you about your corporation’s goals.”

No matter what you say, the secret is to be BRIEF, positive, bold and forward-thinking. Your interviewer(s) will focus on whatever you shine the spotlight on… so keep your attention on them, their challenges and how you can help.

Using these three steps, you can easily turn a situation you may be worrying about into a non-issue. Many who have been fired fear that they will have to make big sacrifices in order to land their next position, but most of the time this is simply not the case.  Use the situation to reflect on whatever can be learned from it, use these powerful techniques to minimize any damage, and simply move on!

10 Things To Do If You Have Been Fired or Laid Off

  1. It may not have been fair, just or your fault, but don’t “go off” on your employer.
  2. Your experiencing a wide range of emotions – it’s a grieving process so give yourself time to do that. It may take a day, a week, a month.
  3. Give yourself a certain amount of time to decompress. Even if its just a day or two (though preferably longer) make it YOUR time to do nothing, do something fun, be with your family, etc…
  4. Make a list of ALL the things you are thankful for in your life. Sometimes
    during a traumatic event we have a tendency to forget these.
  5. Reach out for your friends and family – let them support you. Isolation is NOT what you need right now.
  6. Resist any temptation to jump right in to looking for your next job. Again, give yourself (even just a little) time.
  7. When you are ready, have a symbolic “moving on” ceremony. It could be a dinner, a day at the spa, a vacation, a day of golf, a conference you have been excited to attend or enrollment in a certification or MBA program. Whatever it is, big or small – it will help I promise! (2-years ago my “moving on ceremony” was a dinner with my husband, complete with a big cake, candlelight and a notepad and pen. We had so much fun brainstorming on all of our goals for the next 12 months and it really helped us to get focused!)
  8. Be brave. It will be okay.
  9. If the TV is overflowing with negative news, turn it off. Every month millions of professionals are hired. It just doesn’t make the news. Surround yourself with positive reinforcements.
  10. Many people have been fired or laid off in their careers – many highly paid and otherwise successful people! Don’t get down on yourself or start interviewing if you feel unusually sad or bitter (this tends to come out in interviews). Look for a support group, a coaching group, a mastermind group, a church group or any group where you can get positive support which helps to keep the negative thoughts at bay.

By the way I am not talking about a group of people to commiserate with – steer clear of those people right now! This will help you more than you know. I speak from personal experience and as someone who is “not a joiner” Just take a deep breath and do it for yourself. I promise you will be glad you did!

Got any tips to share? If you have ever been fired or laid off, what helped you get through it? Please feel free to add your comments!

I Was Fired: How to Discuss Being Fired From Your Last Job In an Interview and STILL Look Like A Star Candidate

 

Mid Managers and executives get fired for lots of reasons. Some are legitimate for performance reasons and some firings are completely unjustified. Regardless of the reason for being let go there are solid methods for communicating the circumstances without it hurting your candidacy with future potential employers.

 

Here are three solid steps you can take to have successful interviews after being fired.

 

 

Step #1 – Give yourself time to decompress

 

This is the most important step you can and will take. If you have lost your job most likely you will go through a grieving process – similar to other significant life-losses we all experience. If you interview prematurely you may inadvertently “wear your grief” and/or find yourself unable to talk about your last employer with the kind of convincing detachment and discretion you will need to keep interviewers focused and excited about the value you offer them.

 

What if you need to begin to interview right away? Well then to speed up your “grieving process” while still honoring that time cycle, take a ceremonial weekend vacation, book a round of golf, a spa day or a family picnic by the lake. Whatever you decide make sure it’s fun and relaxing because this is your decompression time…just for yourself! Title your outing: “your ceremonial moving on.” This is a physical process that evokes very real physical and mental benefits.

 

I have seen this “moving-on ceremony” work wonders with my clients (it will work for you too!) and I have used it myself. When I left my last employer my husband threw me a congratulatory dinner and I bought myself a decadent slice of carrot cake, stuck and candle in it and we spent the evening talking about the future. It was wonderful!

 

 

Step #2 – Identify your allies

 

You want to contact any and all allies you have and had with your last company. These can include past colleagues, people that worked for you, key executives, clients and vendors. Anyone that can attest to your strengths, your attributes and anything positive. In applicable cases those individuals who can diplomatically hint that there were problems beyond your control with your last company can be especially helpful. Remember references can be provided by lots of other people besides your immediate “boss”.

 

 

 

Step #3 – Prescript a BRIEF but clear statement

 

Develop a brief statement about the reason you were fired and practice saying it. You can use it in your upcoming interviews. Keep it short and simple and clear. Here is an example:

 

Unfortunately I had no choice but to leave my last employer. When I originally took the position I was excited about________.

At first blush it seemed that their recent merger was going well. I had no idea there was such internal animosity amongst management. Perhaps in my excitement of the opportunity I missed the subtle signs. If I were to interview for another merger situation I would certainly know what questions to ask. Now I am focusing my attention on moving forward and I am quite excited to be here to talk with you about your corporation’s goals.

 

 

No matter what you “say” the secret is to be positive, bold and forward thinking. Your interviewers will focus on whatever you shine the spot light on so keep your attention on them, their challenges and how you can help them!

 

Using these three steps you can easily turn a situation you may be worrying about into a non-issue. Remember too, many people that have been fired worry terribly that they will have to make big sacrifices in order to land their next position. This is so often untrue! Use the situation to reflect on whatever can be learned from it, use these powerful techniques to minimize any damage and simply move on!

 

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