Learn how to address being fired or laid off from your last role. Get three practical tips you can implement today to help spin your story and land your next role.
- No one likes getting fired or laid off. It's a big knock to the ego and a shock whenever it comes. If you're in this situation, I'm truly sorry you're going through it. The best advice I can give you is that your resilience and positivity, now more than ever, is going to be what pulls you through. Now's a great time to reflect on your life, invest in yourself, and resolve to come out stronger and better than ever before. Easier said than done, I know, but you've got this. So let's talk practical details.
How do you position yourself as a strong candidate relative to people who are currently employed? Here are three tips. First, people are going to follow your lead on this. If your LinkedIn profile and resume indicate confidence, enthusiasm, and resilience, you can change the story from focusing on being fired or laid off to how much you're looking forward to adding value at your next job. Choose words that indicate your excitement about what's ahead and build a 30-second story to brand yourself. Something like this works really well.
Let's say Julia was let go from her big company and is now interviewing at a startup. Here's what she might say. ABC Company and I did part ways due to differences in future direction. What I learned is that this next chapter offers me even more opportunities to bring my leadership and marketing skills to a company that's moving really fast. And that's what I was really missing at ABC Company. You'll note Julia doesn't say, gee, I was fired, and it sucks. But she spins the story to focus on the positive, and employers will appreciate that.
Second, network. The best time to network is when you don't need anything, but the next best time is when you're looking to find a job. Reach out to people, and get to know people in person or through LinkedIn. Have a concise story about the transition you're making, and make those mutually beneficial connections. Make sure you're giving and getting. This is a two-way street. Third, make the critical decision about whether you're going to brand yourself as the job you want or as a job seeker looking for a new opportunity.
For example, Julia Smith, High-Tech Marketing Executive or Julia Smith, Seeking CMO Roles in San Francisco. There are different schools of thought on this, but I tend to favor the former in the first six months of your job search. Keep the momentum going. Network, spin your story, and sell your brand. If you're not connecting with employers after that period of time, you might try advertising that you're looking, but make sure you don't cross into begging territory. Branding yourself as on the hunt can have its advantages.
It gets recruiters' attention and advertises you're active and ready to take an offer, but it can also come across as a big sign that you're unemployed, which typically makes it harder to find a job. In the end, go with the direction that feels authentic for you. After all, that's the real key to getting your next job.
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Ready to find your next job? Learn how to prepare yourself for today's job market and land a gig that you'll love. Jolie Miller shows how to create a great job hunting plan that connects you with opportunities that mesh with your interests and goals. Jolie explains how to present yourself to employers in the best light with a well-designed LinkedIn profile, resume, and cover letter. She explores how to tailor your experience for each job and for any special situations, such as layoffs, reentering the workforce, or switching roles or industries. Plus, she shares quick tips that can help you make a great first—and lasting—impression in your interviews, negotiate an offer you're proud of, and prepare for your first day at your new job.
- Setting job hunting objectives
- Writing a compelling resume and cover letter
- Tailoring your approach
- Finding the right jobs
- Reentering the workforce
- Identifying which of your skills are transferable
- Excelling in a phone or video interview
- Negotiating a job offer