One thing that many people dread during the job search is explaining a firing on their resume. Job applicants may fear that their past mistakes will come back to haunt them and kill their chances of landing a job with a new employer. While there’s no magic answer that will completely override a prior firing, here are some ways to explain it and minimize the impact it has on you landing a job.
Be Upfront and Honest
One of the worst things that can happen is that a recruiter looks deeper into your work history and finds out that you lied about a firing and are trying to cover something up. This will obviously start things out on the wrong foot, and you’ll have little to no chance of getting hired. That’s why you’re always better off being honest about a prior firing. Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s best to own up to them.
However, it’s not recommended to go into too much detail because this can become the focal point of your resume. According to HubPages, “don’t divulge too much information, but don’t ignore important facts either. Just be concise when revealing information about your past job termination.”
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Another thing that can make you look bad is pointing the finger at your past employer and making it out like it was all their fault. For example, you wouldn’t want to say that your former manager was inept or the company was poorly run. Insults like this aren’t going to do you any favors in the eyes of a potential new employer, so you don’t want to go down this road.
Explain What You Learned
An effective way to turn a negative into a positive is to show that you learned a valuable lesson from a prior firing and have used that wisdom to improve. For instance, if you were fired because of conflicts with co-workers, you might explain that you’ve improved your interpersonal skills and have learned how to get along better with team members. Regardless of what you say, just be sure to highlight the steps you’ve taken to correct an issue.
Explain How it Will Help You in the Future
Finally, you want to make it clear that you’ve used your experience of being fired as fuel for progress. Briefly explain that what you’ve learned has been useful for fine-tuning your abilities and that it will help you be a better employee in the future. One way you can prove your progress is to include some references on your resume from employers or colleagues you’ve known after the firing so they can vouch for you and put in a good word.
Just because you were fired in the past doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. By handling things the right way, you can explain a firing without it hurting your chances for future employment. For more job search advice and finding the right position for you, please visit our blog.