4 Tips for Addressing a LayoffShannon Hall
The Bureau of Labor Statistics measured layoffs in the U.S. to be close to 1,700 in the month of October which remains relatively consistent with the monthly totals recorded so far in 2018. Layoffs happen across a number of industries for a number of reasons. If you’ve ever been laid off, you might worry about how it could affect your ability to secure your next job. Read about our four biggest tips on how to handle a lay-off in your job history.
Give a Verifiable Reason
During an interview, when asked why you left your last job, it’s best to have a reason prepared for your layoff. Companies carry out layoffs for many reasons. Perhaps there was an acquisition with duplicate departments, or perhaps the company needed to downsize to maintain financial security. Your reason should be verifiable and easily fact-checked so that employers can complete due diligence before extending an offer. It helps to provide an explanation for being laid off so that employers understand that it is unrelated to your job performance. However, don’t spend too much time explaining it away. It’s best to address the reason and move onto a more positive conversation about your experience and impact during your time with the company.
Emphasize your Impact
When addressing a layoff, the focus should not be on the negativity surrounding the event and the problems within the organization. While it’s important to provide an explanation for the layoff, it’s also important to keep it brief and then move on. Instead of dwelling on the layoff itself, you should emphasize the skills that you learned and the impact you made during your time with the company. The layoff will be a lot less important if you can effectively express your achievements and experience within the organization instead. For most employers, the experience is more important.
Address it Once on your Resume (If Necessary)
It’s not the worst thing in the world to address a layoff in parentheses right on your resume. It’s reasonable to provide a few words of explanation as to why your time with the company was cut short. Addressing a layoff on your resume will not stop an interviewer from asking about it, but it shows that you are being transparent and it can explain a gap in employment that might otherwise disqualify you as a candidate. However, it’s best not to draw attention to being laid off more than once. Even if there are verifiable reasons for each situation, multiple layoffs on a resume never look good. In such a case it’s best to save your explanations for if it comes up in an interview.
Fill the Gap
Gaps in employment are generally a red flag when it comes to reviewing candidates for a job. Most employers are more concerned with gaps in employment than with a layoff. They want to know how you spent your time after a layoff, something beyond a job search. We recommend filling this gap by doing something that adds value to your professional experience. In order to fill the gap, you might consider utilizing your skills in volunteer work or charity, or even training to learn new skills so that you have something to add to your resume. It may also be worthwhile to accept a lower paying job in the meantime, even if it’s not the ideal position for you. This makes answering interview questions easier and gives you more to reference. Job searches take time, and it’s better to fill in the gap and remain active in the workforce than to hold out for the perfect job. This activity shows that you are interested in developing professionally and continuing to advance your career.
Layoffs can happen due to a variety of circumstances and it’s important to know how to address a layoff with potential employers. Interviewers want to know the reason and you should be prepared with a verifiable explanation. By following our four tips, you will be prepared to answer questions about a layoff and move on from it by emphasizing what you learned and achieved. If you focus on the positive aspects of your experience, it will be much easier to succeed in securing your next job.
Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike. https://bradleystaffinggroup.com/contact-us/