“You’re Fired.” Two words every person hopes they never have to hear. However getting fired does, unfortunately happen. At first you may think it’s the end of the world, but we’re here to tell you good news - it’s not! The below advice will help you jump the hurdle of getting fired along with helpful tips to use during the application and interview process.
Getting Over Your Termination & Moving On
You got fired, now it’s time to move on. Dwelling on the details of your termination does nothing for you - it’s not getting you rehired or finding you another job. Instead take immediate action, start focusing on the future, it is time to get another job.
Once you have accepted you were fired, start to think optimistically and turn your termination into determination - learn from your experience. This will help you in multiple ways. First, this will actually help you learn from the experience. Think about the reason you were actually fired, yes there was a reason. Were you not meeting your numbers? Did you not get along with your employees? Did you call in sick 5 times a month?
Now, this is the most important part, how can you improve? Being positive is the first step in finding a new job.
Finding a New Job
Now it is time to update your resume and cover letter. There is no requirement that says you need to disclose your termination in your resume or cover letter - so don’t. Your resume should highlight your past jobs and the skills you have acquired at those jobs. Your cover letter should focus on the job that you are applying for, why you want the job and why you are qualified for it. There is not much reason to bring up being terminated this early in the hiring process.
However, if you do have to fill out an application, it will probably ask the reason for leaving your last job. The key here is to be honest and positive. If the question is open ended, using the phrase “terminated” or “let go” is softer than using the word “fired”.
Remember, lying on a job application is grounds for immediate termination at any point in time, and being fired twice is the last thing you want…
During the Interview
The interview is the time and place to explain the reason why you were fired. It is smart to take time before the interview to prepare an answer - remember to make being fired a learning experience. Practice your response and how you are going to handle the issue. You can assume “the reason for leaving your last job” will be discussed at some point during the interview.
Being the first to bring up your termination can show credibility and confidence. It also gives you more control of that portion of the interview. The goal should to be to stay honest and keep it short. This is where your preparation steps in. Emphasize what you learned from the experience, how you have, and will continue, to improve. Again, it is extremely important not to lie or contradict yourself - this is much more likely to hurt you more than help you. Once the termination has been explained, you can move on and focus on the new job you are interviewing for and your qualifications. End the interview on a positive note.
A last piece of interview advice is to avoid insulting your former boss or employer. The interviewer could be your next boss, and you do not want them imagining you talking about them that way. Leave all your anger and resentment at home.
Being fired from a job undeniably adds a new challenge to a new job search, placing blame and focusing on the termination will get you a new job. Stay optimistic, learn from the incident and go find yourself a new and better job.