The old saying goes that it is easier to find a job when you already have a job. But, what if you have been laid off? You may have been a great employee and through no fault of your own, the company restructured or downsized. But how do you deal with this issue on your resume and in an interview?
Since layoffs have become so commonplace in the past two decades, the stigma no longer exists about being laid off. Prospective employers have come to accept that layoffs have more to do with profit margins than employee performance. The best way to handle this on your resume is to be honest and forthright in your cover letter. You may add a sentence or two similar to this: “As you will note on my resume, I was a data processor for five years at XYZ. Due to a company-wide reduction in force, my employment at XYZ was unfortunately cut short.” This signals to the person reading your resume that you were not fired for performance issues or did not quit your job. Your unemployment is due to the company’s economic situation.
Although you may have dealt with the issue on your cover letter, your interviewer may bring up the topic again in the interview. During the interview, you want to again answer the question directly and briefly and then move on. Don’t display anger or bitterness about your situation or your previous employer. Public display of that in any format can definitely put a new job search in a negative tailspin. However, a calm, brief explanation will signal to the interviewer that you are ready to move on to new challenges.
Being laid off should not prevent you from having a successful job hunt. Often, employers seek to turn another company’s loss into their potential gain. You will find that being laid off will not close doors for you, but rather it may open them.How to Address a Layoff on Your Resume by Granted Contributor