How to Approach Your Job Search If You've Been Fired

By: AJE Recruiting Specialist

How to Approach Your Job Search If You've Been Fired

Getting fired is always a tough situation, but it doesn't mean that you'll never achieve job success again. Although challenging, if you approach your job search after a termination strategically you can get back work.

The first and most important step is to take some time to deal with the emotional issues that arise when you've been fired. You may be experiencing feelings of failure, anger or shame. Recognize that these feelings are natural and then try to replace them with more productive thoughts, such as thinking about what you have learned from the experience.

In many instances your termination could be due to a lay-off. This could be a good way to approach the situation with hiring managers as there are usually tangible reasons behind a lay-off, such as a reduction in workforce. The termination may also be an opportunity to decide on a new career path or change of fields.

Update your resume. This may be the time when you may want to invest in a professional resume writing service. Since you may be dealing with lapses in employment, the way you position your career path will be important. You do not need to mention the reason behind your departure on your resume or cover letter. That is not necessary. If you worked at a company for only a short period of time, you do not have to include this on your resume or reference it at all.

On an e-version of your resume, be sure to include links to social networking accounts that may highlight you as a good employee, such as your LinkeIn profile. Also be sure to include references who you know will positively outline your job performance. Be sure that those you offer as references are aware of the reason behind your recent departure and their comments are in line with yours.

Continue to network. Reach out to your career network and make them aware of your current situation. Attend industry events or seminars. Research other organizations that you may benefit from joining.

When you are on interviews, you will need to prepare response in advance for the inevitable questions that will come up, such as 'why did you leave your last job', or 'why is there a lapse in employment?' The best approach is the honest approach.

Other reasons for termination should be broached concisely. Keep the explanation simple and indicate what you have learned from the experience. While you do not have to divulge all the details of a departure, never lie. And you should not get into negative conversations about the company or any employees. Keep the conversation positive and productive.

The reality of the situation is that we will all experience at least one termination from a job at some point in our working life. Approaching this difficult time with a focus on your next step, what you have learned and potential career transitions can help. For more career advice, visit America's Job Exchange for job listings, resume writing and interview tips, salary information and more.