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How to explain you got let go of to a potential employer

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When beginning your job search it can all appear a little daunting, especially if you’ve not had the best time with a previous employer and worry about what reference you might get.

Whether you’ve been made redundant, been fired or just had a break from work for a number of weeks or months, having to talk about it with a potential employer is no-one’s favourite thing to do. Although you may not want to discuss what you’ve been through, honesty really is the best policy in this instance.

We’ve gathered together some advice on how to approach the situation in an application and interview. Here’s some tips to help guide you through a potentially awkward conversation.

1.) CV Writing – Explain the gaps!

If you’ve got a large gap on your CV between jobs or you’ve had a history of job hopping then explain it on your CV. A potential employer is no doubt extremely busy and if they see red flags within the first few seconds of scanning over your CV, it’ll be going in their bin. If you’ve not worked between 2018-2020 due to travelling, having a baby or maybe personal reasons then make a note in that gap as to why you’ve not been employed.

2.) Be honest

If you got made redundant for being the last one in, first one out, no-one is going to judge you. Equally, if you were fired for not hitting certain targets or other reasons then just be honest about how you’ve learnt from the situation and what you will do differently in future. Being honest, open minded and having the ability to learn from your mistakes is a very admirable quality to have.

3.) Explain your significant gap of unemployment

If you’ve had a long period of time off work then your potential employer will most likely ask you why that is and you need to be prepared for this. If you’ve had a hard time at home, mentally or physically and needed a break, then don’t be shy about it. Maybe you’ve been on maternity leave and decided to take that little bit longer off to spend with the baby – you’re entitled to it! Either way, gather a list of positives you took from this time and any additional skills you have gained that would make you an asset to their company.

4.) Leave any negativity at the door

Be sure to not have a negative attitude towards your previous employer (No matter how you may feel about them). Negativity towards your previous employer will instantly bring up a red flag to the potential employer and could cloud their judgement of your work. Instead, focus on the positives and what is next to come in your career.

5.) Get references

If you can get references from previous employer’s post application stage and send across some short references over with your CV this will help you significantly if being let go of is an issue to the employer. Would you listen to someone talking about how good they are or rather listen to someone else saying how good that person is?

6.) Use your connections and the power of social media

Platforms like Linkedin and Facebook are brilliant for exposing that you’re looking for a new role and why. The power of social media is incredible, especially if you’ve got thousands of connections on there and then 2nd and 3rd connections too. Don’t forget, if you choose to work with a recruiter, we always work with strict confidence but also honest personable relationships, meaning we can try and gage how an employer may react to what you have to say. If you would prefer we give employers the heads up before we pass over your details, they will appreciate that.

If you’re starting your job search and need someone to guide you along the way, get in touch on 01243 779789. To see our current vacancies visit the Hunter Dunning jobs section and use our search function to find that perfect job in Interior Design, or maybe a job in Architecture. We also have a number of jobs in property.