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Should I Mention I Was Fired On My Resume?

The short answer is ‘No’. You don’t use the word ‘fired’ or "terminated" on your resume. No prospective hiring manager is going to be pleased to see a ‘fired’ or ‘terminated’ on your application letter, cover letter or resume.

It doesn’t matter why you were fired. Those words leave a bad taste in the mouth, and they don’t do anything for you. They might make the hiring manager’s imagination run. You don’t want them to try to imagine why you got fired or to wonder along the lines of: was he a slacker? Was she hard to get along with?

What’s the solution, then? Don’t eliminate the job you got fired from. Include the job on your resume, and put a positive spin on it. A top professional resume writing service could help you do this more effectively if you’re not sure how.

Too Much Honesty

Don’t confuse your resume with a curriculum vitae. Your resume doesn’t have to be an entire list of all the jobs you’ve had in the past. It needs to be crafted to meet the specs of the job you’re currently applying to.

You may feel like being wholly honest to your new prospective employers - and don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a place for honesty in an organization. But sometimes, being honest can backfire. And your resume is one of the things you don’t want to take a risk with.

On your resume, it’s best to be gracefully withholding, to put on a spin doctor hat, and do some image management. That’s what your resume is for. Getting fired doesn’t have to be a hindrance to you getting another job.

But this doesn’t mean you lie about being fired if you’re asked at the job interview. What you should do instead is to include the job on your resume if it taught you skills and gave you experience that will be relevant in the new position you’re seeking.

If the skills you learned aren’t relevant to your current job, simply ignore them.

Remember, if you don’t include it, you may be asked about the gap in your work history. Whereas, if you do include it, you may also be asked: So why did you leave that job?

If it was your last job, then you may be asked for a reference. You need to be prepared for all of these possibilities.

The good news is, no matter why you were fired, there are ways to put a positive spin on it and still get the new job. Hiring a resume writing service to help you look at your work history positively can help.

Being Fired Doesn’t Reflect Your Value

Being fired can make some people lose confidence in themselves. The stigma attached to being fired can be enough to make you want to hide that part of your life away from everyone.

But it’s important to remember that being fired is not always a reflection of you as an employee. There are many reasons why an employee is fired. It could be because of personality clashes with the management, which made you no longer a fit for the team. This is normal - teams change, requirements change. It’s the same reason why some marriages fail - because the pieces of the puzzle no longer fit.

You may also have been fired as part of a restructuring or laid off because the company couldn’t afford to keep you. There’s no dishonor in being laid off.

Or maybe you were fired because you made a big mistake or made a series of mistakes. Maybe you didn’t like your job, and so you slacked. Maybe you were having health issues and weren’t able to support your team for a long time.

Whatever the reason, as long as you can convince your prospective employer that you’ve learned something from the job you were fired from, you’re good.

Allow yourself to not feel shame or guilt for being fired. Getting fired might feel like a personal attack. But don’t forget that there must be skills you picked up at the job and experience you gained. These count for something.

Reframe How You Respond To The Termination

Whether or not you include the termination on your resume, it may come up at the interview. It’s easier to handle these questions if the termination happened a few jobs ago. Then you have a couple of successful jobs to show that the job you ‘failed’ at doesn’t reflect who you are as a worker. Any recent praise will outweigh any criticisms from the past.

But what if you were fired from your last job? What if the hiring manager wants to speak with your previous boss?

In that case, you’ll have to talk about it. It’s how you talk about it that will reflect on you.

Here’s the best attitude to have in this case: I made some mistakes, but I’ve learned from those mistakes. I don’t want to blame my past employer completely, and I don’t want to badmouth them. I want to show that I can take responsibility when I need to.

Do The Inner Work For A Better Answer

When you speak about the job you got fired from, you will do better if you come from a place of understanding your own role in the firing. You need to convince the interviewer that you’ve learned from the experience, that you’re less likely to repeat those mistakes again. That you’re ready to move on to better things.

If you’ve done the work and thought deeply about why you were fired, you’re more likely to have a satisfying answer to questions you’re asked.

The Bottom-line

If you were fired from your last job, you can’t hide it. But don’t put the word ‘fired’ on your resume. Include the job if it’s relevant to the career path you’re pursuing. Make sure you’ve learned from your mistakes. You could also rely on a resume service like to put the right spin on your work history while you figure out how to tackle questions on your termination.

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