How to Address a Layoff in Your Resume?

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Most people believe that it is not a good idea to talk about your layoff on your resume. According to them, you should inform your potential employer about the event during the interview. However, there are also job seekers who feel that by not talking about the layoff and the circumstances that led to it when applying for the job they might hurt their chances to get hired. 

If you belong to the second category, you must know how to write a resume that addresses your layoff sensitively. The tips below may help. 

Make Sure Your Layoff Does Not Become the Focus of Your Resume 

If you think that you should mention the layoff in the resume, do it succinctly and swiftly. Never explain the event in detail as that may force your potential employer to question your ability. For instance, you can just write, “the company decided to downsize my department” or “my role got eliminated”. If your recruiter has any questions about the layoff, he will ask you during your interview. 

Don’t Mislead 

Once you have decided that you will talk about your layoff on your resume, make sure you are doing so with integrity and honesty. Don’t commit mistakes like fudging the facts or adjusting the dates as your employer will most likely spot the lie and reject your job application immediately. For instance, if you were the only person to get laid off, don’t say that the entire department got shut down. 

Be Careful about the Words You Use

You must be extremely careful about the words and phrases you use when talking about your termination. Ideally, you should find words that make it clear that you got terminated due to reasons that were beyond your control. For example, you can write, “Financial circumstances forced the company to release its employees”. The pre-written examples available on ResumeBuild will make the job a lot easier for you. 

Tell How You Utilized the Free Time Post Your Layout

While you should not write too much about the layoff, adding a few sentences or pointers explaining how you utilized the free time the layoff rewarded you with is mandatory. To join a reputable company you must be proactive.

If you are a software expert, you can say that you joined an online programming course. If you are a copywriter, you can say that you completed some freelance projects. Your potential employer will love the fact that you didn’t sit idle or spent your free time playing games. 

Make Sure Your Accomplishments Grab the Recruiter’s Attention 

The primary aim of your resume should be impressing potential employers. So, irrespective of whether you were laid off or not you must ensure that your accomplishments are duly highlighted in your resume. However, when you are trying to convince a recruiter that you were not laid off due to non-performance or dishonesty, you must mention your achievements with facts and figures. Examples on ResumeBuild would tell you how to put the spotlight on your achievements.  


To conclude, we would like to say that it’s not a bad idea to inform your prospective employer about your recent layoff. However, while doing so you must make sure that the sad event doesn’t overshadow the high points in your career. 

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