use these six tips for addressing a layoff and finding a new lucrative job

6 Tips for Addressing A Layoff in Your Job Search

Stress, fear, doubt, and uncertainty are just a few feelings that come along with getting laid off. However, addressing a layoff in a job search in the near to distant future can feel every bit as overwhelming. You’re at a loss about what to include on your resume or whether to mention it in a cover letter. Once you get an interview, you’re constantly thinking: “Do I bring it up? Are they going to bring it up? What do I say?”

Add in all the various aspects, and it’s certainly a tough situation to handle. Fortunately, you have plenty of options to address a layoff throughout your job search while also sounding thoughtful, intelligent, and most importantly — hireable. Whether you were just laid off or you’re searching for a job after some time away, here are some tips for addressing a layoff in your job search.

1. Addressing a Layoff in Your Personal Life the Right Way

While some companies give you ample time to prepare for a layoff before it happens, other layoffs come with little to no notice. In either case, acceptance is an important part of addressing a layoff. Remember that layoffs happen more often than you think. In a pre-COVID survey, around 26% of American workers were laid off at some point during their careers. This number increased during COVID, even leading to some individuals retiring early or dealing with long-term joblessness.

Perhaps the only silver lining to this is that employers have generally become more accepting of jobseekers who have been through layoffs during the hiring process. It’s not that a layoff necessarily disqualified you in the past, but the ability to address a layoff at every level of the application and hiring process has become more commonplace and less of a social stigma.

When you’re addressing a layoff, remember that it happens to more people than you think. Don’t stress about the idea that it happened. Accept it and move on to the next step of your job search.

2. Creating a Leaving Story

Creating a leaving story is an integral facet of addressing a layoff during a job search. It’s central to the tale of you as a worker and how you emerge from a layoff better off than before. A leaving story answers the most notable questions regarding your layoff. These include why you got laid off, what you learned from the layoff, and how you’re a good fit for the new job.

For example, a leaving story might state that you are taking advantage of corporate restructuring by applying soft skills you learned from your previous job in a different job segment or category.

Keep in mind that a leaving story doesn’t have to be a long-winded statement. It’s more of a concise way to spin your layoff in a more positive light. Beyond answering potential questions from employers, a leaving story can also help you target new positions, regardless of whether you want to stay in the same industry or pivot to a new one.

3. Focusing on the Upside

When you’re laid off from a job, staying positive can seem like a daunting task. Between financial hardships, cutting back on spending or social events, and putting in the time to find a job, you’re going to feel some stress. Nevertheless, you need to focus on the positives and upsides that come as a result of being laid off. This carries over to addressing your layoff during a job search.

One of the best methods of focusing on the upside is by highlighting your career achievements as close to the layoff as possible. Provide metrics if possible, but at the very least, demonstrate that you were a capable and successful worker. Not only will a focus on the positives improve your overall candidacy for the job, but it can also demonstrate that your capabilities and skills were not the reason for the layoff.

4. Avoiding Finger-Pointing and Excuses

Human nature dictates that you will almost subconsciously and naturally want to blame your employer or circumstances for your layoff. But whether you’re writing a cover letter, crafting a resume, or doing an interview, you need to avoid pointing fingers, making excuses, or offering apologies.

Employers understand that layoffs happen from time to time. With an effective leaving story, you’ve already addressed what happened. That’s where it should end. Avoid any added details that may show any negativity from your side, as well as any ill will toward your previous employer.

5. Using Post-Layoff Time Wisely

Taking a week or so off after a layoff shouldn’t feel like a time-waster. Use that time to unwind, digest the layoff itself, and formulate a plan on how to effectively move forward. To some degree, this time isn’t about what you didn’t do; it’s about what you actually accomplished. While you could certainly go on a vacation or hop on the couch for a while, doing something that furthers your career is ideal.

Fortunately, you have plenty of options to put your time to good use. For example, if you went on holiday or hit the gym every day, you could say that you used your period of unemployment for self-improvement. It’s not a lie or an exaggeration; it’s simply a better way to discuss the positives of your layoff in a resume or cover letter to improve your hireability.

6. Staying Honest

One of the most difficult parts about addressing a layoff is being honest about it on your resume or in an interview. You could simply change the dates on your resume to cover it up, but this could lead to even more problems during an interview.

Honesty and trustworthiness are a pair of attractive soft skills that every hiring manager wants to see in their applicants. Moreover, no one wants to hire someone who lies or misleads straight off the bat. The tips listed above will give you everything you need for addressing a layoff, so don’t complicate things needlessly.

A Surefire Way To Get Back on Your Feet After a Layoff

Addressing a layoff is just one facet of finding gainful employment during your job search. However, it’s certainly not the only aspect that you need to tackle.

That’s why you should consider the hands-on, intuitive Virtual Vocations Career Course on What To Do If You Just Got Laid Off. This 80-minute self-paced online course offers two instructional videos, expert insight, downloadable resources, more information on addressing a layoff, and other guidance that can put you back on the path to employment sooner rather than later.

Sign up with Virtual Vocations today to use this handy career course, enlist the help of a career coach, or search for new job opportunities. It’s one of the best and most cost-effective ways to get out of the unemployment line and back into the office.

Have you ever been laid off? How did you explain your layoff to prospective employers? Connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!

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