Applying for a new job can be a bit stressful, but if you’ve been fired from your last job, navigating the process can be even more difficult to do. A recent firing can feel like a black cloud looming over your entire career, but there are some steps you can take that will make finding a new position a little bit easier.
From polishing your resume to being honest with your future employer and yourself, here are seven steps to follow when applying for a new job after getting fired.
- Update Your Resume
Employers look for applicants with a steady employment history. It can be tempting to want to leave your last job off your resume, but unless you only worked there for a few days or a few weeks, that experience deserves to be on your CV..
Keep in mind that a new employer may call your old employers to verify your employment history, so any job you list on your resume is fair game for verification. Your ex-employer could mention your firing or simply verify that you worked there and not provide any further details.
- Get References and Recommendations in Order
Before you head into an interview, prepare a list of references from your most current employers. These should be people that you had positive work experiences with and can include colleagues on your same level or higher-ups. Including managers, supervisors, and executives on your reference list is ideal, but if you only had great experiences with your peers, it’s better to have them vouch for you.
You can also ask former colleagues to write recommendations or give you endorsements on LinkedIn. If they agree, offer to return the favor by providing them with an endorsement as well.
- Tap Into Your Network
One of the best ways to find a new job is through someone you know. Take the time to build up your network, then reach out to that network to help you find a new position. From recent colleagues to former bosses at jobs where you had success, your professional network can help boost your confidence and get you the foot in the door that you need.
- Be Insightful
If you want to find a new job and succeed in it, you have to have some insight into yourself and ask yourself hard questions, such as:
Why did I get fired?
What did I do wrong?
What could I have done better?
Reflect upon your experiences and be honest with yourself. In some cases, your firing may have been because you broke a certain rule, failed to complete a specific task, or had conflict with a coworker. In other cases it may simply be that you weren’t the right fit for that type of work or that specific industry.
If you don’t want your next job to result in another firing, think about what your strengths are and how you can improve upon your weaknesses.
- Be 100% Transparent
It’s common for interviewers to ask why you left your last job. If this question comes up in an interview, be 100% honest. If you got the axe, say so and have a few reasons to back up or explain the situation.
When explaining the situation to a potential new employer, don’t dwell on the fact that you were fired or go into great detail as to why, when, and how it happened. Simply state the facts and turn the table in your favor by explaining what you learned or gained from the experience.
- Stay Positive
Without a positive attitude, it will be more difficult to land a new job. Stay upbeat and don’t let the circumstances of your last job rattle your confidence.
It’s also important to know your worth, so while you might feel the need to accept the first opportunity that comes your way after a job loss, you still deserve a salary and benefits package that’s fair for your experience level. Should your new employer ask you to sign an employment contract, do not sign it on the spot. Always have a lawyer review it first.
Checkout this article from Physicians Thrive to learn more about the importance of contract review.
- Consider a New Career Path
When people get fired they often end up with a negative view of not just the employer but the job or the industry itself.
Ask yourself if it was the job, the industry, or the company that wasn’t the right fit for you. People switch careers all the time, so don’t feel as though you must stick with one job or one industry just because that’s where your experience lies.
Getting fired is never fun, but if you treat it as a life lesson it just might be the motivation you need to develop your talents, build upon your strengths, and improve upon your weaknesses. If you can do that, you’ll find a new job in no time.