Tips for getting a job after you've been fired

Explaining a sacking 

It never looks good, but it can still be turned to your advantage if you're smart. Potential employers are bound to be unsettled by a candidate who has been fired from a previous role, but you can turn this round by being totally honest and up-front about it. Honesty is a powerful weapon. It's both disarming and affirmative, and can win you brownie points with a potential employer.

Because there are so many forms of sacking, there is no textbook answer that can explain your own situation. Describe precisely what happened and offer your analysis of why things went wrong, but never point the finger of blame at your former employer. Accept that you clearly made some mistakes, but that you feel they have helped you become a more rounded and confident individual. Show that you have learned from the experience.

Look for outside references

It’s more likely that you won’t be able to get a reference from the employer who fired you, so it’s important to develop your network. You need other people who know your abilities and can confidently recommend you.

Make use of your new-found free time in ways that will make you more appealing to employers and help you network with new people. For example, join a professional development group, volunteer in the community, and intern at a company in your chosen career field.” Having current references who can talk about your skills will help you as you start your search for a new job.

Keep your head in the game

You may want to take a break and nurse your wounds, but it’s important to keep busy and not let the gap in your resume grow.
Immediately enroll in a course, preferably an academic or technical course, to help eliminate complete gaps in employment. Also, develop a list of professionals who you can trust, with a solid knowledge of your work ethic, who can connect you to opportunities without judging the fact that you've been fired.

Choose your words carefully

As you search for a new job, be careful about how you talk about having been fired. Comments such as ‘differences in opinion,’ ‘differences in working philosophies’ or ‘differences in creative direction’ or ‘downsizing’ or ‘were made redundant’ are all explanatory when you have been terminated from a previous job! After all, you were fired for some reason.

Whatever you do, though, don’t attack your supervisor. “If you had differences with your supervisor, that's okay! If you couldn't deal with them, that may have been okay, too, depending on the circumstances. But personal attacks? They're a no-no!!

Reassess and reinvent

Getting fired can shake your very identity, so it’s important to reassess yourself and your goals. Take the time to evaluate where your success has been in the past and reinvent your job search to look for a whole new change of focus. Don't be afraid of looking at education or certification as the new path.

You may have to ask yourself some hard questions about your expectations and what you’re looking for, as well. Really take the time to look within yourself and determine why the job didn't work? This will provide an opportunity during your next interview for you to discuss why the job was not a fit for you or the company, and how you feel your strengths can be better served in the new area. Essentially, look to take the negative of a termination and use it as a positive for your next position.