If you’ve found yourself in the position of being made redundant, you may be unsure how to approach potential future employers regarding the situation. It is important to recognise that there is less stigma surrounding redundancy today, and many employers won’t get hung up on it, provided you are a suitable candidate.
Try to look past the short-term effects of redundancy, and instead focus on how it can help you in the long run.
Whilst it's not always necessary to mention a redundancy in great detail on your CV, having a small mention of it can give potential employers an understanding of why there may be a gap in your career.
If you were made redundant less than a month ago, it’s not of great importance to mention redundancy. However, if a considerable amount of time has passed and you’re still looking for a new job, you should address it.
You can do this by simply stating the start and end date of your employment, with a brief explanation stating why you were made redundant. If your situation requires more information, then it may be necessary to include this in the cover letter.
Remember to keep focusing on the positives, such as how you grew in your career break, the things you’ve learned and any new skills you’ve developed that are relevant to your desired job.
If an employer brings up any career gaps, it's best to be open and honest about being made redundant. Most employers are aware of the fact redundancy can happen to anyone, and it is not a reflection of your skills or abilities.
If you do talk about a role you were made redundant from, try to talk about the positives, such as things you learned in your role, how your skills progressed and any qualifications you gained.
You can also refer to any projects you worked on during your employment that you’re proud of.
It isn’t a legal requirement to tell future employers about a redundancy, especially if you are still in a consultation period with your current employer. However, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to discussing redundancy as employers may jump to the wrong conclusion otherwise.
An employer should not hold your redundancy against you, as long as you are honest and show a keen interest to get back to work.
Employers and hiring managers will understand your current situation, but as long as you remain positive and demonstrate the right attitude, being made redundant should not affect future employment prospects.
Many employers will appreciate a candidate who is open about their employment history, whilst still remaining positive about their career.
In fact, some employers may even see redundancy as a benefit to them as it means you are immediately ready to fill a job role.
The best way to explain your redundancy is by writing it out like any other experience. Include your start and end dates of employment and what the job role was.
You can then move onto briefly explaining how your employment ended - reasons may include staff cuts, the effects of the pandemic and so on. You do not need to devote more than a few sentences to this. Having a succinct, brief section dedicated to the background of your redundancy will help employers understand the broader circumstances.
Next, move onto the highlights of your past job role. You should mention your achievements, promotions, skills gained and any relevant experience that could help you get a new role.
Employers don’t want to see you dwelling on the past, and flipping the negatives of redundancy into positives will work in your favour.
You should also be listing any skills or experience you’ve learned during your career break. This doesn’t have to be extensive, but can include things such as:
If you have participated in any voluntary work, add this to your work experience section on your CV.
Nothing about being made redundant is your fault, and so you shouldn’t feel ashamed if an interviewer brings it up. There are a few questions that employers may ask that you can prepare for if you’re feeling nervous:
If an employer asks why you became redundant, take this as an opportunity to expand on the circumstances around the redundancy - you can go slightly more into detail than what your CV says.
Remember to be prepared to elaborate, for example, if there were multiple redundancies or if it was just you.
Here you can discuss a range of different activities (if relevant), such as attending webinars, enrolling in online courses or volunteering. You should describe these activities in an authentic way to make yourself stand out from the other candidates.
Be sure to make it clear how being made redundant has made you a strong potential candidate.
You don’t want to appear like you are simply applying for the role just so you can get back into the workplace, so you will want to make clear the specific reasons why you’re applying for this role.
You should describe how this is a logical next job for you, and how your previous experience would help you to bring a fresh perspective to the role.
We are deeply sorry that you’re going through this turbulent career change. However, we urge you to try your best to flip the experience as an opportunity for growth and find the right role for you.
You can get career support and advice from our experienced team - we can help with CV writing, preparing for interviews and support you after a redundancy, so get in touch with us today!