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Aisling Wolfe Job Search, Candidate

How To Explain Redundancy During Your Job Search

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​If you’ve been made redundant, you might be feeling like the future is uncertain right now. And once you’re ready to start a new job search, you might be thinking about how you can address redundancy on your CV and in your job interviews.

The good news is that being made redundant won’t hold you back, and it’s possible to turn life after redundancy into a rewarding new chapter of your career.

Firstly, there is no stigma associated with being made redundant. These decisions are made on commercial grounds and are not a reflection of you, your skills, or your value. It’s actually quite likely that many people you’ve worked with or will work with (maybe even your future manager) will have found themselves in the same position at some stage. So, there is no need to feel embarrassed or think that your career won’t ‘bounce back’.

With that in mind, here are some tips for addressing redundancy throughout your job search.

Explaining redundancy on your CV

Highlight the start and end dates of your employment: Be open and honest on your CV. Include the month and year that you started and ended your employment for each of your jobs.

State your reason for leaving: Let your future employers know that you are leaving your current position due to redundancy and give some context on the broader organisational or economic changes that led to it. You do not need to devote more than one or two lines to explain the reasons behind your employer making you redundant, though. For example, “My role was made redundant due to the impact of COVID-19 on my employer’s industry.”

Highlight key achievements in your last role: Your CV should always focus on the positives, so don’t dwell too long on your redundancy and instead show potential employers the achievements in your previous role. As well as more formal achievements, refer to any projects you worked on that you are proud of, whether you managed to complete these before your redundancy or not.

Explaining redundancy in your interview

Remember, if you’ve got this far and you’ve already been open about your redundancy, your interviewer will be aware of it by the time you go for your interview.

Take the opportunity to explain the redundancy: If the interviewer asks you to expand on the circumstances around your redundancy beyond what your CV states, be prepared to elaborate. For example, if you were made redundant due to Covid-19, were others in your department also let go at this time?

Reference your success in the role from which you were made redundant: Your accomplishments in your last job are no less valid simply due to your redundancy – after all, your redundancy is not a reflection of your abilities or how well you performed in the role. So, be ready to cite your achievements that best demonstrate your suitability for the job you’re interviewing for, and how you wish to build on these.

Be positive: Don’t talk negatively about your previous employer and discuss how you look forward to a new challenge now using what you’ve learned in your previous role.

Focus on what you’ve been doing since redundancy: Have you been upskilling or attending webinars? What about reading papers and books on your industry? Maybe you’ve been volunteering or participating in charity work? Describe these activities in an authentic way that helps to present you as a strong candidate for the role and a rounded person.

All hiring managers and employers are going to understand your situation right now, so addressing it clearly and in a positive manner – both on your CV and in an interview – will do nothing to damage your chances in a new role. In fact, many employers appreciate a candidate who is immediately available and does not have a notice period to work – to name just one benefit of your redundancy for potential employers.

When you’re ready to start your job search, contact our team and let us help you start the next chapter of your career.