Better way of saying fired on a job application

21 Oct 2022

Most of us think that getting laid off will end a lot of job opportunities in the future. But, not all employers look at this fact in a bad way. After all, they do employ candidates who have voluntarily quit their jobs. So, it’s not the absolute deal breaker for them if you got laid off. This does not mean that they would think of your firing in the most positive light. You need to welcome the idea that job termination is not the end for you. There are several ways of saying that you were laid off on a job application in a good way. So, is there a better way of saying fired in a job application?

Here are a few better way of saying fired on a job application:

Plan your reaction

Think about how you’re going to handle this conversation if it arises during a job interview and how you would display it in your resume. Expect the question to pop up because most hiring managers would want to know why you “left” the last job and why you are looking for work opportunities elsewhere.

For example, try and sound as dignified as you can.

Employer: Why did you leave your last job?

Interviewee: I was laid off.

This goes on to build trust, rather than suspicion. And hey, you said it in one go! You can further elaborate on the skills you’ve built over time or the other accomplishments you have managed to gain along the way.

Put only the important details

Don’t mention that you got fired, as far as your resume is concerned. You can be honest to the hiring managers, but there is no need to put it on the resume.

Your resume should only contain the start and end dates for the jobs you’ve held, without going into the details as to why you left them.

Just focus on what you did during your time in the positions you’ve held until now and how your skills and achievements will be useful for your future positions. There is no need to draw attention to this until the hiring manager asks you about it during the job interview.

However, when you are filling a job application, you will need to state why you left your previous job. The job application may ask “Have you ever been terminated from a job? If yes, why?” While it is a difficult question to answer, the proper response is always the truth, but in some cases that may cost you the job, you are applying for.

Use polite terms

A job application will ask you for a brief description of the reasons why you left your job. You can simply write “job ended,” or “terminated” on the job application.

We suggest you do this because it will portray your honesty in the application itself. And this increases your chances of getting called in for an interview. Also, putting it down on paper will strengthen your courage to face facts when you’re talking about it in person to the hiring manager during an interview.

Do not lie.

Tell them about the nature of the termination. Keep it brief, but be honest about what led to your termination.

Offer a simple explanation without them having to ask twice, which may lead them to suspect your honesty and your intentions of getting a job at the company.

Follow up reasons on why you were laid off with positives like a promotion at another company for good performance. If you achieved something exceptional in any job, don’t forget to mention that.

For example:

Interviewee: I was laid off. But in my previous company, I was given the title of employee of the month for charting out data statistics in an informative and innovative way.


Interviewee: I was laid off. However, I was promoted to the post of Assistant Regional Manager because my work matched the necessary numbers required. I am well aware of my strengths and I intend on using them to assist the company and my growth as well.

If you land an interview for a new job

Here are some tips for explaining the reason for your termination from a job:

  1. Be honest about why you were laid offIf your interviewer is asking about it, they will want to know the details. Don’t hide anything at this point. Try not to insert any opinions or feelings as to why you were laid off.
  2. Don’t say, “They didn’t like me.” Stick to the facts.
  3. Don’t insult your previous employer: This will only give those interviewing you a bad impression of you.
  4. Keep your opinions about your previous employer to yourself. If you talk ill about a previous company, they will wonder if you will talk ill about them as well if they were to hire you.
  5. Explain what you learned from being laid off: If you went on to add to your skillset or study further, bring it up in your interview. It would assist you if you bring up facts like holding another job that was in the same field as the one you were terminated from.

If the reasons for your termination were recession or downsizing, you have nothing to worry about. These factors were out of your control and inevitable. This does not go on to show that you were a bad employee at your previous company.

For example

Interviewer: Why did you leave your previous job?

Interviewee: Madam/Sir, Because of a sudden downsizing, I was let go in my previous company. I intend to look at this as a chance for me to look for better opportunities.

  • Do not speak ill of your previous company or your former boss. Simply tell them the reason for your layoff as briefly as possible and give out clear details. If you are prodded further about your layoff situation, press on to the next topic immediately.
  • Don’t reveal the information if your application doesn’t ask why you were laid off. It’s up to the employer to ask you that, so don’t feel like you have to be forthcoming with it.
  • Do not reveal more than what is asked for either on the application or during the interview.
  • Whatever you do, do not blame your skills or highlight your faults as your reason for termination.
  • Do not say that you used to show up late to the office quite often because of which your former employers took this drastic step. Even if that is the case, show the hiring manager how you have resolved the issue, and that being on time to work is no longer a problem for you.

Human beings make mistakes and have many bad experiences. After all, you can’t see a rainbow without a little rain.

Getting fired is not the end of the world. Just think of how you can turn your career around with your next employment.

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