Fired: What to say on a job application
Should I give a detailed explanation on my job application about why I was fired? The answer is NO – that is unless you really don’t want the job! You will have to put down a reason why you left your last job on a job application and if you were fired, then what you put down is really important. Depending on how you explain why you were fired will either spark an invitation for an interview or your job application will be rejected and put into the “do not call” pile.
It is important not to lie on the application as it is a legal document. People have been fired after being hired because they falsified something on their application.
Your reason for leaving your previous company should be short and to the point. This is not the time to try to explain why you were fired and why it was not fair. To be honest, don’t even try to explain why it is not fair at any time during the job application or interview process. You will lose 99% of the time, even if the termination was not justified. Just because there is a space for an answer on an application doesn’t mean you have to fill it out. If it is an online application and it is requiring an answer you can always use:
- n/a – not applicable
- Open to discuss at interview
Another way you could answer the question about why you left a previous company is to say you were let go – this could be the result of being fired or laid off. Both of these reasons are considered involuntary terminations. In fact, you could just say you were involuntary terminated. If you say you were let go or involuntary terminated, you will have greater chance of getting an interview because lots of people have been laid off over the last several years. Expect more questions about the involuntary termination in your interview and be ready with a solid and confident answer.
Please note: I get a lot of questions on this post for specific advice. I generally respond to anyone that writes a comment, however, do not expect to receive advice that is 100% relevant to your situation. There is always more to the story and that requires me to work with people individually in a coaching session. If you do not have the funds to work with a career coach, you can 1) research other articles on Elephants at Work and glean an answer that works for you or 2) consider purchasing either of my eBooks, put in a little elbow grease and craft your own answers. Bottom line: making it work takes some kind of investment of your time, money or resources.