Experiencing redundancy can make you unsure about your professional future. After the initial shock and worry have subsided, you will need to turn your attention toward updating your CV and finding a new job.

We can agree that leaving a significant gap on a CV without explanation raises concerns, so leaving a redundancy unaddressed isn’t an option.

This leaves the question of how to best address your redundancy on your CV and at subsequent job interviews.

How to address redundancy on your CV.

Include the start and finish dates.

It’s important to be open, honest, and clear about your redundancy on your CV. Don’t try to cover up the situation by concealing the dates or being vague.

Address the reason for leaving and any other relevant information.

Briefly explain the facts about why your employment ended, including the wider economic situation or organisational changes.  Limit this explanation to 1 or 2 lines.

For example

“I was made redundant from this role due to a merger and subsequent restructuring within the organisation”

This short statement is succinct and relevant. It also allows more space to address the positives; your achievements or responsibilities within the role.

Highlight your key achievements.

Stating that you were made redundant in your last role, doesn’t mean you need to dwell on it.  You should quickly move on to focus on your accomplishments.   As well as listing formal achievements, you could highlight any projects you are particularly proud of.

Use quantifiable information where you can, and if you have links to a portfolio or past work you should include these.

Demonstrate positivity and resilience.

Show any future employers that you are resilient, optimistic, and positive by including any projects that you have been working on since being made redundant.

In the professional summary section of the CV, you could include anything you have done during this time that is productive and relevant to your target job, such as upskilling or learning.

If you have been doing voluntary work, this can go in the employment history section. Don’t forget to highlight anything quantifiable you have achieved for the organisation which will help market you to future employers.

Young female bites down on her pencil in frustration

How to address redundancy in a job interview.

Nothing about the redundancy is your fault, so if the interviewer brings this up, don’t let it throw you off your game.

If you feel nervous about it, take time during your interview preparation to practice your response in advance. You may like to use these thoughts to help you.

Explain the situation.

If you are asked to expand on the explanation on your CV have some additional details on hand. For example, you may like to comment about other changes that were made throughout the restructuring or how many other people in the organisation were also affected.

Refer to your successes.

Despite the redundancy, your achievements and accomplishments within that role are still valid.  Be ready to refer to these successes, and how they make you suited to the role for which you’re applying. Use quantifiable results to further underline your suitability, competence, and ability.

Focus on what you have been doing since redundancy.

Make sure to let the interviewer know that you have been using the time productively and that you are a resilient, robust person who seeks positivity from difficult situations. Tell them about any webinars you’ve attended, or courses you have taken to boost your skills and employability.

Explain why the role is a good fit.

Try to communicate to the interviewer that this role is the one you want, not one you NEED. You don’t want to give the impression that you are applying for just any role because you haven’t been in employment.

In the interview, describe WHY you’re interested in this role, and why it is a logical step for you.  Talk about the skills you have that would bring to this new role to help the organisation achieve its objectives and how the company allies with your values and priorities.

How to apply a growth midset to redundancy.

It’s likely that if you have recently been made redundant or are fearful that you may be made redundant, you are feeling worried, anxious, or disheartened. Here are some ways you may like to think about the situation that may help you try to frame it more positively.

  • This is an opportunity for me to relook at my career and my choices so far.
  • Am I truly passionate about my career choice, or is this a chance for me to retrain for the role I really want?
  • Could I be working for a company that is more aligned with my priorities and values?
  • Can I upskill or learn a new skill at this time?
  • Perhaps a part term voluntary role may lead to new opportunities or even a paid role.

Redundancy – the way forward.

Redundancy doesn’t need to be a stigmatising situation. These decisions are not a reflection of you or your professional conduct. In the main, redundancy results from restructuring or for other commercial reasons.

Many employees face redundancy at some point, and it’s very possible that your interviewer themselves has experienced it in some capacity. Therefore, you should never be ashamed or embarrassed about having been made redundant. Your career will ‘bounce back’. Although you are bound to feel disappointed in the short term, it is a period that can be filled with hope and optimism if you look forward with a positive mindset.

Are you a tech, digital, or data professional who has recently been made redundant? We’d love to help you land your next role. Reach out to us today to find out more about how we work.

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

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