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Terminations, Dismissals, Layoffs in Your Resume

A question from our reader:

“Thank you for your very informative articles. I have just been dismissed from a part time job. My question is where can I have someone helping me with my cv, and also, do I write about my employment at the office? “

There are many great professional resume writers and job interview coaches available.  A quick internet search will reveal just how many providers are out there.  When choosing a professional service do your research because there are great services out there and bad ones.  Be sure to consider the following:

  • Credentials, education, experience, and samples.
  • Ensure they are available for support in contact information and so forth.
  • Professionals in the resume writing and job interviewing field typically come from the following backgrounds:  professional writers/communications, career counseling, agency or corporate recruiting.  Each bring a different perspective and have something to offer.
  • Check out their websites and take some time to read up on their service.
  • There are large mega corporations with 24 hour 1-800 numbers and there are smaller boutique style shops.  Again, each has pros and cons but most importantly research them and choose the right one for you.
  • Ensure they have knowledge of your industry.
  • Check to see if they have publications and associations within their industry.
  • Lastly don’t be afraid to ask for references.

While it is hiring a professional resume writer or job interview coach provides the best help, it may not be in your budget.  Luckily there are still some great free/low cost options for you to improve your resume and job interview skills.

Bookstores contain many of the latest best sellers in resume writing and job interviewing books.  Books like the “Dummies series” including  “Interviewing and Resume Writing for Dummies” are excellent.  Spend a day to read the book and then apply the concepts you have learned with practice interviews or in your resume.

If you don’t want to buy the books, then try the library.  Libraries are a fantastic place to do your research and have great career resources.  You can find books, dvd’s and audios on resume writing, job interviewing, and even employment testing to help you discover your aptitudes, skills and interests.  In addition, librarians are available to help you find the kind of information you are looking for.  Lastly, most libraries today have computers with internet access so if you don’t have access to this, it is very convenient.  Best of all libraries are free!

Employment offices are another good place to go for career resources.  These are usually funded by the government and again have knowledgeable personnel to give assistance.  Again most government employment offices have computers with internet access so you can print up your resumes.

Post secondary, universities and colleges have employment centres for students.  While you may require a student card for use of the computers and so forth, most will allow you to access their books, dvd’s and so on.  Again, spend a day at the college library and work on your resume.

As for whether to include this entry in your resume?

It depends on how long you worked there.  For example, if you got let go during probation and employment was brief you may be able to omit this especially if the entry is not related to your next application.  However, if your tenure was a significant period of time, then you then need to include this otherwise you will have a greater problem in an employment gap.   Lastly, if you have another part-time job and including this entry will not add value (for example you had 2 part-time receptionist jobs and lost one job) then don’t include it.  Regardless of what you decide, it is always wise to check with your former employer before using her as a reference.

Until next post, good luck and much success in your career.