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Should I include jobs I was let go from on my CV?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 21 Nov 2022

Including all jobs in CV image

Your CV is the first piece of communication between you and a potential employer, you want to make sure you are being persuasive yet truthful with the information you include. So, should you include jobs you have been made redundant or let go from on your CV? No matter how your employment ended, you were still employed by that particular company, you spent time there and grew as an individual, why wouldn’t you include it on your CV?

This article discusses what you should include on your CV and if you want to, how you should go about including redundancy and jobs you were fired from. 

Don’t let it prevent you from success

Whether the job in question was a long time ago or your most recent role, don’t let any kind of negative experience hold you back from achieving your goals in the future. No one’s career is perfect, there are bumps in the road that shape you into the professional you are or want to be. So, getting fired or made redundant from a job isn’t the end of the world. (Although at the time, it might really feel like it) There are other opportunities out there and sometimes accepting and embracing that bump in the road can help you in more ways than you think. 

It might have been a forced step towards a new job, but any experience should be valued. However, be prepared to discuss past employment in interviews, so make sure you really are focusing on the positives. 

Be prepared to answer the question

Most interviewers will ask you, why do you want to leave your current role or what happened in your last job to make you leave?

The best way to answer questions like this is with the truth. Deception  in an interview can cause all sorts of problems and when you are nervous, deceptions  can be difficult to keep up with. The key is to remain positive. If you were made redundant or fired from a job, why was this? Was it something you had done or was it simply a restructure within the business.

It can seem easier to talk about redundancy compared to being fired, because the reasoning isn’t always down to just one individual. However, if you were let go from a role, think about why this was before your interview. Was it a mistake you made or was it something more personal? No matter what the reason, it can be turned on its side and made into something positive to talk about. If you did make some mistakes, discuss what you learnt from them and how you have developed and improved yourself since then. As long as you are prepared, questions like this are much less likely to catch you off guard. You can find more question-and-answer articles here. 

What did that job teach you?

If you have included a job on your CV, no matter the outcome, it must have given you something. Whether that be important experience, a skill set or even just learning from your own mistakes. Every job we include on our CV has to give the employer important information and a potential topic for discussion. 

When including jobs on your CV, make sure you are thinking about what you achieved rather than just what your responsibilities were. 

Highlight your strengths

Your CV is about your experience and you. Your past jobs and career path doesn’t define you as a person. You have skills, ambition, and strengths that you can work with and really impress the interviewer. There are the obvious skills that interviewers ask for, written on the job spec and overall skills you need to carry out the role. However, there are other strengths that you should be shouting about. These might include:

  • Resilience
  • Patience
  • Responsibility
  • Flexibility 
  • Ambition and drive
  • Problem solving
  • Self-awareness

Yes, interviewers are going to be interested in industry-specific skills you can bring to their team and company, but career specific skills aren’t the only things they are looking for in a candidate. Losing a job can be really hard and being able to keep going, job search and focus on learning at the same time, is an amazing skill to have. Many of the above skills are things you will have anyway. But when talking about a potential set back in your career, discussing these skills can really impress the employer. You are not defined by your past failures or negative experiences, so don’t let them keep you down. 

What kind of jobs should you include?

It’s really important to be honest on your CV and when interviewing for a role - but that doesn’t mean you have to share everything. Being fired from a job can feel like a hard topic to discuss. However, it can be good to talk about these experiences on your CV, especially if you were in a role for a while and were able to learn some essential skills. 

If you feel that you were unfairly let go or there was another reason you lost your job, then you really don’t have to share it if you don’t want to. All information you share to employers is at your own discretion, so don’t feel pressured. 

Jobs you held for a significant amount of time are probably important to include, no matter what the outcome. This could be from 3-6 months, but everyone has their own view on this. Anything longer, you may want to include. Employers will probably question your career gap otherwise. 

Older jobs that won’t affect your future employment can be retracted from your CV, if you see fit. 

Overall, it’s really up to you what you include on your CV and discuss with employers. Honestly is always best, to ensure you are able to form a trusting relationship with your future employer, but it is at your own discretion. Sometimes, being fired from a job can feel very negative and you might be unable to portray it in a positive light. If this is the case, steer clear of including it on your CV. 

Your CV should be a positive document about you and your work experience. If you have nothing nice to say about an employer or past role for this reason, don’t include it!