Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » 3 Tips for Writing Your First Resume after Being Fired

There’s often nothing more shocking than being fired from a job. Not only is it difficult to lose an income, but the stigma attached to it can be difficult to overcome. For some, the idea of applying for a new job after being fired can be overwhelming. How do you tell a prospective employer that your old employer decided to let you go?

There are ways to create a resume that doesn’t rain on an already-muddy situation. Let’s take a look at three tips to help you make the most of this circumstance.

1. Zero In On Your Accomplishments

It’s now time to focus more than ever on what you’ve accomplished in your career—even at the last job, assuming your time there wasn’t all bad. You want to zero in on all of the ground you made every day as an employee with each company and focus on the how you made a difference (initiated projects, set up new systems, made life easier for the company).

The more you have to talk about, the better. This way, when the topic of being fired comes up, your good may balance out the bad.

2. Get Some Testimonials

If you’ve never added testimonials to a resume, now’s a good time to try it. A testimonial is similar to what you might see in an ad for a product. It offers a very short quote from someone (name and title included) who highly recommends you and/or your work.

It’s great to get testimonials from recognizable figures with the companies you’ve worked for. Adding 2-3 testimonials, in addition to a link to your LinkedIn page with recommendations could give a voice to your abilities as a hard worker.

3. Be Honest About Everything

It’s extremely important that you be honest about everything on your resume, including your education, time worked with every employer and accomplishments within each job. While you won’t need to list that you were fired on your resume, it’s possible that it could come out at some stage in the process and you certainly don’t want any discrepancies to paint a negative picture of you.

Remember, being fired isn’t the end of the world. Many people are hired by new companies after being fired from old ones. So take time to write a great resume that highlights your strengths, accomplishments and supports your great work ethic and results.

Global resume authority Jessica Hernandez of is a former HR Manager who partners with professional- and executive-level candidates to create authentic, branded resumes and cover letters.  An international resume columnist and resume expert for JobTalkAmerica radio, her work opens doors to lucrative positions at Fortune 500 companies.


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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


  1. Heather McNab on May 23, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Yes, I agree getting fired from a company is a challenging situation. And, it’s tricky to handle the interview question – why you’ve left a company – when you were fired. Here are some of my suggestions:
    • Try to head it off before it comes up
    • Don’t show any anxiety, once over lightly
    • Like all difficult questions – put big smile on face when you answer and look the interviewer straight in the eye
    • Don’t defend
    • Here’s a sample response:“I guess the proper answer is that we had a mutual parting of the ways. In fact they got me before I left. It really worked out well. And, if you’re
    going to want to talk to references, include [name of company you were fired from] as well and you probably should, you’ll get a completely different picture of me.”

    And like all difficult questions, always practice, practice, practice your response until you are completely comfortable with it.


  2. Malhar Bahai on November 1, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Very correct. Its one of the toughest situations for an employee to find a new job after getting fired from last firm. Better to be true to yourself and your interviewer.

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