Sad businesswoman leaving office after being let go

Termination vs. Layoff – How Does it Impact your Job Search?

We associate being fired from a job with unsettling words like ‘terminated’ or ‘laid off’. These anxiety-inducing words are often believed to be synonymous. However, they have distinct differences. Keep reading to learn about these key differences and what you should account for as you move forward in your job search.


What Does it Mean?

Termination means that the employee was let go by the company as a result of performance issues (low quality work, insubordination, stealing time/resources, harassment etc.). In other words, termination occurs when the employee is at fault.

How Does it Impact your Job Search?

Understand the reason for your termination and ask for constructive criticism

The ‘silver lining’ is that it will be a learning experience that will allow you to identify your weaknesses and determine how you can improve in your next position.  

Plan how you are going to explain the situation to hiring managers in future job interviews

This is not something that you want to try to hide – honesty is crucial right off the bat. Ensure that you have a poised and professional response prepared. When explaining what happened, put a positive spin on it by showing all that you have learned from your mistakes and how you are going to improve upon them if hired.

Secure references in case they are needed during future application processes

Think about your past positions…do you have previous employers who would vouch for you? If so, it is a good idea to reach out to them and ask if they would be willing to write you a referral if needed.

Look for a new job that is the right fit for your skill set and a company culture that meshes well with your personality

In certain cases, an employee termination can simply be a result of the fact that their personality did not mesh well within the work environment. That’s okay – some cultures are not the right fit for everyone. Take some time to evaluate and identify all aspects you are looking for in your next company.


What Does it Mean?

Being laid off means that the employee was let go by the company for reasons other than the employee’s performance (downsizing, outsourcing). In other words, a layoff happens when the company is at fault.

How Does it Impact your Job Search?

The door may still be open

In certain cases, a layoff could sometimes mean that you are eligible for rehire by the same company at a later date. Your former employer will likely have mentioned this to you. If this was not discussed, it is safe to assume that door is closed for the time being and that you should go ahead and begin your job search whenever you feel ready.

Apply for unemployment

If you are having trouble finding a new job or just want to ensure you stay on your feet and lessen some of that job search stress, it is a good idea to apply. As a laid off employee, you have a high chance of approval!

Explain your situation in your cover letter or interview

A layoff is something that is easily explainable to potential employers, there is nothing to be ashamed of. It is better to address your situation rather than making hiring managers try to fill in the gaps themselves. This will ease their minds and increase your chances of getting an interview/getting hired.

Keep a positive attitude and remain hopeful

Remember, a layoff has nothing to do with your performance…don’t be too hard on yourself. It is just an unfortunate situation that happened to affect your position at the company; you should not take it personally.

Whether you were terminated or laid off, you are still out of a job. Here are some additional things you can do to facilitate your job search:

Network as much as possible

Explore LinkedIn and connect with hiring managers of companies that interest you. Send messages expressing your interest and selling your skills. Attend networking events and get your resume out there. Once you get the conversation going, you never know where it could lead you!

Engage a recruiting agency

Are you interested in a position in Finance, Accounting, or IT? Xplora will help you customize your search and proactively identify the right companies for you, based on your search criteria.

Apply for freelance/consulting work

If you are having trouble finding a permanent position, there are numerous freelance platforms that allow you to market your skills and connect with companies in need of consultants. If you are interested in consulting work and looking to engaging a recruiting agency, Xplora places countless candidates in temporary and temporary-to-permanent positions. Temporary jobs are a fantastic way to grow your network and explore different opportunities.

Let us help you take that next step to finding your dream job!

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