January 12, 2021 Ask Me Anything Winter Break Series

Welcome to the CDC’s Ask Me Anything Winter break series.

Missed yesterday’s? We got you: https://careers.newark.rutgers.edu/blog/2021/01/11/january-11-2021-ask-me-anything-winter-break-series/

Today’s question is:  How do I explain that I was laid off?

Address it yourself, be honest but keep it brief!

It might feel as if you have to explain all the details to them but keep it to what is the most important aspects. Especially in this pandemic, a lot of companies have laid of their employees, so you may not be the first to have this experience. We have also seen an exponential rise in those filing for unemployment benefits. Instead of focusing on being laid off, shift the interviewer’s attention on how you added value to the organization. If there are any weaknesses that come up, rephrase it on ways you have addressed it and steps you have taken to improve.

Interviewers will also be curious on what you have been doing to fill the gap.


Think about this now, it is a great time to sharpen or learn a new skill! You do not need to pick up something that will take a long time, you can, but it can also be something small. A few options can include a computer program you wanted to brush up on, a Linked In learning video you wanted to watch, a webinar or virtual program, a certification, a virtual volunteer day you can be a part of, and much more.


Also, showcase previous positions, what you have gained during your time, and how you can connect it to position you are interviewing for. Obtaining references from previous positions can support what you are stating. It is important to not burn bridges with previous positions.



As always, we are here to support you with all of your career needs! You can also schedule an appointment with a career coach or stop by during our drop-in times.

By Career Development Center
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