How to Address A Layoff in Your Work History

Getting laid off can make attorneys defensive — and being defensive is not a great way to get a new job!  If you have been let go from your position, take a look at these tips below before sending out your resume and interviewing with potential employers.

1)      Keep your resume detailed and accurate.  There is no need to leave out the months when showing the dates of employment on your resume. Why?  Because potential employers don’t want to feel that you are hiding the ball.  Be honest and upfront about your dates of employment.  

2)      Include the layoff details in your narrative.  When telling your work story to a potential employer, don’t leave out details of your layoff.  Also, don’t make the interviewer ask what happened at that specific job.  By fronting the question, you get to control the narrative. Be open and truthful about your past.

3)      Stay positive in your interview.  When discussing your layoff with an interviewer, don’t spend a great deal of time pontificating as to why you were laid off.  Give one (or maybe two at the most) reasons for the layoff and move on.  That being said, if you were part of a large-scale reduction in force, this is a great fact that should be included in your narrative. 

4)      Restate your interest in this new opportunity. Once you have explained the details of your layoff, turn the conversation around and focus on why you are interested in interviewing for this new opportunity and why your background is a great fit.


Contact Denise Schwartz or Eynav Epstein at EpsteinSchwartz Legal Search to learn more, to discuss the legal market or to hear about current opportunities.

EpsteinSchwartz Legal Search is a Chicago-based boutique legal recruiting firm. EpsteinSchwartz does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, sexual orientation or any other protected characteristic. All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential.