Laid off after two months on the job. How to explain at interviews?
June 3, 2014 6:39 AM   Subscribe

50 Year Old Male, IT Busines Dev/Vendor Mgr role.

Medium size tech company, in a small group <5. Job description was nothing like the actual job (more of an admin role). Personality conflict with one colleague but all other feedback was positive until laid off after 2 months with severance package, with a pretty standard dual non-disparagement clause.

Before this job, with a tech company for 6 years that decided to spin off a startup that ran short on cash resulting in first lay off. Unemployed for 8.5 months before landing the role above.

The economy is getting better but it's still not great (Midwest). Before this track record was unblemished and realize that this isn't optimal.

Best way to approach this situation on resume and during interviews? Many thanks.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total)
I would say that you got laid off. In tech especially, it's unfortunately not uncommon these days.
posted by xingcat at 6:41 AM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

If you were laid off, that's all anyone needs to know. "I accepted the position, and after only two months, there was a lay-off. Prior to that, I was with a start-up, from which I was laid off after 6 years. I'm very interested in obtaining a position with a stabile company doing X, Y and Z."

It happens, and it's happened to ALL of us in the tech world.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:44 AM on June 3, 2014 [11 favorites]

Being laid off implies you lost your job through no fault of your own. Just be honest.
posted by something something at 6:51 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Adding to what others have said: sometimes companies lay off people with seniority, because they have the highest salary, other times though, they lay off the newest, because it causes the least disruption.
posted by Good Brain at 7:17 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it's not a big deal unless you make it one. Last hired/first fired and all that.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:18 AM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

It's hard to find someone in tech who hasn't been laid off at one time or another. You were just a victim of bad timing.

I don't know where you live but if it's in a smallish city, the recruiter at your next interview will probably already know about the layoffs at you're previous employer so omitting it from your resume might be risky. I live in a medium sized city and have found that there are very few secrets in the local tech world. I was laid off in the Fall and got an email the next day from a friend saying "hey, heard you got laid off yesterday ..."
posted by octothorpe at 9:34 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

"I was excited about this new role and working hard, when, just two months in, they had a layoff, which you can imagine was a pretty big shock. But last fired, first out in a layoff, as I'm sure you know. I understand that it's the newest positions that cause the least disruption in a layoff, and, so I can't really hold it against them. I was with my previous firm for more than 6 years, where I was able to contribute ______________, _________, and ____________ and now I'm looking to leverage that experience for a stable company that needs to ____________________ and _________________. Would you like to hear about my experience in _______________ / or how I __________________________ for ___________?"

You were laid off. You were new. Show you're a roll with the punches kind of person and that you're keen to work somewhere stable and apply your talents.

posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:36 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was laid off from an IT job after 6 months. (It was a large company that laid off 5% of its workforce.) I never got the feeling that a prospective e!player cared.

I would not offer any real explanation, but have a one sentence response ready if you are asked. "The opportunity they were expecting didn't work out."
posted by SemiSalt at 2:45 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

lots of people in IT say it was a contract position
posted by Jewel98 at 9:06 PM on June 3, 2014

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