Departure Statement

Why are you no longer at Federated Industries? Were you laid off or fired? Why are you looking for a new position at this time? Why do you want to leave your current job?

Questions like these can come up at any point in the job search process. Be prepared with your Departure Statement, also known as an Exit or Bridge Statement. It explains why you are no longer at your previous employer or why you are looking to leave your current employer.

In general, your response should be brief, positive, deal with the underlying concern of the person asking the question, and then move the conversation forward.

You were laid off

This is usually due to general economic downturn and its effect on the company (2008 recession, 2020 COVID-19), a financial challenge faced by the company, a change in company strategy, management or priorities, or a merger or consolidation. State the reason, and move the discussion to where you are targeting your job search or why you are interested in the new company and/or position

Cally Sue Industries, where I worked, merged with Doria a year ago. In April, over 200 positions were eliminated, including mine. I am now targeting senior marketing roles in mid-size manufacturing companies, which is why this organization interests me so much…

You chose to leave

Do not speak negatively about your prior organization. Explain your departure as a positive choice you made.

In my five years with Topo Tops, I was able to streamline processes, develop project management expertise, and develop skills in overseeing virtual teams. I realized that in order to continue to grow, I needed to focus on positions in other organizations. I chose to leave Topo Tops upon completion of a major IT project to focus my energy and time on securing my next role. What interests me about your Digital Project Manager position is

You were fired

First, try to not use the word “fired”. Show what you learned, and how you will apply that to your next role.

Looking back, I see that I didn’t have a clear understanding of expectations in my previous role, which eventually led to me being laid off. I realize now that it’s not a sign of weakness to ask a manager for feedback and suggestions to improve performance. So, I’m particularly interested in learning how performance will be measured in this role…

You are currently working

You can almost always explain that you are seeking new opportunities for professional challenge and growth. Again, nothing negative about the current employer.

I have really enjoyed my time at Tammy International, but I see that to move to the next stage of my career, it’s time to move on. The Global Sales role interests me in particular because …

You are returning from a career break

Show how you have learned new skills through volunteer work, continued to stay current in your field and/or taken steps to prepare to return to the workplace.

I chose to leave Terra Firma to stay home with our young children. During this time, I developed skills in recruiting and managing volunteers in two organizations. Recently, I started coursework towards a certificate in nonprofit management. The Volunteer Coordinator position in your organization caught my eye …


See more examples in this article.

Need help crafting your Departure Statement or other job search marketing materials? Contact Debra Franke, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement for Alumni Career Programs at