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Clean up your image after being fired

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Regardless of the reason you've been let go from a job, it's important to immediately start planning your next move and make productive use of your time.

When looking for work, be honest and positive. Only if a potential employer asks why you've been let go, answer in the most straightforward manner as possible, accentuating what you learned from the experience. 

Shift the conversation to contributions you made to a company, such as saving them money or getting them involved in the local community.

Be sure to carefully select your references! If you were fired due to an ethical violation, it's probably best to avoid asking a manager for a recommendation. Try finding people who you've worked closely with and can vouch for you in a positive manner.

Volunteer or take an on an internship. Not only is it filling an unemployment gap, it's an excellent networking opportunity. This type of work can also lead to permanent, full-time positions.

Self-improvement activities such as continuing education or workshops are another way to beef up a resume and sharpen your skills. This also fills the time of unemployment productively, and a potential employer will notice that.