What to Say in a Job Loss Condolence Message

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When a family member, friend, or colleague loses their job, it can be hard to know what to say. Even though it's probably not the easiest letter or email you have ever written, receiving a supportive message means a lot to the person who has lost their job.

When writing a job loss condolence letter, you don't need to go into details about how the person lost their job (i.e., if they were fired or laid off). You can simply mention that you are supportive, you care about the person, and that you’d like to offer to help them if you can.

If you aren't able to help with a job search or a reference, simply state how sorry you are to hear the news and let the person know you're available if they would like to talk. Here are some tips for writing a job loss condolence message.

Offer Networking Help

If you can provide networking contacts to help your friend or colleague with their new job search, do so. It will be especially valuable to people who have had the same job for many years and hasn’t actively maintained a professional network.

Offer, in your message, to introduce the person who has lost his or her job to your LinkedIn connections. If they aren’t familiar with LinkedIn, you can offer to help them sign up, write a profile summary, request LinkedIn recommendations, and use LinkedIn endorsements.

Provide a Reference

If you're familiar with the person in a work-related capacity and can endorse them, offer to provide a professional reference. Otherwise, offer to give them a personal reference.

Review a Resume or Letter

It's always helpful to have another pair of eyes review your resume. You don't need to be a professional resume writer to proofread a resume or letter. So, offering to review a resume or cover letters is a great way to offer help.

Refer to Job Search Sites

Do you have a favorite job search site? Popular ones include Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com, and CareerBuilder.com.

If so, mention it in your condolence message. Mention, as well, if you know about a Job Search Forum that has been useful to you when you have searched for a new position in the past.

Refer to Jobs

Let your unemployed friend, family member, or colleague know that you will keep them in mind if you come across relevant job listings. Offer to send listings that might be an appropriate fit for their experience and qualifications.

Ask What They Need

Sometimes, you might be surprised at how much something little can mean to someone who is unemployed. Ask what they need - it could be something as basic as a walk in the park, a cup of coffee or lunch, or a phone conversation. Most importantly, offer to be there for the unemployed person. When you're out of work and trying to navigate a difficult job market, just knowing that you have support can make a big difference.

Job searching is a stressful process, particularly when it is prompted by unanticipated job loss. In order to conduct a successful career search, candidates typically need to view their search itself as their “job,” putting as much effort and as many hours into it as they would a real job. Sometimes all an unemployed friend needs is a sympathetic ear. But don’t underestimate how valuable it might also be for you to offer to perform daily tasks like babysitting or running errands for them so that they can concentrate fully on their search.

Job Loss Condolence Message Example

This is an example of a job loss condolence message to send when someone has been fired or terminated from employment.

Message Subject Line: Hello from Your Name
Dear First Name,
Jane Doe informed me that your employment was terminated. It's very unfortunate news and I wanted to see how I could help you during this difficult transition.
If you're available for lunch this week, I'd welcome the opportunity to chat with you to see how I can help. Otherwise, I am available via phone (111-111-1111) in the evening or email (yourname@email.com) any time.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Your Name
Your Email Address
Your Phone Number