How you address the transition in your cover letter will depend on whether you are targeting positions comparable to the higher level or lower level job.
In the case of the sales job, for example, if you now prefer sales over management your letter should frame the transition as a move to a role more appropriate for your strengths and interests.
If you would like to return to a higher level position with a new organization, then you have tougher case to make. The best thing to do is emphasize the positive impact that you have had historically in that role. You can also mention what you have learned in your reduced role which would be of value in the higher level position. As with your resume, don't mention the terms "demotion" or "demoted" in your letters.
At this point the interviewer might actually have some interest in hiring you. Now show them the clear benefits in bringing you onboard instead of someone else.
If you're faced with an employee who isn't a good fit with his or her current job, is termination the answer or is demotion a better alternative?
The answer is, of course, it depends.
Demotions should always be considered on a case-by-case basis. The key factor is whether or not the employee is worth keeping around. However, a demotion will be more effective in some situations than others.
Poor performance. If an employee is underperforming, you must first investigate to find out why. Is the employee simply unsuited for a particular role, but could thrive elsewhere? If so, he might be relieved at the opportunity to be moved back to a position that better suits his talents and skills.
For example, say an outstanding employee was promoted to management, but is floundering in a supervisory role. Some employees are happier (and better at) doing the work than managing it.
4. I was promoted into a management position in a previous job and then was demoted for breaking company policy. I stayed with the company for a few months afterward. How do I handle the demotion in my resume and job interviews?
Addressing the issue in your resume is not a problem, said Ann Robbins, senior vice president of Right Management Consultants.
You can give an overview of your employers without having to list dates for each job you held there.
In other words, your resume might list each company where you worked, with the most recent one first, and one time period for your entire history there, such as August 1994 to December 1998. For each company, you might list your job titles with descriptions of what you accomplished in those positions. Start with the highest-level position first.
Best-case scenario: Give the employee the option to leave on good terms with a generous severance package. Worst-case scenario: Ask the employee to collect his belongings and leave the premises.
Confront those concerns directly. If changing careers, emphasize that you know you'll need to learn the ropes, and as such are willing to accept an initial demotion. For people seeking less stress, it's o.k. to admit it in and say you're prepared to work hard with great results.
Everyone else will have to turn their negatives into perceived gains for the employer. Are you actually desperate for a job or in financial difficulty? Did you get fired or have some other career mishap? You don't have to fully admit the circumstances. But you can say that you're recovering from a challenging financial or career situation, that it's important for you to get hired quickly, and that this makes you hungrier, more appreciative and fiercely loyal.
Present details on the new position that you'll be offering the employee (job title, chain of command, responsibilities, pay, benefits, etc.).
Be sure to line up some recommendations as part of your LinkedIn profile from colleagues who can attest to the value you added in that higher level job, and include your profile on your resume.
In some cases, the job title of your new position - if you have been demoted - will clearly indicate a lower level of responsibility. For example, if you were demoted from sales manager to salesperson or from customer service director to customer service associate.
Don't use any negative language like "demoted" on your resume when you list the change. You should simply list the positions separately, and describe the skills and accomplishments associated with each job.
Maybe you find yourself applying for a job that you're overqualified for. Your interviewer will notice this and will likely ask you about it. The question will usually come up early in the interview process and might even be asked in the phone interview. Your interviewer will want to know why you want to take on the job when you're obviously qualified to take on a more senior position.
In fact, speak as if the entire conversation is being recorded, to be replayed in front of a jury.
Refer to your history of loyalty and performance at previous jobs without bucking for a fast promotion. Emphasize that you're looking for a long-term fit and are happy to do the job at hand for however long it best suits the employer. Try offering examples of how you found opportunities for professional growth in previous positions you held for considerable periods.
The employee is likely to be angry or upset, and may balk, object or plead. Stay firm in your decision and be clear about the options you're presenting (i.e., "You have two choices: either you can accept this new position I've just described to you, or you can choose to resign from the company").
Obviously you don't want to say, "I'm happy to waste away forever in a job that rarely tests me." So if you aren't sure where you'd like to end up down the road, say: "I'm excited to learn as much as possible about your organization while I do my job every day. I'm confident that as time passes and you see how well I contribute, the company will offer me other opportunities." It'll help to show you've already proven you can grow in earlier jobs as required.
Which should not come as a surprise to the employee. That's because poor performance should be documented and based on objective criteria, and it should be backed by periodic feedback that you've given the employee.