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I am in the unfortunate situation that our main customer has cancelled their agreement with us, effective from 1st January 2021. This means I will be without a job from that date. Naturally, I have already started applying for positions.

Where I live (Denmark) it is standard for most job interviews that you will be asked to do an elevator speech for a few minutes where you present a short explanation on what has led you to this point in your career. One of the things you are expected to tell, is why you have applied for this position. This leads me to my question: should I tell them that I am applying because I will lose my job in half a year due to the contract expiring, or if it is better to say something generic like "I seek new challenges in my professional career"?.

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  • I would A/B test it and analyze what gets me the best response. Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 12:11

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One reason to tell them that you will lose your job in 6 months, is to let them know that you are serious about finding a new employer. They know that not everybody who applies and interviews will actually be ready to switch companies. Those people go through the process to gain practice, to keep their skills sharp, to see what other companies will offer them.

If you were to tell me that you will need a new job in six months, I would wonder if you can and will leave earlier. If you can't leave before December, then you might not be a candidate If I know that I must fill the position by September. Be prepared to let them know if you have any commitments to the old company, including a required notice period.

You use generic phrases like "I am seeking new challenges in my professional career", if you don't have a reason you want to be specific about. But you do have a reason, and that reason isn't your fault.

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  • "One reason to tell them that you will lose your job in 6 months, is to let them know that you are serious about finding a new employe" Would you as far as mentioning it in the motivation letter because of this? Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 10:51
  • I agree, the company is losing a client and no longer need you, perfectly good reason to be job searching
    – Kilisi
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 10:57
  • You want to make it clear that you're being let go because the company is in trouble, not because you're trouble.
    – ObscureOwl
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 8:39
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Your contract ending isn't a reason for you to apply to that position, it's a reason to leave your current one. It's fine to mention that, but you should also give a reason for why you are applying to that particular place. Does their mission intrigue you? Have you heard good things about the working environment? Do you agree with the company's values? Does the type of work you'd be doing there match your passions?

Think of it this way: imagine someone asks you out on a date, and you ask them why they want to date you. Suppose they respond with, "oh, I broke up with my last significant other so now I need a new one." It's off-putting and didn't answer your question about why they were interested in you. The company is interested in the same thing: what attracted you to them? Give them a reason that shows you and them are a good fit.

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  • The analogy with a break-up between spouses is daft. The huge majority of people is not particularly interested in what exactly the company does. They are interested in whether their particular job is interesting and well paid.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 7:59
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Why wouldn't "...and my current contract will be concluding in Dec 2020, so I will be available to start 2 Jan 2021" be sufficient?

Contracts end. When the work is done, people get new jobs. Unless there's more to the story the OP hasn't shared, this doesn't seem like an issue to dwell on.

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If your contract ends December 2020, that means two things: One, you are serious looking for a job. Two, you are not in a week position where you have to take anything that is offered. So all in all, this is a strong position for you and something that is worth mentioning.

"My contract ends in four weeks time" on the other hand would mean that you are in a vulnerable position, and some people would try to exploit that. So that would be something you might not mention.

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