I have been suspecting my employer (Ontario, Canada) will be laying off some employees. I did not consider myself safe due to some non-performance related factors. Therefore; I have been interviewing else where. I have received an offer today which I have accepted. I'm giving my two week notice tomorrow.

In the recent couple weeks, management meetings have increased. Again, my suspicion is that the layoffs are very soon. If the layoffs happen after my two week notice, I don't care. I won't be around. But I want to prepare in case they happen during my two week notice. Is it better for my employment record that I have resigned or been laid off? Or it doesn't matter since an external entity cannot know either way? If resignation is better, should I bring it up with my manager in case I was laid off in the next two weeks?

  • Are they giving severance packages?? If so ask if you can volunteer to be layoff!
    – Morons
    Feb 1, 2017 at 18:42

4 Answers 4


1) It doesn't really matter.

2) It's unlikely you will be laid off after turning in your resignation. More likely, you'll just be asked to leave immediately as opposed to staying out the two weeks. If they lay you off, they likely have to give some sort of severance or continued benefits that are not required if you resign.

3) When some hiring manager down the line asks why you left, it's not because you got laid off, it's because you found a new, better opportunity.

  • 3
    If pressed, you could also say that the company was looking at large scale layoffs and felt it was prudent to search for other opportunities as a matter of risk mitigation.
    – Jane S
    Jan 31, 2017 at 22:14
  • @JaneS That's a really good point! Managers like the words "risk mitigation".
    – T. Sar
    Feb 1, 2017 at 10:02

In many jurisdictions yes it matters. In US you can only get unemployment if you were laid off. With layoffs a company may be required to pay a higher unemployment tax. On a resume they may trust a layoff was not a performance issue on your part.

If they have your resignation and then have a layoff I suspect they would not include you in the layoff as no benefit to the company that I can think of.

If you suspect the layoff would be with some severance benefits then you can hold off for a layoff but you have an offer in hand so you cannot really hold off.


Pro: If you are laid off you will be eligible for whatever the company is providing in terms of termination compensation. This could be nothing or it could be several months pay. Canadian law may offer benefits as well. With my last US based layoff I got 3 months pay and 3 months of health insurance coverage.

Con: You have to tell your potential new employer you are waiting on an as yet unannounced layoff. This will look bad to them because it will appear selfish on your part, and they might pull your offer rather than wait.

Neutral: The layoff vs. voluntary leave is probably not a deal breaker on any future employment beyond the current opportunity.


You shouldn't be too concerned about it - you're going forward into a new opportunity. The 'why did you leave your last job'? question really only comes up for people who are unemployed, and unless you have a lot of weird gaps in your resume, interviewers will want to focus on your skills, not past drama.

  • I've never walked into a position without already being employed, and I have frequently been asked why I am moving on during the interview process. What they are looking for is stability; are you leaving because of personal conflicts, or any other red flags about your ability to fit into an organisation?
    – Jane S
    Feb 1, 2017 at 9:31
  • yes, of course, interviewers ask why one is leaving a current job, but I've never been asked about previous jobs. The OP has already gotten an offer and resigned.
    – LeLetter
    Feb 1, 2017 at 16:39

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