I love your site and have a sticky question to ask about resumes/interviews when you’ve been unemployed. You said you yourself had been fired a few times, so I hoped you might have some insight.

I worked at a company with a high rate of turnover and what was (in my mind) a toxic work environment. I was fired for the first time in my professional life last summer.

I know it’s something like career suicide to say your old bosses were horrible people and that you were victimized, but when asked about why you left the last job, what is appropriate to say?

I was considering something to the effect of, “Restructuring.” And also bringing up the detail that I was replaced by a contract worker, but I myself was offered continued freelance work with the company, after the fact (which shows that I couldn’t have been a horrific employee and that they liked my work).

Do I mention that there was constant restructuring at my old company? That I saw 60% of my colleagues get let go, restructured, or otherwise terminated?

It seems unfair that the only time my performance was called into question, it was by a volatile company. All the same, a lengthy explanation makes it sound like I’m covering something up.

I know the best course is diplomacy, but how do I cover my butt while being professional?