In a perfect world, all of your former employers would only ever provide accurate and favorable information when asked to be a reference. Unfortunately, the process of asking and giving professional references isn’t always as straightforward, and misunderstandings or unrelated workplace politics can play a role in what sort of reference you receive from an old boss.
Have you ever been worried about losing a job offer due to a bad reference? Or have you already received a bad reference and don’t know how to move forward? We’re here to help!
But there are a few things you can do to avoid bad reviews…
In some cases, you can even ask former coworkers to give you a reference, if you think they’ll speak more highly of you.
Employers can and do give bad references from time to time.
Here's what to do if that happens:
If the Review is Accurate… In other words, if what your former employer said is mostly true, then you should speak to your potential new employer and tell them what you plan on doing differently in the future. Be humble and assure them you’ve learned from your past. In fact, owning up to your past mistakes may actually reflect well on you. Research suggests that being able to admit wrongdoing is considered a key factor in whether someone is seen as a good leader.
If the Review is Inaccurate… There are instances in which a former employer provides inaccurate information. Maybe they have a vendetta against you, or they’re still bitter about you quitting. If you feel you’re being unfairly maligned by an old boss, you should speak directly to the HR department. If they are unwilling or unable to help you, then you may need to seek legal action. Oftentimes a strongly worded letter from a lawyer is enough to get a petty employer to back down.
And for any hiring managers out there reading this, you can tell a candidate they got a bad reference, and in doing so, you may save them from future turmoil and stress. One bad work experience shouldn’t ruin a person’s job prospects for life.
That said, if you’ve got nothing but glowing references and yet you’re still struggling to find the right jobs or land an interview, it might be time to seek out the advice of an expert. At CyberCoders, our recruiters connect you with jobs that truly match what you’re looking for, and can help you find the compensation and benefits you deserve. Click here to learn more!
Thousands of full-time and remote jobs in every industry. Search jobs.
We'll find you the right candidate, fast. Get started.
Our recruiters connect people with great opportunities and help our clients build amazing teams. Learn more.