5 Ways to Overcome a Bad Reference

by Evil HR Lady on February 22, 2016

In an ideal world, all bosses would be fantastic, and the only bad references would be for former employees who deserved the bad reference. In the real world, some managers are mean and vindictive and will set out to destroy people who were great employees.

And, let’s also face it-sometimes we do screw up and deserve a bad reference, but that doesn’t mean we’re not capable of doing a different job better than the last one. While most companies will let you give a list of people you’d like them to contact, if your last couple bosses aren’t on that list, a good recruiter or hiring manager will likely track those people down. This means that lots of people have a bad reference out there. Here are five ways to overcome these bad references.

1. Find a job in the bad manager’s network.

Most horrible bosses are well known by other people to be horrible bosses. This doesn’t mean that they haven’t pulled the wool over a bunch of people’s eyes, but guaranteed there are other people who know that this guy is a complete jerk. If you can find a vacancy in a department where another escapee from this department works (and even better, if that person is the hiring manager!) you can explain, “John Doe was my manager and…” and this person will commiserate with you.

To keep reading, click here: 5 Ways to Overcome a Bad Reference

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

charles February 22, 2016 at 9:20 pm

“you can explain, “John Doe was my manager and…” and this person will commiserate with you”

Yep, that can happen. I once interviewed with someone who knew my then current boss. When I mentioned who I worked for her response was “Oh, I’m so sorry, you have my sympathy”


Evil HR Lady February 22, 2016 at 9:22 pm



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