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I never had any problem to find a new job, but lately, unfortunately, I do.

I worked for my last company 6 months, I was laid off during the trial period. The company told me that my position was too expensive, and they need to cut it. They offered me to voluntary resign (to save other costs), and to tell the colleagues that was 100% my fault, in exchange for a good reference letter and a good feedback if someone was calling the company. I did not accept the "offer", and I said the truth, so I was laid off and I was threatened that they will tell negative things about me.

Since then I had 4-5 interviews that arrived at the final step. Those hiring managers did not believe that I was laid off and they told me they would have checked my reference with my last company. The result has been the same: I have been rejected from all those companies at the last step.

A lawyer told me there is nothing to do, it is my word against them. I am thinking to leave my last job out, but I do not know how to cover a hole of 9 months on the resume. Traveling around the world?

marked as duplicate by Dukeling, Mister Positive, Snow, gnat, Masked Man Oct 25 '17 at 14:42

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    Where are you located? Lying about whether you worked somewhere, or spreading negativity about you isn't legal everywhere in the world, but it might be where you live. – Erik Oct 25 '17 at 12:34
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    They offered me to voluntary resign (to save other costs), and to tell the colleagues that was 100% my fault, in exchange for a good reference letter. Sounds crazy to me. Seek legal advice. – RJFalconer Oct 25 '17 at 12:35
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  • In Germany this kind of badmouthing from your old employer would be illegal! – Daniel Oct 25 '17 at 14:13
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    The point is: how to prove that they are doing badmouthing? There is nothing written. – Jean_di Oct 25 '17 at 14:33

A hiring manager would see a big gap in a CV as worse than a 6 month assignment. I would always suggest that you leave it in for now but reach out to a former colleague you trust to be your referee rather than someone who may want to damage your reputation.

The question will come up during hiring about gaps - so why not do some voluntary work for a local charity as soon as you can "I've been keeping busy working at the local xxx charity" would be a great signal regarding your work ethic.

  • Nov 2017 onwards full-time at Great Corp
  • July - Oct 2017 part-time charity work
  • Jan - June 2017 full-time 6 months at Nasty Corp
  • Jan - Dec 2016 xxx

In 2 or 3 years time you can trim your CV to only show the companies that you want to by reducing the granularity of the hire dates.

  • 2017-2020 full-time Great Corp
  • 2017 part-time charity work
  • 2016 xxx

Good luck.


List as a reference a colleague or multiple at your last company instead of a manager. And yes, 9 month gap is better than what you have now. And I would talk to another lawyer, slander is a big no-no, at least in US.

  • I want to upvote for "list a colleague" but downvote for "9 month gap is better than what you have now." – Shawn V. Wilson Jun 14 '18 at 15:54

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