I have a job on my resume. I left it due to problems with one of my managers. I had no problems with anybody else there (including the other managers), and I am sure if any of these other managers were contacted for a background check and review of my performance, they would not be out to make me look bad.

However, I can't say the same for this one manager that I had an altercation with. So how do I avoid my next company getting in contact with this one guy?

In particular, I am wondering how a company performs a background check. Do they

  1. Just call up HR and talk to them to verify info? Is HR even allowed to give away such info?

  2. Call up HR, and then HR gets them in contact with some appropriate manager under who I worked?

  3. Ask me personally for a contact person at the company?

If it is 3), then that's great, I can just provide them the contact number of some of other managers. If it is 2), then I guess it is out of my hands?


3 Answers 3


However, I can't say the same for this one manager that I had an altercation with. So how do I avoid my next company getting in contact with this one guy?

Short answer, you can't, at least directly.

The only way to be 100% sure they won't contact this person is to not include such job in your resume, nor in your references. If able, try to provide as references the managers you didn't have an altercation with, or other colleagues.

Otherwise, background checks are really up to the discretion of each company; some may just call the HR dept., others may ask for your previous bosses.

This, we can see, is one of the downfalls of "burning bridges" with past bosses or coworkers, as you never know when they can decide to retaliate in purpose, or just "work karma" giving them their swing at the bat.


It depends on what country you're in. I can tell you that in the US, it's extremely unlikely any future company will talk to your former boss. Across the board, companies generally only verify dates of employment, titles, etc.: resume information. They don't provide positive or negative references. Some companies don't even take such calls; they refer the caller to an automated toll-free line for the verification.

All this is as it should be; your performance at one company doesn't guarantee anything about your performance at another, since most circumstances will be different.


You can do two things. First is to talk to one of the other managers if you can give their contact info on your resume and then use them.
The second is you don't give contact information on your resume.

HR do background check after first interview. Mostly because it take less time to talk to you than run that check. So they will knew if your candidature is worth the hassle.
And during that first interview they will ask about why you didn't include contact info for that one job (there are 100 reason you may not have them). Also some companies ask "If it's ok to contact this person". Mostly because they are full aware that not all people are pockets full of sunshine.

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