Where I live and work it is customary to give an employee a written testimony upon leaving the company (The literal translation for the document "Arbeitszeugnis" is employer's reference).

My current employer was created as a spin-off from a well known German organization where I worked previously.

Due to the very informal hiring process and ongoing involvement, I received said written testimony about five years late.

The date (mid-2017) on the document is five years after I transferred from the previous employer (which happened around 2012) and it is signed by person X. In the meantime, person X has also transferred to my current employer and - as I am about to quit soon - would again be the person to sign the Testimonial.

I am worried that this (Same person writing two testimonials at different companies plus an odd delay) might look like a red flag in a future hiring process history.

What is the community stance on this?


2 Answers 2


I have no experience of working in Germany, but I don't think it is strange for people to move between jobs. If you are free to quit, so is also the person who wrote your document.

As a consequence, this says nothing alarming about you and I don't see it as a red flag.

Same consideration for the delay: if it says something bad, it is about the company which took 5 years to produce it, not about you. You can explain the circumstances, and whoever wants to verify them can contact the issuing company.


It is certainly something a curious and attentive HR person might ask about in the interview, but nothing that would get your application sorted out before that step.

Whether you liked your boss enough or they liked you enough but you worked together through 2 companies. Not a bad sign, you seem to get along with your bosses.

The explanation itself is perfectly fine, it's something to talk about in the interview that you should be comfortable explaining (other questions the HR might come up with might hit you unprepared or make you a little uncomfortable, so I guess it's a good thing to know and be prepared for at least one question you know will be coming).

So no, should be no problem.

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