At one point, I worked somewhere, and while the vast majority of the time things went well, it ended quite poorly (quitting on less than ideal terms).

It is highly unlikely that I would be able to get a recommendation from my boss at the time, but it is possible to get several from co-workers.

When I list this under previous work experience, is there anything else that I should add to the listing (other than position, and responsibilities and the like) to differentiate it from all of the other positions that I have held (that ended well)?

Should this even be put on the resume at all?

  • 1
    Related : workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/2761/… (the answers more than the question; situation's obviously a bit more drastic in the other question)
    – Rarity
    Aug 23 '12 at 14:24
  • @soandos - If you worked there for less then 6 months don't list the company. If we are talking about years just list all your other contacts before this company. If pressed for contact information for your supervisor at said company, explain you no longer have professional contacts at the company, and if pressed explained you left on none ideal terms.
    – Donald
    Aug 24 '12 at 11:23
  • @Ramhound - wouldn't a 6 month gap in employment look suspicious? Not sure that's much better than a job that didn't work out and requires a lot more lying.
    – user8365
    Aug 24 '12 at 15:18

If you don't include the job there will be a time hole that must be addressed.

Most companies will provide a neutral set of facts when contacted by potential employers. It will generally be period or employment, and might include job titles. Though a job tittle can be rather meaning less: is Engineer 3 senior to member of the technical staff?

If it was a bank/mortgage company asking for information they will include current salary information.

Large companies actually have a separate 800 number to handle these background checks. The person who confirms the information can be thousands of mile from you with no access to detailed work history information.


Yes, you should definitely include it on your resume. A gap raises questions immediately. You should not include details of how the job ended, just represent it in the same way as the rest of your positions. But as it's a single bad experience out of several, you can keep it up your sleeve for interview questions. Being asked about work experiences that haven't gone so well is quite common. Be prepared to answer questions on why it went wrong, and what you would do differently next time you found yourself in the same position. You can turn it to a positive.

As for references, this does depend somewhat on your country. In the UK, references nowadays are generally no more than an official confirmation from HR that you worked the dates you say. "Proper" references are informal and off the record and, as such, you tend to provide contact details for them yourself rather than them going through official channels. So based on the UK, a former coworker who would take your side would be fine.


Your specific question is is there anything else that I should add to the listing and I feel the answer to that is no.. List it as with all other positions.

The only difference is that you'll not be giving them a reference from your manager. If you've had other managers, and a recommendation / reference / linked in recommendation from them, then that is fine.

Co-workers from the place in question will be good (assuming they are don't bring up any issues by mistake).


I would not skip listing the job entirely on your resume unless you are also not including other employment prior to the dates of that job. I often hear it not recommended not to include more than, say, for example, the most recent ten years of your experience on the resume, to avoid age-discrimination or being prematurely disqualified for too much experience, or just because very old experience may be irrelevant to your current industry. So, if it's the last job on your resume anyway, and you have enough other experience, trimming it off for the sake of brevity probably will not raise any eyebrows, and it doesn't look like you're trying to hide something.

But, if on the other hand, it leaves a huge gap between two more recent employers, you may start getting questions about what you were doing during that time, and when they find out you had another employer you didn't want to list on your resume, things might get awkward fast, and having to explain why you left them off and how you left on bad terms, which you probably don't want to get into.

It might be better to, instead, include the position on the resume, but give it less emphasis or detail than jobs you'd like them to ask lots of questions about during your interviews. Typically, whatever your resume advertises about you is what you'll get the majority of your (non-technical) questions about.

Often, employers will not even ask for references specifically from every previous position, and even if they did there are plenty of reasons your previous manager may not be available as a reference, he or she may have left the company, or even the country, perhaps even become deceased, so there's absolutely no reason not to subtitute the positive reference of a peer instead. And if you have enough references from other companies, you may not even need to provide a reference from that position at all.


Yes, include it. A bad job can still be turned to something good I think. From the recruiters point of view this will tell them how you handle stress, bad management and that sort of things.

  • Did you just quit?
  • Did you come with suggestion for improvements?
  • How did you make sure the clients didn't suffer due to poor management?

If it was a personality clash, this will tell them what kind of persons you can/cannot work with. Just make it doesn't turn into a blame game.

In the words of Mythbusters; "Failure is always an option", how you handle it says alot about you.

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