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I have recently got a call for an interview and was asked to provide legal documents along with contact details of my 2 references. Problem is I don't have many people I can use for references, I put down my previous employer as my first reference. However I have a problem with a second one.

I wanted to use my manager I worked with 2 years ago, but I did not put that workplace on the CV be cause I have had so many jobs in the past 2 years which seems like I do not stay with a company for long. I've had 7 jobs in the past 2 years. 3 of them were due to relocations, 1 was performance dismissal, 1 was university schedule. I didn't enjoy working at the other 2 places:1 was because of the hours, 2 was because of distance. And I left that job because of relocation.

Can I still use this employer as a reference?

  • What did you use to get these other 7 jobs? Surely you must have had some references for them. – Eric Feb 10 '15 at 20:01
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    Wow. 7 jobs in 2 years... if you get this job, that's 8. You're averaging 3 months per job. Build up some work history. Hiring managers like job candidates with loyalty, not candidates that pack up and leave after every little issue. – Joe Feb 10 '15 at 23:12
  • Unless something in the job application specifically forbids you, why not use two references from your current employer? Besides your manager, you could include a tech lead or project manager as a reference, provided they would give you a good reference. – Masked Man Feb 11 '15 at 5:55
  • Wouldn't it make more sense for you to omit one of the jobs you didn't have for very long (the least relevant, or the dismissed one), and replace it with this job from two years ago where your manager was happy with you? That way, you avoid the red flag, and avoid listing a job you only had for a short time (which is possibly worse than having no job, if you have 7 similar ones). – user29632 Feb 11 '15 at 13:24
  • "which seems like I do not stay with a company for long." - there is no "seems" about it. You don't stay long. I'm not sure what "3 relocations" means. The job relocated or you did? Sounds like you haven't been thinking about the job before accepting the positions. I'd be seriously weary of hiring you for anything other than seasonal employment. You might want to just tough it out somewhere to get a bit of time in. – NotMe Feb 12 '15 at 16:22
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Can I still use this employer as a referee?

Using an employer as a reference when intentionally omitting them from your CV is a risky proposition.

Whenever I check references, I always ask the following questions (among others):

  1. What was your connection to the applicant?
  2. Why did this person leave?
  3. Would you hire her/him again?

Since you are hiding the fact that you were employed by this company, the answer to the question 1 is likely to be awkward.

Depending on which of the 7 companies you worked for was this employer, the answers to questions 2 and 3 could be awkward.

I suppose you could hope that this reference would never actually be checked, but that's not a risk I would take.

(When I ask your reference about the connection, I expect the reference would say "I was Pati's manager at Company X", to which I would think "Why did Pati leave Company X off of her CV? And what else did she omit?" A big red flag would go up.)

  • Well I think question 2 and 3 shouldn't really be a problem since she seemed to be quite pleased with the way I work before I left the job. The reason I left that job was because of relocation. I do see how the first question could be a problem. So I'm assuming that they would also ask for the name of the company as well from my references? – Pati Feb 10 '15 at 19:54
  • Good point. Anything fishy on a resume is a huge red-flag. If I can't trust your resume, how will I be able to trust you as an employee. And yes, I know most resumes contain some degree of embellishment, but hiding employment facts is a different story. – cdkMoose Feb 10 '15 at 21:30

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