I left the job as I had some work permit issues and had a period where my new work permit was delayed and I was unable to return to work for a few months. The relationship between my employer and I broke down, and when I got back into the country I decided not to return to work there.

The employer did agree to be a verbal reference, however since then has also accused me of a number of mistakes that have cost the company money. I have not been working there so have no idea if these are my mistakes or if I am being used as a scapegoat.

I had a number of interviews recently and was unsuccessful in the positions after the reference stage. My 2 other references gave glowing reports, so I have a suspicion that this person has given me a bad reference.

I have been freelancing as well so it has been suggested that I remove this company and replace it with my freelance accounts. However I feel it is lying by omission if I completely remove this job from the resume.

I can leave the job on the resume and remove him from my reference list, but it does not stop a potential employer from contacting the company on their own account.

Should I include this previous employer?

2 Answers 2


You should definitely include this position on your resume - gaps in employment stick out like a sore thumb, and lying about the gap is even worse, because an employer will find out what you were doing in that span of time regardless.

Don't bother including any contact information though - and feel free to mention to your employer, if they ask about that short time at that job, the circumstances of your departure (that they were good, but that your boss has recently soured towards you for reasons unknown). But don't volunteer this information unless it comes up. Most companies just want to know that you've been employed in the past, not the full details of your employment.


I think you should leave them on your resume, and also include the freelancing, as it looks bad if potential employers discover you were hiding a job from them.

However, as you suggested, I would definitely remove them from the reference section. Your references are supposed to be the best people to vouch for you, of if one of your references gives negative feedback, it can suggest that either:

a) You are so short on references that you need to include someone you know has negative things to say, or

b) you are unaware of the negative feedback, which suggests that you might be a bit clueless or uncaring as to how people perceive you.

I would suggest replacing their reference with one from your freelancing experience, but not pretending that you did not work there.

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