I was dismissed from my job after 10 years of employment. Should I include it in my CV?

I also have worked elsewhere since the dismissal occurred, however it was all short term work.

One job for about 2 months. I left because I didn't enjoy it. There is another which I'm currently employed (5 months).

If I left the job I was dismissed from off of my CV, would my employment gap be a big deal? I have been in education during those 10 years.

  • 6
    @SnWhte If that were so, I'd consider it a severe data privacy problem. Should it be that easy to find out about that one time you took part in an adult flick when you were young and needed the money? Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 18:41
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    Related question: "I was dismissed from my job for gross misconduct, specifically misuse of vouchers." Incidentally, that detail works against you in many ways, including the likelihood that a potential new employer will find out or be informed of the reasons behind your termination. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 18:58
  • 3
    @SnWhte Not true. I had a BG check with a large telco and for some stupid reason they wanted to go back 10 years. They had a professional company do it but basically, they just called people I provided to verify that I'd worked there like I said I did and verified with them when I worked. In the US, the only ones who could do that would have to have access to social security information and even then it would leave out any 1099 contracting or other self-employment. And would be illegal.
    – Chris E
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 18:58
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    @HopelessN00b I think that question's a little more relevant than you realize. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 20:51
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    Answers about what the prospective employer can and cannot do are specific to the laws of the OP's country.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 12:16

11 Answers 11


You can leave it off but there's a strong chance that any employer looking at a 10 year gap will think you were in prison. That's even worse because they'll just reject you out of hand. At the minimum, they would (correctly) assume that you were hiding something.

Put it on your resume. You can characterize how you left however you want. You can say it was a mutual decision, personality conflicts with a new manager, or whatever. You really don't have anything to lose at that point.

Chances are good that when they call the employer for a reference, the most they will say is that you were fired and that they wouldn't rehire you. Companies really don't like to give details about terminations because there's liability when they do. Most just like to say as little as possible.

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    In the UK, providing a bad reference is less than smart. If there is any possibility of comeback from the dismissed party (ie, any form of complaint about the employer) then a tribunal would likely find in favour of the dismissed (especially if they fail to gain employment because of it).
    – JohnHC
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 16:01
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    @JohnHC that's kind of what I meant. It's not as easy to win a case here in the States, but the risk is still there and most employers prefer to avoid it.
    – Chris E
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 17:55
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    @bobo2000 "Legally the former employer has to give this information" - I doubt that anybody can compel former employers to say much at all, outside of court. Maybe 'Legally, the former employer is safe to give this information'?
    – Jeutnarg
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 21:23
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    For liability reasons, very few US employers will confirm any more than the fact that you worked there, when you worked there, and what your job title was. Most will not reveal why you left or whether they would rehire you. That's certainly all my current employer will reveal, and most every major employer I know of. Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 20:28
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    "You can say it was a mutual decision" except in some countries you can be fired and fined for lie like this. Also, in some countries you are getting "certificate of employment" with information how this employment ended. And at least in Poland new employer has right to demand to see previous certificates.
    – Mołot
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 14:24

10 years is much too large a gap to leave unexplained, especially if it's a recent gap. I agree with Christopher that your would-be employer is likely to assume the worst. Also, you held the job for 10 years, and you'd lose out on all the experience gained during that time.

I would list the job and any relevant skills, but don't include the reason for leaving in the resume at all, for any job listed. However, be prepared for the inevitable question in the interview. When that happens, don't lie! (That could be grounds for dismissal even if they only find out about it after you're already hired.)

Without knowing the specifics for your firing, you can probably present the information in a way that doesn't entirely damn you: For example, if you were ultimately fired because of a mistake you made, own up to it (but maybe play it down a little) and explain why it won't happen again.

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    I would never own up to what actually happened to a prospective employer. It's 100% guarantee of not hiring. I agree that he shouldn't lie, but I personally wonder if he's ever going to find work again if he doesn't.
    – Chris E
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 17:58
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    @ChristopherEstep loyalty does not pay eh. Really feel bad for the OP, just like that, they have ruined his career.
    – bobo2000
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 20:28
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    It doesn’t sound like the employer ruined the career. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 21:15
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    @bobo2000 read his other questions, it was his blunder. Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 14:46
  • He made a mistake yes, but being 10 years at a company should account for something.
    – bobo2000
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 15:25

Yes, include it.

If you were there for 10 years that means that you were performing fine, otherwise they would've fired you much earlier. Something changed (maybe organizational issue?) and you were let go. I would not see that as a problem.

By leaving out 10 years of experience you are really shooting yourself in the foot: you're not showing your relevant experience, and you are hiding something.

  • What’s the difference between let go and being fired?
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 8, 2018 at 3:43

Put it on the resume.

You never have to put on a resume a 'reason for leaving'; just the start and end dates are fine. Be prepared to answer the question in an interview, however. It will all come down to why you were fired, and if you can put any positive spin on it.

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    This is good advice. Don't provide contact information for the reference. If asked, if you they can contact somebody from the company, I would answer "no". If asked the reason, I would declined to answer, and change the subject.
    – Donald
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 20:44
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    "I had stopped being challenged and thus it was time for a change."
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 12:16

The cardinal rules of CVs is that you shouldn't have any unexplained gaps any half way competent recruiter will spot them and assume the worst. Claiming to have been in education for 10 years without a pretty substantial qualification at the end of it and accompanying documentation isn't really any better. You will be asked what the nature of the education was and how you supported yourself while you did it.

You don't give any details of why you were dismissed but the chances are whatever the reason it probably isn't as bad as what recruiters will assume if you leave it as a glaring omission.

In many cases you best bet may be to get it out in the open immediately as that at least is an indication that you have taken the reasons on board and have hopefully learned from them. It definitely looks better to admit to a mistake than just pretend that it never happened and get found out later or have to be evasive in every interview you do.

Edit :

For the other question alluded to in the comments it seems like the reason for dismissal was fairy bad. However if as you claim this was 'one mistake' you really do need to own up to it. Trying to cover it up and getting caught moves it one from 'one mistake' to a pattern of habitual dishonesty. The big concern of any recruiter was not that you got fired for one incident but that this as the one time you got caught, so any suspicion of deception on your CV is going to make matters much, much worse.

  • Don't omit it, but don't tell them the true details of why you were let go either. Explaining will ensure that you don't get the job for sure. And I'm not sure why option 2 "is going to make matters much, much worse." Seriously? If the harshest consequence of option 2 is that he doesn't get the job, then how can option 1 can be worse than option 2? Some extra embarrassment? Being embarrassed, if that happens to him, is not going to kill him. But at least with option 1, he has a chance. Also in the UK, employees and former employees can ask for a copy of any reference sent to a new employer. Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 12:31

Definitely include it. Consider from this angle, what is worse, a 10 year gap of employment or a 10 year track record followed by a short gap while you are looking for work. Unless you somehow indicate it on the resume, being fired, being laid off, taking time off for an extended maternity/paternity leave, or quitting to take a vacation or attempting a career change all look pretty similar. If you gained significant skills in the 10 years at the company show case them on your resume and it will give you a leg up on people without experience. Unfortunately, its not uncommon for good workers to get laid off in this day and age. Having an involuntary termination and accompanying few month gap will almost certainly hurt your chances, but very doubtfully as much as a 10 year unexplained gap.

Another thing to consider, when you get to the interview rounds, make sure you have an answer for why you were terminated, what you learned from it, and why it won't happen again. By attempting to conceal things, it indicates may not be in the right frame of mind to interview, being honest and open goes a long way. Best of luck!

  • Thank you for your advice..definately will take it onboard.i just need to come up with a good response for when im asked why i was let go
    – user68697
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 21:04
  • Yeah that's a tricky and entirely different question that depends a lot on context. Best of luck with everything man!
    – mercurial
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 17:12

You can leave it off, but realise that you would be lying by omission.

Have you thought about what you would say if they asked about it? If you were planning on lying to them about that, that doesn't bode well for you.

If there is anyway that they could find your previous reason for dismissal like a police report, or even on Google. They will not hire you because you lied on the application.

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    A CV is a sales brochure, and leaving something off it is not lying. I have left several jobs off CVs. However something this significant is going to raise serious questions. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 15:34
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    @DJClayworth I didn't articulate that as well as I could have. This user asked another question around his dismissal and I just started answering this one. Maybe I could edit it to be more clear. I agree with you, I am more talking about this specific scenario, but reading it back it does put off the vibe that leaving anything off is lying. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 15:38
  • If i do go to an interview and have not been asked about the dismissal.should i keep quiet?
    – user68697
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 15:44
  • I wouldn't bring it up, but you will almost certainly be asked either A) why you left or B) for a reference from that employer as they are your only significant reference. My recommendation would be to stay with this place longer and get a good reference. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 15:46
  • @A.mystery tell them what you want but if you say "I misused vouchers" you might as well leave because the rest of the interview is a formality and you're not getting the job.
    – Chris E
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 19:03

The point is, from my experience, to send like 300 applications out with a general form of address and blind-copy emails and the chances are higher that the one person willing for and interested in your profile will have crossed paths with your application. Then mention your leave, but don't over-focus that and maybe the one who gets it will have your CV on your desk. So don't focus on convincing people to much. Get more Applications out instead, without focusing on every single one necessarily.

  • And don't make a seller out of it. Not always your fault, but that's not what people expect to hear. They want to feel like you've digested it, but are fine with it as well. Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 12:13

Having such a long work experience is very good by default, it gives a chance for the employer that he can count with you a decade long.

It doesn't really count, if you were fired. Nobody expects from you to work until retirement on the same place, they want you to count you while you are useful and work long term.

Simply list the job in your CV, as all others. If they ask, what happened, say the truth. It could be also useful to mention, you want to develop.

After a 10 years of employment, it is not a problem if you have a 2 month long "next try".

The problem you should defend yourself is not that your firing won't be liked by the employer, you should defend yourself against that this long work relationship could be counted as your inability to develop.


Are you quite sure you were dismissed? It's much more common to be asked to resign, and while it feels the same at the time, it's legally quite different and you can say on your CV that you resigned.

You haven't told us why you were dismissed, and I think the reason is relevant. If it was any kind of dishonest conduct, that's a problem. But if for example it was underperformance, put a positive spin on it: "I accepted an assignment that proved unsuited to my skills, and was asked to leave when this became clear". Or if it was a disagreement, stand your ground: "I was asked to leave because I was not prepared to engage in the aggressive sales tactics that the company was adopting.".

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    This should probably have been a comment instead of an answer.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 12:21

Put the job, mention the start and end dates, just be good enough while answering the reason to leave. They would eventually be interested in knowing that why were you fired? Don't lie, that never looks good. Be honest and you that to emphasize for e.g. "Sir I am being honest, and I believe honesty deserves a chance.. " something catchy.

Cover the reason for getting fired with a greater cause, like study etc. But make sure you do say that you've grown since than and mention the new jobs and how are you performing.

Use getting fired as an example to learn mistake and how you grown up and what did you learn which will never repeat.

  • 2
    In the USA, never ever do this. Very bad advice.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 12:18
  • Honesty is always the best policy
    – Ahmed Rik
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 12:21
  • I am not saying he should lie. He lost one job because of a mistake in judgement. Should he lose every job thereafter because of this? Imagine this conversation between a hiring manager named Bob and his boss: "Bob, you hired A.mystery even though you knew he was a self-confessed thief. Now he has stolen again. You're fired Bob." Bob will never accept this kind of liability to his career.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 14:53
  • In the condition of getting fired you stated, well that's different, I don't know why he is fired? I purposed because maybe he didn't pay much attention to work etc. Something related to theft etc always have a different scope.
    – Ahmed Rik
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 14:57
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    Perhaps reading this other question by OP would shed some light on this. Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 22:51

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