I have a few references. Usually getting job reference in my country is hard as hell. The problem is that I moved to another country and for job applications I decided to go with 3 what I consider best references.

One of said references are from a job I had 7 years ago and it's one of the best I ever got, but the manager that gave the reference does not work for that company anymore and I'm not sure if that person will remember my name. Another is from my client for which I did a lot of work.

I also collaborate with some agencies that are keeping me only because good UX and UI that I do, but I feel wrong asking them recommendations.

The problem comes in with the last reference from my boss who was in charge of the company.

Long story short, they were doing many illegal things. I confronted my boss about it, but he just lied. They physically tried to stop me from leaving the building, but I managed to do so eventually. The whole company is still under government and criminal investigation.

I know that if employer go to check my references, recommendations or work experience about my last job my last boss would say the worst things about me, despite the 2 recommendations he wrote before about me that are really cool and nice.

How should I handle this?

I am starting to apply for jobs in next two days and I can't decide whether to go with second recommendation or not, no matter how it sounds. It can show that I don't like cheating, but does employers need someone who is so independent?

I know that employers would not ask me to tell them more about the issue, they would probably just shut me off of the job contest.


The guy (coworker) for which I hoped he would give a decent answer gave me a jerk answer when I asked him would he be my reference. You know when someone has no strenght to openly say no or yes but they give you diplomatic "yes" with hidden "I will fuck you up". He does not like the thing I went publicly about corruption through which his friend from other company accidentaly in public said that he is not also paying taxes and then 4 companies that are together in organised crime united against me and harrased me until I decided to leave the country. Doesnt matter, if I will not have noone to testify my work in that company fine. In africa children don't have clean water and food and are dying, that is the real problem, this what I have is just idiotic modern age business crap. Shame that people are putting so much care about that crap. So no coworkers to confirm my experience for the company.

Can my students be mentioned as reference that can confirm that I worked for that organisation/institution?!!! With best of them I stayed in a very good contact. This sounds stupid, but if it is the only way that can support my working experience and will do minimum damage I am willing to risk it. If not I am going with only two references from previous companies. My god how I hate criminals. Now even more then before.

  • 2
    Downvoting for "It's a long story but I will keep it short."
    – Masked Man
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 5:20
  • Summarize, e.g. How to list reference for a company that was involved in illegal activity?
    – Brandin
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 7:11
  • 2
    @MaskedMan-仮面の男 Long story short, long story is shorter now. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 9:31
  • 1
    Illegal activities aside, 2 good references are better than 2 good references and a terrible one. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 9:34
  • 1
    If you're worried that someone might not remember you, give them a call beforehand - that's a good thing to do regardless. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


Usually when you get involved with organised criminals concerning large amounts of money. You don't use them as a reference or anything else. You get away from them and hope they don't notice you leave.

  • 2
    I agree completely with you, but in last company I achieved a lot, only the working experience from last company can replace at least 50% off all my experiences in last 8 years, because I worked on a lot of different projects, did lecturing, working on design and development, working with students on their projects, with universities, improving workflow and speeding up some processes for accaunting office... I need to represent that part without harming myself. If I take that out, it will end up that for last 3 years I didnt work or do anything.
    – user74525
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 1:54
  • 5
    You still put it in, just don't use them as a reference. Just use the company name and put your experience details.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 1:58
  • 1
    You've been to this dance before, haven't you? Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 12:55
  • @RichardU haha, I'm in the third World, they're all crooks.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 13:03
  • 2
    @Kilisi your crooks are amateurs though. While ours didn't invent corruption, they've gone a long way towards perfecting it. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 13:53

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