Sacked – what do I put on my CV?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 - CV Tips, CV Writing, Disciplinary Procedure, discipline, Employment, Job Application, tutorial, unemployment


Sacked!

Wine Sacks
Creative Commons License photo credit: Tavallai

Jo asks: I have just been sacked from my job and wondering about CV? I was sacked with a week’s notice for failing to keep up with the demands of my job. I have been told I cannot have a reference as I am a sacked employee and now am not sure what I can say in interviews or on my CV when I cannot provide a reference. Please help me!!!

In answer:
What were the reason – in detail – that you were sacked? “Failing to keep up with the demands of a job” could mean anything from you were consistently late, to not being given adequate training and as a consequence under performed?

I am going to suppose that as you ask the question in public, you accept you did something wrong but may be that it’s in minor dispute. Believe me, almost everyone who is sacked thinks it was unfair.

Firstly, unless it is written in to your contract or you are in a regulated industry such as Financial Services or Childcare for instance, then your employer doesn’t need to provide you with a reference.

However, secondly, why you want a negative reference? Employers will restrict their negative comments for fear of legal recrimination, but words along the lines of “we terminated the contract of” are less helpful as they keep the issue open, than a well honed set of words in a CV and an honest appraisal in interview.

How long were you employed there? Less than six months – in some cases 12months – and legally you were still on trial. I always recommend that employees include any job that lasts for 30days or longer, but any new employer will expect you to be honest about why that job didn’t work out, and that you are applying those lessons.

If the reason is more negative in potential perception, then what ever you do don’t mention the reason in your CV or job application. Any issues in the past are always best left there in your CV, and dealt with in an honest “but this is what I learnt, and its behind me” manner. If the answer is that the root cause stemmed from your personal life, then make sure that is totally resolved.

Employers are human beings with both good and bad points – honestly, they are much like you are I, they are not polished chromium gods. They do expect enthusiasm for their job, a set of existing skills or attitudes which mean you can do or be trained to do the job, and reliability of doing the job when employed. Tick those three boxes, and the job can be yours. To do that, you need to communicate – what went wrong, how you solved it, and (assuredly) why its behind you.

Communication is the base and root of all good employment, so make sure you build that from day one in any job application, and you will be employed soon enough . No one is perfect, but good honest communication solves many human foibles.

Good Luck!

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