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Fired? They Can Find Out. (VIDEO)

Can an employer find out I was fired, not laid off?


People are invariably worried that they are fired from a job, not laid off, but fired from a job, the next employer is going to find out.

That's true. They can find out.

What happens is that if you sign the form at the time of your application that allows company to check reference or, at the time that you accept their offer if you sign something that allows them to do a background check that includes a reference with a former employer, generally, large firms will release that information. They may say they have a policy against it, but usually in some way, you are at risk of it coming out.

I want to be clear that so far have been talking about large firms. If a small firm is hiring you, the likelihood is that you can provide the references for them to check. It's not like you're going to give the boss as a reference who fired you for incompetence, or you? You can pick up here or someone who is a peer will say they are manager or a legal or whatever to support your candidacy.

Large firms are generally not going to put up with that. They're going to want the okay to contact your former employer. Your only hope there is if your former employer has a policy that says, "We don't release any information."

I recently had something where was coaching someone who is looking for position, having been fired by former boss who, the way he tells the story, just didn't like him or give him a chance. after years of service with the firm, had done a fine job for the company, but they just had out for him. What the truth is, I do not know. At the time he was fired, he was told that they would not say anything adverse about his candidacy. There was a point where he found out that this manager had.

I told him to call up the head of HR and say something to them very simple. The simple statement. I told him to tell them was, "It is come to my attention that your firm has violated an agreement that you made with me. The agreement was not to provide an adverse reference. I know that this is happened. I want to be clear. If it happens again, I will take strong and enforceable action. I'm sure you will not want to have this happen again and will insist that your staff abide by the agreement."

I have another situation where a senior professional was facing an adverse reference. The senior management of his firm promised a good reference. He was coming up and the executive search firm was going to call to do a reference check about his work prior to him meeting with their client. I suggested the call the president of the firm and say, "Hi! I'm just checking in with you to let you know that you will probably be getting a call from someone representing a position that I am up for. I would really appreciate it if you capture agreement and provided a great reference." Which they did.

The point of the stories that I have been telling is that if you have been fired, the goal is to get an agreement out the door that says 1 of the few things.
1. They will provide a great reference and talk about how economic circumstances dictated the dismissal.
2. They state that is an institution, they do not provide references on anyone and they act that way if someone checks a reference.

The latest theory were background checking can become questionable is what dates of employment. What I always tell people is that if you're not sure the date, next to the date on the application, you put the expression, "approx" for "approximately." This signals that you're not absolutely sure of the date.

If you are lying about your dates, that's something that if they check your background, they will find pretty quickly especially if you trying to cover up 6 months here or a year there . . That's really next to impossible to get away with.. I will simply say that you are better off just being forthcoming, rather than shooting yourself in the foot if you worked for so long to get this position.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio” and “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” both available through iTunes and Stitcher.

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