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My Boss Is Giving Me a Bad Reference

Savvy Confessions: Should I List a Crazy Ex-Boss as a Reference?

This anonymous posting comes from our Savvy Confessions group, where all identities are kept anonymous.

I'm in the process of applying for jobs now and some positions have asked that I list the contact information for all my former supervisors. The problem is, one of my former supervisors was mentally unstable and became very difficult to work with. Our relationship started off well but towards the end of my time working for him, he would blame me for his mistakes, lose his temper, and was sometimes incoherent. My supervisor ended up firing everyone in the office within the same time period and my co-workers and I all agree that he was not mentally stable. However, I did gain a lot of good experience working there and so I've included my work experience on my resume. The only problem is, I'm afraid if a potential employer calls my former supervisor, he may give them a bad recommendation.

I've gotten great recs from all my other supervisors. The only one potentially tainting me is this one. Should I include that work on my resume and risk getting a bad recommendation if they contact my supervisor or take out the experience completely?

Share your own career- and finance-related questions anonymously in the Savvy Confessions group for a chance to be featured on SavvySugar and be advised by fellow Savvy readers.

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sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 4 years
I agree with the comment #1 - I don't include one of my crazy ex-bosses.
testadura67 testadura67 4 years
I process resumes at a staffing firm, and it's very common for people not to list contact information for every place they work. I would list the experience, but provide a seperate list of references that excludes that boss. If you have 3-5 good references listed on your resume, you'll at least get the interview, where they can question you on that particular job if they're interested in it. Good luck!
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