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Old 03-06-2010, 06:51 AM
Location: New York City
15 posts, read 50,361 times
Reputation: 18


I was terminated from my previous job of 5years in which I served as an Assistant Manager for 2 0f those 5years, for failing to open the store on time after I had received prior warning. I openly admit that I was foolish and that it was my own fault for this happening. How do I explain to a potential employer, both on an application and in an interview that I was terminated for this reason after working steadily, with the same company for 5 years. I know that previous employer can say anything that is true. My previous job is the first and only real job I've ever had so it is a must that I put it on my resume. I do have at least one co-worker from my previous job to use as a reference would that also be useful?
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:54 AM
2,138 posts, read 4,506,777 times
Reputation: 3146
Do a test call from a random number to see what they say. Call them up and say "this is Raymond Dues from Elanta Corporation, i am calling to verify prior employment and reason for termination." If they don't give one, just make up something positive like: let go because I was making the company too much money and the boss felt threatened by me. Or: pay wasn't keeping up with my duties.

If they do say that you were fired for not opening the store, then you are pretty much screwed for the rest of your life.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:15 AM
4,805 posts, read 19,125,257 times
Reputation: 4918
Figure out the most positive spin you can put on the situation without lying. Yes, they can say anything that is true but most employers don't say anything because everyone has their own definition of 'true'.

"After five years the company decided to install new management at my store location." or something like that.

You might also consider why you were late opening the store. Perhaps something in your personal life changed or you began to be unhappy in the job, making it hard to get to work on time? If so, say "the position no longer suited my life and I began desiring a change in employment." or something like that.

Yes, a reference from a coworker is helpful as a personal reference, if you get the point in a hiring process where they ask for references. But usually an employer will want your explanation before they ask someone else, and they will call a former employer before they will call the references you provide.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:24 AM
47,576 posts, read 57,462,992 times
Reputation: 22101
It might not hurt to call them or have someone call them and find out what they're saying about you.

It's very unethical for a previous employer to try to sabotage you forever, although there are those who will. Then at least you know what you might be up against. All they should do is give the hire start and end dates and the less said about the employee the better.

If you are looking for a similar job, maybe you should go for the other end of the day, where you would be the one closing the store. You could even explain that you'd prefer being a closer because you aren't an early morning person.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:28 AM
47,576 posts, read 57,462,992 times
Reputation: 22101
You should also not be afraid to go to your previous boss -- with the same tone you present here and discuss your situation. Man-to-man, explain you understand why you were fired, but would he/she consider writing you a reference letter for other employee qualities, like the reasons you were promoted in the first place. Likely they were following rules and it wasn't anything personal, they may be helpful if you ask.
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:33 AM
Location: Desert Southwest
257 posts, read 1,042,194 times
Reputation: 447
As has been pointed out, a smart former employer won't go into any detail about why you were terminated. Fear of a lawsuit is far too high these days for most of them to do that. Though, you still run into a few that haven't figured out that the less said is the best course of action. However, there is one trick that can still trip you up if the person calling about you is particularly clever. The question they will ask is: "Would your company consider Nomad001 qualified to be rehired?" If your former employer has an ax to grind against you, they will answer "No". This is the subtle way of tipping off the potential employer that you might be a problem employee and they shouldn't hire you.

You might try what others have suggested and have someone call your former employer and see how much information they actually give out about you. Or you could just say that you had a disagreement with upper management and that it was a mutual decision to end your employment with them. I mean, unless your former employer has some reason to want to torpedo you, I wouldn't think you really have anything to worry about.
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