Can Employers find out if you were Fired?

Can Employers find out if you were Fired?

Honesty is considered a very crucial trait during the onset of any relationship. Professional relationships also require honesty as an ingredient, due to which a lot of candidates prefer detailing every career move in the resume. However, sharing the reasons for the termination of a previous job can be a mindless move. Many candidates resort to the option because of the inherent fear that the employer might come to know of the reason eventually. But is the fear valid? Let’s jump into the topic- Can Employers find out if you were Fired?

Can Employers Find out if you were Fired?

The simple answer is: NO. The employer primarily depends on the resume to find previous employment records. Additionally, data on employment-oriented online applications like Linkedin can also be assessed. Such sources can be strategically modified to a certain extent. The secondary source could be reaching out to the previous employer or co-workers to get a first-hand observation of the candidate.

If the candidate was fired, such a personal interaction between the past and potential employer could pose a serious setback. There is no legally binding rule on companies to withhold reasons for the termination of an employee. The employee can press a charge in case the accusations hold to be false. 

Most employees underestimate an organization’s likelihood to run background checks. On the contrary, companies often think of a resume similar to holiday pictures: exaggerated information lacking face value. Reference checks allow employers to seek employee data on various categories like work ethics, punctuality, professional relationships, etc. Candidates can resort to a mechanism of selective honesty and apparent sincerity to dive through the situation successfully. 

Steps to Manage Firing News with a Potential Employer

By preparing themselves in advance for the worst-case scenario, candidates can devise getaway solutions to manage firing news with a potential employer.

  • STEP 1 – Add references carefully
  • STEP 2 – Use the cover letter to your advantage
  • STEP 3- Be selectively honest during the interview
STEP 1- Add References Carefully 

Since the resume is the first point of contact, it is important to be careful with the information. A few important considerations should be, 

  1. The absence of crucial references can immediately strike the employer. References of a former boss, peer and a junior are important to create a well-balanced reference list without causing suspicion.
  2. Increasing the number of references can add to existing information by making it more rich and diverse. It also restricts the ability of one person to dictate the process.
  3. Employers are skeptical of people that candidates chose to omit. Important positions should not be cut off from the reference list.
STEP 2- Use the Cover Letter to Your Advantage 

The cover letter should be a no-gibberish zone for the candidate to be vocal about his interest in the position between the interview and the resume. The cover letter must include personal strength and additional qualifications, pushing the employer to interact with the candidate. Any information around firing or past job termination should not be mentioned.

STEP 3- Be Selectively Honest During the Interview

The HR department conducts the interview, which is usually unaware of the information around background checks. If the interviewer questions the reason for the termination of your previous job, it is important, to be honest.

  1. Stick to the actual reason without intermixing emotions. 
  2. Try to make it seem like a normal situation. Do not panic or hesitate to provide the details.
  3. If you were fired owing to certain attributes, try to turn the story around by adding current development in the context and how you overcame or improved on the respective aspect.
  4. Conclude the note by adding that the event might have been unpleasant at the moment but ended up improving facets of responsibility, punctuality, risk-taking ability etc. 

What Should You Say When Asked About Previous Employers?

The employer may resort to asking questions about the previous employer to decode your relationship. The situation can be used to one’s advantage in the following manner.

  • Stick to professionalism-No matter how badly the employer treated you, it is best to avoid being honest in the current scenario. Focus on the past employers attributes that help you improve in the position.

  • Keep personal issues to yourself-The current employer shouldn’t be seen as a judiciary to validate your response in the disagreement that caused the job termination.

  • Say what you are looking for-Companies realize the cracks in a professional relationship and are usually willing to step up for encouraging inclusivity at the workspace. Mentioning the previous gaps and current expectations regarding supervision can show the candidate’s rational approach. Such clarification will also help in the long run.  

  • Make a positive comeback-Job firing can be a contentious issue for an organization. Putting up a fresh and positive comeback will enhance the candidate’s aura, shifting the focus eventually. 

  • Do not diverge from the discussion-Employers looking for answers concerning past employers are looking to ascertain candidates’ comfort to discuss the topic. It is hardly a bait to find dirt about the employee. Hence, diverging from the topic will reflect poorly on the candidate, when it can be used for one’s advantage. 

Listing a Job on Your Resume That You Were Fired From

Short-term jobs meant for paying bills can be struck off from the resume. However, crucial positions in renowned organizations can make or break the deal. Such positions are highly coveted as a major source of learning and improving existing skill sets. It is important to mention the job in the resume. The reason for job termination, on the other hand, should not be mentioned in the resume because,

  1. It is the first interaction of the employer with the candidate. It is best to forward a glowing resume with recommendations and a diverse skill set.
  2. It does not leave any space for the candidate to explain the termination. The employer is free to assess the description based on a personal understanding of terms.
  3. Employers in the same industry can have strong personal relations causing bias in the selection process.


Job firing hardly has a tremendous impact on the final selection. However, employers are aware of large-scale firing people undergo due to various reasons. The key is to remain confident and answer questions without getting stressed. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What can employers say about former employees?

The reason for job termination can be shared between employers at any point—however, strict rules around defamation force employers to be wary about the language used in the record. The employer should be factually correct, or it can be used to file a defamation case against them.

  1. What Information Employers Typically Share?

Employers are usually looking for information about criminal records, medical records, and bankruptcy. Information around firing may eventually be assumed after talking to a few references, but the final selection is usually indifferent to such information.

  1.  Does Getting Terminated from a Job Make It Harder to Find Another Job?

No, getting fired does not have much say in your future. The key is to learn and adapt to changes in the environment. Therefore, the resume shall not discuss job firing in any section. 

Can Employers find out if you were Fired?

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