Many people mistakenly think that employers are not allowed to give a negative reference. As along as the information is accurate, your former employer has all the rights to give a detailed bad reference should someone seek it. If you left the company on bad terms, then you need to find a way to get your next job without being affected by the negative feedback. Luckily, this guide will equip you with ways to fix a negative reference.
Eliminate the Reference
If you may have had problems with your immediate supervisor, at times the best option is to eliminate him or her altogether from your references.This does not mean that you do not have anything linking you with the previous organization. On the contrary, you can include someone else who will give a positive assessment of your contribution to the organization.
This option works if you cannot eliminate the reference from your resume. Instead of waiting for him or her to be called, be proactive and contact him or her beforehand with the aim of working out something. Discuss a mutually agreeable response that the reference should give when contacted. It may be like a long shot, but many people will sympathize with you and give a good recommendation when you reach out.
This is also a god defense mechanisms should the bad reference be uncooperative. Talk to your previous employers, college professor and anyone who matters to write you a recommendation letter. These letters can go a long way in making your prospective employer see that as much as you have a bad reference, you may not have been the cause of the problem.
Go for Verbal Defense
In case your talk does not yield any good results, you need to go for verbal defense. This is only when you are sure that a bad reference is headed your way. Prepare your next employer during the interview by saying that you may not have been in the best of terms with your employer but others within the organization can attest to your diligence and work ethic. You should then go ahead and provide details for your former employers too. This strategy may be a little hard to pull off but again, people have problems all the time at the workplace, and your new employer will not have a difficult time understanding you.
Get a Cease and Desist Letter
This is usually the final card when it comes to handling a bad reference. If your former employer continues to malign you despite all your efforts of setting things right, go for a cease and desist letter. This is a legal action to your unfavorable reference, and it can help keep them quiet.
While these five tips can help you fix a negative reference from an old employer, it is imperative that you avoid rocky relationships at the workplace. Do not let misunderstandings fester into toxic relationships.
Have you experienced a negative reference before? Let us know how you handled it in the comments.