Should I Mention I Was Sacked On My CV?

I was recently sacked from a company I worked at for 4 years, what does this mean for my CV? How do I mention it?

The short answer to this question is that you don’t need to mention it! When writing a CV, you’ll never need to include reasons for leaving. The only time you’ll need to do this is in an application form.

Some companies, depending on the seriousness of what you’ve done, will often give you the opportunity to resign rather than be fired. This will, of course, significantly help your chances of gaining a new job. However, if this option hasn’t been offered, consider negotiating with your former employer.

If you’ve been sacked, take this opportunity to learn from your mistakes and to make a fresh start! Maybe you’ve been thinking of changing careers, starting further education or even starting your own business?


Your questions:

You mention that you’ll need to include reasons for leaving in an application form, what should I put?

This is difficult for us to answer as there are numerous variations of sacking. The best way to approach this is with complete honesty, pointing out what happened, what went wrong and what you learned from the experience. Also, refrain from making any negative comments aimed at your previous employer – this never looks good!

If I have been sacked, will my previous employer always provide a bad reference?

As a general rule, previous employers shouldn’t give a negative reference – they’ll always need to use tact when commenting on past employees to prevent any potential legal issues. However, if you’ve been sacked for something serious, it’s unlikely they will offer a glowing reference and they may just provide confirmation of your employment, salary details, etc.

How can I hide the small gap in my CV following me losing my job?

Visit our page on how to hide gaps in a CV. If you’ve only just been fired, try and find a new job quickly as this will help prevent an obvious gap appearing.

I was sacked but believe this was completely uncalled for! What can I do?

See our page relating to unfair dismissal.

Can I lie on my CV / application about the sacking?

No! Never lie as they’ll always be uncovered at some point and this will severely damage your reputation. In addition, a lot of companies now use CV checking agencies to uncover any lies.

For more information, see should I lie on my CV?

Can I be sacked for requesting a reference from my current job when looking for something else?

Ideally, if you’re still in your job and looking for a new one, you should ask the new recruiter not to request a reference until you’ve been made an official job offer.

Been sacked and got any stories for our visitors? Leave your comment below – email addresses are never published.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


Phone: (01904) 902 102


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