Resignation & references


Some of you may recall a former post of mine where after I relocated to a new city with my husband and ended up at a bad firm. 

I was unhappy there from the start and ended up resigning after being subjected to verbal abuse from one of the PMs. 

I left even though I didn't have another job lined up as I felt that my dignity was compromised. Now I am interviewing at some other firms, but I am concerned as how to explain the unemployment gap in my resume. 

I don't want to reveal that I had a bad experience at my former job and I am worried in regards to future employers calling/knowing my ex-boss (the person who verbally abused me). 

The company I was at is large, so my reference would come from the HR confirming role & dates of employment only but I am concerned about bad gossip as this is profession is a small world. 

How would you handle this issue? 

Jul 14, 19 7:52 pm

One thought, and this really depends on the other person; you acknowledge that this is a small world, if that's true, then it's likely then that everyone knows that this PM is an asshole. Having stated that, focus on the work you did, not the people, focus on what you are looking for in a firm. Lastly, how long is the gap, can't you just explain it away?

Jul 14, 19 8:20 pm

It's a 3 month gap, it took me about 2 months to get interviews. I listed the job dates in years (2018-2019) but the gap can show up in the reference. Would you recommend explaining the bad experience I had at the interviews? I think telling what happened could look bad, despite it not being my fault.


just don't bring it up.  If they bring I up, I would think you could just say it was not a good fit and leave it at that 

Jul 15, 19 8:24 am

it's not a huge gap, if they ask just tell them you left to focus on finding a more suitable job. it would be helpful if there is someone from the previous company who can vouch for you to say you put in a good effort and left voluntarily, again only if they ask. how long in total did you work there?

Jul 15, 19 9:33 am

I worked there for 7 months exactly.


If I understand correctly, this job only lasted a few months.  If so it's not likely to add much value to your resume anyway, in terms of experience, and is just going to raise the types of questions you're worried about, regarding what happened and why you left.  I had a very short-term experience like that (mine was 6 or 7 months), where I left the firm because it became evident fairly quickly that they and I were not a good fit.  My choice was to just omit that job from my resume - I simply did not list it, and didn't use any references from there.  There's no rule that you must list every job and explain every span of time on your resume.  In my case nobody ever asked about the gap - it's pretty easy for a well-considered job search to take that long, so it probably didn't even raise any questions in interviewers minds. In my next job I ended up at a firm that was less than 4 blocks away from the short-term one, so I ended up seeing the old colleagues a lot, and there were other people in my new firm who had worked at the previous one, and I never kept it a secret that I'd worked there.  Nobody ever asked why it wasn't on my resume - I doubt they ever noticed or thought about it.

In your case, even though omitting that job may leave a gap of 6 months to a year, employers generally also understand relocating as a reason for a long-ish search.  Do you have good references from your job(s) prior to that one, before you moved?  If so, you might consider just letting the very short-term job disappear and treating this current round of searching as your first one in this city.

Jul 15, 19 10:05 am

I worked at a very good firm (starchitect) before taking this last job and I have references from them. I think that a one year gap is too long especially for someone who is in their start of their career (less than 3 years experience).


If I had a choice between a year-long gap during a time when I was in the midst of a spouse's relocation, or a job at which I last less than 6 months and probably don't have a great reference from, I'd go with the gap. The gap isn't likely to elicit questions, whereas the very short job will give people doubts about your likelihood of staying around very long and of getting along with people and being happy in your job.


If you were there less than a year, I would strongly consider omitting the job entirely.  As others have said, the relocation process is a handy way to explain away gaps, and it is pretty common for persons who relocate to not go to work immediately upon arriving in a new town.

Jul 15, 19 10:47 am
atelier nobody

I have a couple similar gaps in my resume, and as far as I can remember it has never come up in an interview.

Jul 15, 19 1:39 pm

Did you stretch the dates and hide the gaps or did they not ask you about it?

atelier nobody

I have always done month & year on my resume. The very next job I interviewed for, I actually showed the 3 month job, and they were the only ones to ask about it ("just not a good fit" worked fine as an answer), since then I've just left the 3 month gap and never been asked about it.


Honestly, the best way to deal with that issue is to simply put "It wasn't a good fit," if the interviewer continues to prod, you just simply state "Not every job is a good fit but I am looking for a place I can work in and be committed to for a while," Which is why the gap may be explained. If they prod more maybe it isn't a good company to work in mentally.

Jul 18, 19 1:34 pm

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