How To Deal With A Bad Reference

How To Deal With A Bad Reference

Do you have a really bad reference that seems to haunt you wherever you apply? This can cause major problems if you're looking for a job.

How To Deal With A Bad Reference

So, how can you deal with bad references? Here's what our approved career experts had to say:

Use A Different Reference

"The next time you pursue a job search, you would do well to prepare a list of vetted references, in addition to your letters of recommendation minus hers," says Dorothy Tannahill-Moran of "The less information you can provide on her the better. You should have one or two managers in that same company you can use as a reference, so the attention is given to them rather than her." Finding a different manager not an option? Robin Schlinger of suggests using co-workers as references. You may have had co-workers observe you doing good work when you worked in your previous position, she says. This positive input can help counter the bad reference.

Hire A Reference-Checking Agengy

"There are many [reference-checking agencies] out there including Allison & Taylor, who can make these calls on their behalf," says Dawn Rasmussen of "Being forewarned is forearmed, and if the feedback eclipses what is legally acceptable to say, then she might have a case against the bad boss."

Move On

"My advice would be to drop it, do well at your current job, and if you ever decide to make a move, you'll have a new reference," Bruce Hurwitz of says. "As for the specific organization where you would 'love' to work, network and make contacts there so, perhaps, you'll have an employee willing to speak up for you.