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How Can I Get a Job With a Bad Job History?

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Employment gaps and poor recommendations can make finding a job a headache. If you haven’t had much success finding a job, changing your approach might work. Using a functional resume and creating a plan to talk about job loss can help. It’s also important to spend time building a list of professional references.

Consider using a functional resume. If you have gaps in your employment history, a function resume is a nice tool, according to Quint Careers. A functional resume doesn’t list job history in chronological order. Instead, it groups together skills and experience, which disguises a job history gap.

Prepare to talk about job loss. If you were fired from a job recently, the employer will ask questions. Take some time to outline your responses. Talk about what you learned from the experience. When talking about the previous employer, keep your conversation positive. Talking negatively about a past employer will create red flags for a new employer.

Talk about activities outside of employment. Even if your job history isn’t strong, other opportunities can make you attractive to potential employers. For example, if you have a large gap in employment, you might explain that you were attending college. Or, when seeking employment, mention that you volunteered at a local soup kitchen in the afternoons. Make a list of all activities that an employer would appreciate.

Stay enthusiastic about the job. When talking about a bad job history, it’s important to stay positive. Let your enthusiasm and excitement about the current job opportunity show.


Gathering several positive references can strengthen your shaky job history. Make a list of previous coworkers, managers and other professional colleagues who can vouch for your skills, attributes and strong work ethic.


Unfavorable job experiences that occurred several years ago shouldn’t be mentioned, recommends Quint Careers. Stay focused on recent activities and experiences (unless the employer specifically asks you about an event).