Quote from Lacie
. So pretty much my last two employments I left. How do you approach those questions why you left? I was surprised to see they did call and check references for those old jobs in 1990 and 1995! But I know it looks awful that I quit without notice on one and the other is saying I was terminated (although a retalitory termination).
I think you have to be honest about why you left your last jobs -- but spin it in as positive a light as possible. If there is something that "looks bad" to a prospective employer, acknowledge it and say that you hated to have to end your last job that way, but that at least one of the 3 things below is true:
a. You did everything in your power to avoid it
b. You had no choice
c. You have learned the following lessons from your mistake and will not make it again.
That's all you CAN do. If you only have 1 or 2 "black marks" on your record and the rest of your professional track record is positive -- and if you impress the hiring manager as being otherwise a strong candidate for the job -- there is a good chance that those 1 or 2 previous problems will not prevent you from being hired. However, if you have a series of "black marks" working against you and/or do not make a good impression as a person who would be a good fit for the job, then that gives the employer a legitimate reason to have serious doubts about hiring you. In such a situation, they may well choose to play it safe and look for someone less risky to hire.
Another thing I STRONGLY recommend that everyone do is to collect your old employee evalutions -- particularly the positive ones. If you don't have the key ones you might need, I would try getting a copy from the HR department of your former employer. If you can show prospective employers the positive job performance evaluations, they will be more like to believe that you were fired or left suddenly because of the reasons you state. If they have no evidence to look at, how would they know that you were not fired for incompetence?