The #1 Way to Get Fired—Don’t Make This Mistake!


There are endless methods to get yourself fired. Some of them happen before you even get hired.

Some behaviors that will earn an escort from the building:

  • Not playing well with others
  • Surfing the web or taking personal calls on the job
  • Drinking/drug use
  • Sloppy work
  • Pointing fingers/not taking responsibility
  • Office romance

Some cringe-worthy real life examples:

Tweet: “(Company) just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against hating the work.”

Facebook: Thanks for eating at (restaurant) you cheap @#$%-ers.

Not actually working: Remember when NY Mayor Bloomberg fired an employee for playing computer solitaire? Your computer tracks what you’re actually doing. Or not doing. I know of more than one Missoula employer that has fired over porn.

Late: One guy I know was late thirty-six times in one year. Yes, they were tracking.

The #1 Way to Get Fired

If you’re looking for ways to get fired, any of those will surely work. But the sure-fire way to get fired or to eliminate your chances of getting hired: Lie on Your Résumé.

Tell the Truth

Don’t embellish. Don’t invent degrees, positions, accomplishments, awards, promotions or titles. Just DON’T do it.

Your references WILL be checked. If your résumé can’t be confirmed or if your references contradict your claims, you’ll be eliminated from the running.

Many companies do background checks and education checks. They take time. You might get hired and think you’re home free. Yay! But then, weeks later, when your education check proves you never got that degree, you’ll be fired anyway. Boo.

Better:  State that you completed three years toward your degree (if it is true) and demonstrate how your experience might compensate for your lack of degree.

But don’t be shy!

This is your opportunity to illustrate the positive. If you are concerned about sounding arrogant, ask someone to review your résumé for you. Display your positive facts and support your claims with your accomplishments, awards, and references.

One of my Missoula clients, let’s call her Molly, was especially modest. At her past position, her title had been General Manager. But in a timid voice, she told me that she hadn’t managed very many employees, so maybe she shouldn’t use that title on her résumé. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Humility can be a charming personal quality, but save it until after you’ve proven your worth and gotten the job.

Find the Balance

Your résumé is a place for facts and highlights. Use it to illustrate your worth and earn you the job.

It isn’t the place to elaborate on negatives. Be prepared to discuss hurdles in your interview with an objective, professional approach–don’t volunteer them on your résumé unless you are legally obliged to do so.

But don’t embellish the positives, either! Lying will get you canned.

We’ve all heard stories of behaviors that got someone fired. I collect them. I want to hear yours! (Ahem, of course I’m referring to stories you’ve heard that happened to…someone else.) We appreciate your examples of what NOT to do.

Like this blog post?  Check out Jennifer’s VIDEO BLOGS on Job Tips, the Job Search, and the Job Interview.

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Jennifer Shryock is a resume writer and interview coach with Rainmaker Resumes. Her blog features Missoula job hunting tips, covering everything from the employer perspective to networking ideas to interview-winning resumes to keeping your sense of humor, whether you’re working or working to find work. For answers, send your work related questions to Make her blog a regular part of your job search.