Fired but pretending to be employed - Background check

Polpoto's picture
Rank: Monkey | 39

Guys,

I started working at an M&A boutique 4 months ago and just got fired a couple of weeks ago in the middle of my probation period. They told me "yeah we are looking for people who are likely to stay here 20 years, we are a small team, the fit is not entirely right but don't worry we will give you a good reference" (the hidden reason might be that they have not done any deal recently and want to cut the costs).
I did very good internships at far better firms previously, including this summer but struggled to find a full time, started working at this company and got fired after 4 months.
I was in shock, told them "I have done nothing wrong, you are putting me in a very bad position, can I still pretend to be at your firm while applying for other positions?"
They answered "yes or you can pretend it was just an internship"

I started applying immediately everywhere, contacted headhunters etc. with putting my position at this company as "Present/Current". I met headhunters and told them I was still working there.

Now my CV is under review and I have interviews coming with solid / respectable firms.
I really do not know what to do, shall I say at one point that I was fired (because they are cutting costs, because I was get caught while applying)? That I quit? That it is a temporary contract?

Or shall I keep lying and hope: my former employer will keep their promise and help me to lie about my dates (not sure I can totally trust them...). Call my former employer, ask them to lie, pretend I am doing a background and check to see what they say?
Twist the background check (say it was "current" when I apply but left a couple of days after)?

Or hope that because the background check company is often a third party I can replace the "current" by the end date I want when doing the background check?
Pay a company for fake reference?
I guess killing myself is not an option so please help me! What is the best option???

Comments (33)

Jun 2, 2018

Hard one...

Jun 2, 2018

Call up your former employers, let them know a background check is en route, bring up the fact that they said they'd let you claim to still be working there, and confirm that they'll cover your ass. Then just roll with it. As soon as you start claiming that there is some type of confusion or caveat with what you put on your resume you look like a liar.

Even if you try to say that you just left a few weeks ago, that still requires your past company to lie for you if the background check firm ever goes into your employment dates.

    • 3
Jun 2, 2018

Good advice! Thank you.
I will not need to provide docs like payslips? (I have the one from this month but this shows my Pilon - payment in lieu of notice).
So I do not say anything to headhunters? And if my former employer does not lie for me?

Jun 2, 2018

I agree thank you

Jun 2, 2018

Good advice! Thank you.

I will not need to provide docs like payslips? (I have the one from this month but this shows my Pilon - payment in lieu of notice).

So I do not say anything to headhunters? And if my former employer does not lie?

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Jun 2, 2018

If it does come up, would use "laid off" instead of "fired" - fired implies it was with cause.

    • 1
Jun 2, 2018
NuclearPenguins:

If it does come up, would use "laid off" instead of "fired" - fired implies it was with cause.

This, BUT... a better way to go about it imo would be to have your employer say that you were laid off due to urgent cost-cutting measures and that it had nothing to do with a lack of performance. This way, you don't have to take the chance of building a house of cards with lies.

    • 1
Jun 2, 2018

Thank you but what shall I do with the "current" on all my sent CVs? Headhunters started contacting companies saying I was still working there full time...

Also asking my former employer to lie about the dates might be easier than to tell them, listen you need to justify why you fired me and say "...". The third party which does the background check will not care anyway and just tick the case "laid off" + tell my future employer that the dates were wrong...

Shall I say it is a temporary contract during the interviews? Say they had a lot of work and needed someone for a short period of time?

Jun 6, 2018

Yeah, but they're unlikely to do that. Bad for their reputation (and egos) to disclose that the lack of dealflow is so acute that they are laying off new hires. Unfortunately, there can be a big difference in these situations between what people say they're going to do, and what they actually do. If they don't have much to gain by lying on your behalf, they probably won't.

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Jun 6, 2018

Meh... My take is that even if your former employer promises to confirm your lie, what measure can you even take against them if they end up not holding up that promise?

They could end up caving in and telling truth. Based on your story they sound like a group of sleaze ball mother fkers who couldn't even give you the real reason for letting you go.

    • 2
Jun 6, 2018

Did you get a license while you were working there? If so, do NOT lie.

https://brokercheck.finra.org/

Jun 2, 2018

No I did not! Thank you

Jun 6, 2018

Did you pass any of the FINRA exams (79, 63, etc.) and did you have a U4 filled out for you and submitted?

If so, it will be very easy to tell when you left and if you were terminated because they would have to submit your termination to the regulatory bodies.

Jun 2, 2018

No, no trace at all. The only risk is my former employer (they made this promise but think of them as a small boutique - not very reliable and quite disorganized). I am hesitating to pay one of these fake references companies.

Jun 6, 2018

I would suggest calling it an internship, as they suggested...makes everything easier.

just google it...you're welcome

    • 2
Jun 6, 2018

Listen to me. Do not call it an internship, call it a full-time gig. Your firm will cover your ass, just check up with them to make sure they do. Tell your interviewers that you had an agreement with your boutique that they didnt need another analyst but were willing to take you in until you found another role. Also you don't have to worry about FINRA, most boutiques take it at around the 6 month mark, you're only at the 4th.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

    • 5
Jun 6, 2018

Yeah I think this is good advice. The only time that this could burn you is during a background check, but they might not delve this deeply. If it does come up during that time, another way you could spin it is that the firm found out you were interviewing and that was a contributing factor to you being let go.

    • 1
Jun 2, 2018

Yes I do not have to worry about FINRA. I am thinking that I could say it was a fixed term contract, they were really busy and needed some extra help (one associate was on maternity leave etc.).

My next question is: I am interviewing, should I admit that I already left (the contract terminated after 4 months) or do I say that I am still currently employed...? Thank you very much for your advice!!

Most Helpful
Jun 6, 2018

I know its rough, but hang in there. Killing yourself is never an option. I know it feels like the end of the world, but its not! You are so so so young and the world is a big place with so many diverse and interesting opportunities. You will find your place. It may take time and you will have to be persistent. I read an article recently that those who face adversity early in the lives are likely to go much further in life than others that did not. A lot of very famous people were let go from jobs. Just google it and you will feel better. It happens to almost everyone at least once in their life. It sucks. but you will come out of this phase. I believe in you.

    • 11
Jun 6, 2018

You're in a shitty situation, but if the company said they would cover your ass I would roll with that. Landing interviews from unemployment can be hard and I think the improved chances for a new gig outweighs the risk of getting caught.

Also; +1 SB for not killing yourself. Good call, and hang in there. It's just a job!

    • 3
Jun 6, 2018

I would recommend that you don't lie. What if your employer DOESN'T cover for you? You'd be dead meat. Even if you do bullshit it this time and they do cover for you, eventually it will fall through. However, if you tell them that you were laid off for cost-cutting reasons recently (the use of laid off instead of fired is pretty important), they might understand and not think too much of it. Besides, that would play nicely if your former employer gave you a good recommendation. However, if you really think the gamble is worth it, go ahead. No matter what option you choose, remember that confidence is key. As soon as you let something slip, they'll become suspicious. Best of luck in your job hunting endeavors.

Made ya look

    • 2
Jun 6, 2018

Also, if they find out, you'll have a rough time with HR

Made ya look

    • 1
Jun 2, 2018

Thank you. I already started saying that it was a fixed term contract during some interviews (which were less important) and the strategy worked. Whether it was "fixed term" / "laid off" / or "resigned" should not be very important for the background check because I do not think that my employer will dare to say that they made me redundant. My problem remain the dates. I applied to other jobs with a "current" title and I am still reluctant to say that I already left...

    • 1
Jun 2, 2018

Say resigned

Jun 7, 2018

The easiest way is not to lie but ask your current employer that you would like to be put on as "consultant" status rather than a full time employee. They don't need to pay you. And you are technically still working for them. I think that will make life a lot easier.

Jun 2, 2018

But this is really weird. This is was my first full time job so why would I be knowledgeable enough to be just a consultant and willing to work for free?
Thank you!

Jun 7, 2018

Consultant is a nice way of saying you are not on their payroll but you get paid when there is a deal going or when the deal that you worked on close. Most of the small boutique investment banks in New York does that. That means that you are an external hire for the team to help out whenever there is work to do but you are not registered on their W2 as their employees.

    • 1
Jun 6, 2018

How many analysts were hired into your class, besides you? If the answer is 1 or zero, make sure that gets into your narrative, along with the fact that they aren't filling your former role. (Whether that last bit is entirely true or not, well, eh...). If you were the sole hire in your class and they laid you off, it speaks to a lack of deal flow. If they hired 5 or 6 people and laid only you off, tougher sell.

Jun 2, 2018

I was the only one and they do not seem to have a strong track record with their employees. Two former partners were suing the MD when I was there. All the other full time employees had been recruited less than 1 year ago. I checked linkedin and all their previous analysts did not last long (max 1 year and half). I could feel that things were a bit messy.

The thing is, even if it was a messy place, I think it reflects badly on me and sounds a bit suspicious to be too negative. People seem to prefer when you say "this place was good but you are better" and in a real interview situation I would not really have the opportunity to give so many details...

    • 1
Jun 9, 2018

Don't lie, future employers, unless they are fucking morons, know that no name boutique places are very often in above their heads while hiring interns/analysts. Tell them what you're telling us, because right now you have a whole bunch of finance guys and girls in this thread not even slightly questioning the fact that you might just be a fuck up who got axed because he was shit.

Tell the truth. What have you/will you be doing in your time off???? Complaining/worrying about how you're gonna pass off the fact that you were sacked? There's plenty of useful shit you can do - so do it, tell the truth, and keep applying.

Jun 9, 2018
Comment
Jun 9, 2018