How to navigate a job departure on bad terms

Leaving a job on bad terms doesn't need to impact your chances of a successful career.

Leaving a job on bad terms can be a challenging experience, both emotionally and professionally. When it comes to updating your LinkedIn profile and CV, it’s crucial to approach the situation with tact and professionalism.

Leaving a job on bad terms

This article will guide you on what to do if you find yourself in such a situation, offering practical advice on handling your departure gracefully while optimising your chances of securing future employment.

Reflect and learn from the experience

Before updating your LinkedIn profile or CV, take the time to reflect on the circumstances surrounding your departure. Recognise any lessons learned or skills acquired during your time at the company, even if the overall experience was negative. Emphasise the positive aspects and achievements from your tenure while keeping the focus on personal growth.

Choose your words wisely

When it comes to your interview, LinkedIn profile, and CV, it’s essential to maintain a professional tone.

Here’s a breakdown of what you should and shouldn’t say:

What to say:

  • Highlight achievements: Focus on your accomplishments, projects, and initiatives that brought positive results. Showcase measurable outcomes and the value you brought to the organisation

  • Emphasise skills: Highlight the transferable skills you acquired or honed during your employment, as they are valuable to potential employers regardless of the circumstances

  • Focus on growth: Discuss how the experience contributed to your personal and professional development, highlighting any skills or lessons learned that will benefit future roles

What not to say:

  • Leave the drama at home. Keep your reasons for leaving concise and don’t overshare. They don’t need to know your manager was a di*k or Wendy didn’t like you for no reason. Remember, your interview, LinkedIn profile and CV are all about showcasing what you can bring to the business.

  • Stay away from blame: Do not assign blame or make derogatory statements about anyone involved. Keep the focus on your growth and future potential

Showcase your ongoing professional development.

Demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and growth by including any relevant certifications, courses, or workshops you have completed. This reinforces your dedication to self-improvement and shows potential employers that you are actively investing in your professional development.

Leverage recommendations & endorsements

Request recommendations and endorsements from former colleagues or supervisors who can speak positively about your work ethic, skills, and achievements. These endorsements add credibility and help counterbalance any concerns that may arise from your job departure.

Network strategically

While it’s essential to keep networking throughout your professional life, it becomes particularly crucial when you’ve left a job on bad terms. Leverage your existing connections and reach out to trusted individuals who can vouch for your skills and professionalism. Engaging in industry events, seminars, and online communities can also help you expand your network and showcase your expertise.


Leaving a job on bad terms can be a challenging situation to navigate, but with careful consideration, you can overcome the obstacles it presents. By reflecting on the experience, carefully choosing your words, and focusing on your growth and achievements, you can craft a LinkedIn profile and CV that highlights your value to potential employers. Remember to maintain a professional and positive tone, emphasising your dedication to personal development and leveraging recommendations and endorsements to reinforce your professional reputation.

Ultimately, by approaching the situation with grace and resilience, you can move forward and find new opportunities that align with your career goals.