Here you are, out on the streets again a long with thousands of other job seekers. This time though during your job search you know that it's not going to go as smoothly because you got fired and you are not sure how you can answer that all too common question of “Can we get in touch with your former employer?” or when they ask you for references from previous employers. So what are you going to tell them and is there a way to get good references after you have been fired. Before you think you are doomed, there are some ways that you can handle those difficult questions.
Unless you murdered someone or embezzled some money, don't be afraid to approach the company that fired you and ask them if they can still be able to give you a decent recommendation so that you can still have a fighting chance to get another job. A lot of companies will still be willing to do this. But you aren't going to know unless you ask.
Also, unless you were disliked by everyone that worked at your previous job, you should be able to find one or two people there who can at least give you character references. So make sure to get the phone numbers of those whom you use to work with and ask them if they would be willing to write you up a nice recommendation letter or ask them if you could at least put them down as references.
When you apply for a job you'll notice there is probably room for about five previous jobs and they generally will ask you for two or three personal or professional references. When you list all of your jobs it's important that the person you list was in management of some sort, even if they were not your immediate supervisor but you had a good relationship with them, put them down as the job reference. Of course before you do this, make sure that you ask them if it's OK if you put them down as your job reference. After you have all the references you think you will need, it will be time to test out just how good the references are.
This is what you do, you ask one of your friends to call all of the references that you are using and ask them to act like they are a prospective employer and are wanting to references for you. Make sure that your friend gives a fake name, a real company name, job that you are applying for and then ask them if they have a few minutes they can spare to talk to them about you. Then make sure your friend asks them how long you worked there, what your strengths were, what your weaknesses were, would they hire you again under different circumstances and then make sure your friend thanks them for their time. After your friend has done this they can tell you whether or not your references are going to be any good or not.
If it turns out that your references from your most previous job simply are not going to benefit you then you will need to have a very good reason why you were fired and how you are planning on improving upon the issues that got you fired in the first place. You should also try to make sure that you have other references that are good from companies you worked for in the past and also places you've been associated with say local organizations that you may have volunteered for, your priest or minister, people at your church and other community organizations you may be affiliated with.
When you are filling out the reference section of the application make sure that you have already verified that the reference numbers and addresses are current and also make sure that you contact your references prior to make sure that they can expect to get a call from the company that you are applying with. Make sure you give them the company name as well, so they know who to expect.