The gauge dependence of the complex fermion quasiparticle poles corresponding to soft collective excitations is studied in hot gauge theories at one-loop order and next-to-leading order in the high-temperature expansion, with a view towards going beyond the leading order hard thermal loops and resummations thereof. We find that for collective excitations of momenta k ~ eT the dispersion relations are gauge independent, but the corresponding damping rates are gauge dependent. For k<<eT and in k \to 0 limit, both the dispersion relations and the damping rates are found to be gauge dependent. The gauge dependence of the position of the complex quasiparticle poles signals the need for resummation. Possible cancellation of the leading gauge dependence at two-loop order in the case of QED is briefly discussed.