Perhaps you left your last job without giving a notice, were asked to step down from your position, failed at successfully executing a job role or project, or just simply didn’t get along with your last boss.

Should you still list these jobs on your resume?

The short answer is yes; especially if the position is recent and relevant.

A background check is going to show that you held the position (or that there is a gap in employment) and omitting it from your resume may cause the Hiring Manager to call your integrity into question. It is almost certain that the Hiring Manager will ask you to explain the circumstances under which you left the position, and it is important to keep the following in mind:

First:  Be Honest.  If you made a mistake, own up to it.  However, make sure you not only explain the error you made, but speak to what you learned from it and what you have personally changed in your behavior to ensure you will not repeat the same mistake twice.  The Hiring Manager will be impressed with your ownership as well as the fact that you strive to continually learn from your mistakes so that you can grow as a professional.

Second:  When explaining situations which were out of your control, remain professional and detached in your explanation. For example, you can describe a hostile or uncomfortable work environment by simply saying that there was a “change in climate” in the office or business that you weren’t comfortable with.

Just remember that whether you left of your own accord or were asked to resign, come up with ways to show that you can turn your negative experience into a positive one.  And this last statement is worth repeating:  Be ready to relate to the Hiring Manager what you learned from the situation and how that has made you a better person and professional.

Written by Katie Fidler

Angela Roberts


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