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
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I’m curious how an employer can verify your work history without you providing names and dates. How can omissions be found? My experience has shown that only those employers I list on an application are checked. According to most research I’ve done on the net, there is no national database, not even the IRS or Social Security, (which are private) that can divulge every single employer a person has ever worked for. Can you please provide detail as to how an employment check will divulge this information? Thank you.
Susan, thank you for your question – you raise a very good point. You are correct in that a typical background check will only confirm employment of companies you list on your resume including the following:
• Dates of employment
• Title while employed
• Salary / compensation
• Reason for leaving
• Eligibility for rehire
As it relates to our comment “a background check is going to show that you held the position…” – this is referring to you hiding the “ungracefully” exited position by stretching start and finish dates of other positions to hide it. A background check will confirm the start and end dates of other positions do not match and will reveal you are hiding something. OR – you will have to explain a gap on your resume because you left the position off of it. The recommendation we have is for you to act with integrity and be upfront about any “ungraceful” exits. People make mistakes, but owning up to those mistakes and learning from them is a sign of a solid and mature professional.