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Don’t delete the bad job from the résumé–explain it

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in Your Office Coach

Q: “I want to know whether I can omit my last job from my résumé. For three years, I worked in a toxic organization with a controlling, verbally abusive boss. Her manager was just as bad. Any reference from these two would not be accurate, so I would prefer not to mention this job at all. Instead, I would like to tell potential employers that I was staying home with my young children during those three years. If the truth was discovered later, would that be a problem?” Worried Applicant

A: If your horrific job had lasted only a couple of weeks, there would be little harm in leaving it off. But you were in this position for three years, which makes it a significant part of your work history. Omitting this fact would indeed be risky, because many employers have a firm policy of dismissing anyone who is later found to have lied during the hiring process.

Instead of complaining about management, which you should never do in an interview, prepare to give a truthful explanation for your job change that won’t raise a red flag for interviewers. To do this, you will have to remember that there can be many different honest answers to the same question.

Are you getting ready for a job search? Here are some pitfalls to avoid: Top Ten Job Search Mistakes (Plus One).

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