Serious CV advice

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 - career change, career management, CV Help, CV Tips, Job Application, job hunting, job search, Professional CV

Serious CV advice

Counselling session

James asks: I’ve got quite a serious problem regarding my last place of employment on my CV, because I was dismissed. I worked at a bank from November 2008 to March 2009. This is the first job listed on my CV. Previous to that, I worked for a marketing firm from May 2008 to June 2008, which was temporary. I think I’m going to have to delete the bank job from my CV, but then how do I explain what I was doing from June 2008 all the way to now? It will look as though I haven’t been doing anything for 6 months. Could I say that I went travelling for 6 months? I have been to university, so this wouldn’t seem an unlikely thing to do. There is defiantly no way I can keep my last job on my CV when i was dismissed. I can’t lie and say I was made redundant, and I cant say I left when I didn’t. I have tried telling employers that I left, but they look at me suspiciously as if I’m mad leaving a job during the recession. I’m not sure how to get out of this mess. HELP!

In answer:
Firstly, never ever lie on your CV. A background check cost from £25 will reveal all about your exam results and previous employment, and once your new employer gets your P62 National Insurance form, they will see your last employer listed.

There are three things going for you with your career history, that you may not realise:

  1. You can list the temporary job. Just list its status as temporary, via XYZ agency. That gives you two points of reference
  2. You left the bank within 6months, which is before the end of your trial period. Trial periods can legally last up to a maximum of 12months. Around 15% of new employees leave a position during the first 6months of trial, because it just wasn’t the right opportunity for them. You don’t state the reasons you were dismissed (you weren’t dismissed unless you did something very wrong – probably your trial was terminated). As long as you were on time and reliable, and it was just that you didn’t fit and have learnt what does suit you, there is no problem
  3. The current recession means that many people are in unemployment. So the fact you have a period of unemployment on your CV won’t count against you.

Include the bank job, but be prepared to be grilled on it in interview: what went wrong; what did you learn; what are you now seeking? You could still use it as a reference, as unless you defrauded or stole from them, the only thing they will state is start and end dates of employment.

Lying is never worth it on a CV, and legally an offence when placed on a job application. Don’t do it, as all that would seem is happened is that you didn’t get on in a new work environment.

Good Luck!


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