Employment History on Applications

by Erin
(New Orleans, LA)

I am a nurse who was recently wrongfully terminated. I had a unblemished work record prior to the incident. I am afraid I am blacklisted because I have filled out hundreds of applications and sent resumes and cover letters with only 3 responses and 1 interview.

On applications I left off an employer from 2009. I was trying to change careers from nursing to law enforcement and that is still my eventual goal. I was hired by a police department and worked with them as a recruit for 3 months but ended up resigning from my academy because I couldn't handle the pay cut at the time and had to go back to nursing. I couldn't get full time full time work after I resigned so I had to temp.

My father insisted that I leave the police department job off my application/resume because he thought that no one would hire me for nursing jobs if they knew that I wanted to leave the profession. I am now afraid that prospective employers are finding out about the police job when they do background checks and thinking that I purposely lied on my application. Can they find out things like omissions when they search?

I am desperate because I was denied unemployment and it's in appeal but I am about to lose my home and vehicle and possibly declare bankruptcy if I can't get a job. Financial trouble with keep me from a future police job as well. I have no money coming in and I am terrified that I screwed myself over. I want to know if it is my fault or if my former employer is telling people that I was terminated.

Answer:

Hi Erin,
You definitely have valid concerns, and the good news is that I don't think these concerns are affecting your job search.

When an employer verifies your previous employment during a background check, the employer checks the employment dates and salary that you provide on the application to make sure that the information that you provided is the same as what the previous employer provides.

If you do not specify that you worked at the police department on the application, the employer will not know that you worked there. Think about it… How will they know you worked there, if you don't tell them? Rest assured that they will not.

You want your resume to be specifically geared toward the target job, so it is acceptable to leave the police department job off of the application. Your police work is not related to the nursing career field so as long as you have a steady, solid work history, the police work is not relevant while applying for nursing positions. A resume that is focused on a specific career field shows that you are serious about working in that field.

On another note, it is completely normal to apply for hundreds of jobs and only receive a few responses. The job market is extremely competitive with millions of people out of work, and an employer can receive hundreds of applications for one position. With these large numbers, there is no way they can contact every person who applies, so don't let this discourage you. And don't take it personally. :-)

Just keep applying. The more jobs you apply for, the more likely you are to find the perfect job you are looking for, instead of having to "settle" for something else. This may even mean that you will have to apply for hundreds more jobs.

Whatever you do, just don't give up! Continue to submit those applications. Continue to send those resumes. If you remain persistent and consistent, it is inevitable that you will eventually start getting those call backs.

Just believe in yourself and don't give up! Good luck in your job search!

Sincrely,

Victoria E.

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