I AM currently out of work. I was retrenched by my first company after five years of service. Then, I worked for another company but I resigned after a few months because I discovered some unethical practices in that company. I worked for two more companies but I also resigned from these companies because I did not agree with their policies. Now, I am job hunting. Should I include in my resumé the companies I worked for after my first company even though I had bad experiences with these companies? How do I explain my job record when I am interviewed?
– Confused Jobseeker
Think of job-hunting as similar to applying for a US visa. It always pays to be honest because sooner or later, the truth will come out. And like a dishonest visa applicant who is blacklisted forever, you may find yourself out of a job if you tried to hide your shady past and the company found out about it.
Employers like honest employees. In fact, integrity is number one on the list of job specifications for any position, although it may not be listed in the job ad. Of course, who wants to hire someone who withholds information and tells lies? As the saying goes, “Parang kumuha ka ng bato at pinukpok mo ang ulo mo (It’s as if you you hit your head with a rock).”
Usually, when an applicant is being processed for hiring, he is asked to accomplish a company personnel information form that goes into his 201 file. If the personnel department of the company is smart, at the end of the form before the applicant’s signature, there is a statement that reads, “This is to certify that all information given in this form are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and that any misrepresentation on this form may be a cause for termination of my services when hired.”
Depending on the circumstances, this provision can be used as a basis for dismissal from the service should any of the information placed there is found not to be true. However, if that statement is not part of the company form, this does not mean that the employee can get off the hook. The employer can always cite a provision in the company personnel policies and procedures or the Labor Code that would apply in this case.
Thus, my advice to you is, disclose fully your work record in your resume. However, considering your negative work experiences, how can you create a favorable impression? Admittedly, your work record may not be an ideal one. But with proper tact and sensitivity, you can present yourself positively.
Usually, the interviewer asks an applicant the reason for his resignation from his previous jobs. If this question is popped, you can answer in this manner, “I usually would not want to disclose negative information about the companies I previously worked for. However, to answer your question, I resigned from Company X because I regret to say that I discovered some unethical practices in that company, the details of which I would rather not disclose.” This answer will project you in a good light since you exhibited integrity in such a situation.
Then, you can say, “As for the two other companies I worked for, I resigned because I felt that my personal values and the companies’ were different.” At this point, take care not to make any negative remarks about your previous employers, which is a “mortal sin” in the eyes of recruiters.
Now, to counter the impression that you may be a complainer, you can add, “This is why I am applying in your company because I believe that my personal values match your corporate values. I think when there is a match, you can be assured of my commitment to the company.”
With this presentation, you can stand a better chance of being hired, despite your spotty work record. Employers will always have great respect for applicants who are honest and willing to accept and learn from mistakes.
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