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Job hunting with scandal-tainted résumé difficult, but not impossible

August 13, 2009


A growing number of Americans are struggling with job searches because a scandal destroyed their small employer, even when they played no role in its demise, The Wall Street Journal reports. Reports of multimillion-dollar financial scams involving tiny operators surged after Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was revealed in December. And former employees of these defunct, small financial companies face greater hurdles than did staffers of huge failed businesses like Enron and Arthur Andersen, some executive recruiters said.

You will be seen as having been closer to the scandal, and that perception will last for years,” said Peter D. Crist, head of Crist|Kolder Associates, an executive-search firm in the Chicago suburb of Hinsdale, Ill.. But such work experience doesn’t make finding a new job impossible — as long as you leave quickly and fully explain your lack of involvement in the scandal, said Kate Wendleton, president of Five O’Clock Club, a career-counseling network in New York.

Still, “Badmouthing your former employer makes you look guilty,” said Linda Dominguez, an executive coach in Coarsegold, Calif. On your résumé, describe rather than identify your latest workplace, Wendleton suggested. And when hiring managers ask about your unnamed employer, briefly summarize your accomplishments before revealing the name of the organization. — Compiled by Greg Beaubien for Tactics and The Strategist Online


aimee says:

As an employer, I'd be unlikely to interview someone who didn't name their last company on their cv. I'd expect honesty and the ability to present a full factual case from anyone I was looking to hire as a communicator, not the tendency to hide or bury any information that they saw as potentially negative. It would scream "avoid" to me... but that's just my personal opinion.

Aug. 13, 2009

kwa says:

aimee referred to his/her post as "just my personal opinion," but common sense dictates that a resume with an unidentified previous employer is just a big red flag. Also, when being interviewed and you answer a question with a seemingly irrelevant preamble, by the time you get to the actual answer, the interviewer has already concluded that you're a phony... I've noticed that articles about job hunting tips often are filled with really bad advice by people who apparently never had to look for a job.

Aug. 14, 2009

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