Friday, January 18, 2008

Previous Employers Are Out of Business

I have been a stay-at-home mom of 18-years. Prior to having my first child, I was a secretary for five years. I have several years of miscellaneous clerical experience before that, including with the United States Army.

Except for the Army, all of my previous employers that are relevant to my job objective have gone out of business. How do I write a resume without looking like a liar when they can't contact them?

I would appreciate any suggestions you might have.
Thank you -- Donna

Employers typically do not run verification checks until after they have interviewed an applicant and have decided they're interested in possibly hiring that job seeker. By that time, you will have had a chance to explain in person that your previous employers are no longer in business.

To make things go even smoother, here are steps you can take to address the situation:
1. On your resume, do not mention anything about the current status of any of your former employers. Simply list each organization's name, city, and state, just as you would if they were still in business.

2. To your job interview bring:
a.) A list of references who are available to speak about your qualifications. People on that list could be from your volunteer work or community involvement. Maybe you can track down a former supervisor or co-worker from one of those companies (even though he or she now works somewhere else) who would be willing to serve as a reference.
b.) Copies of your performance reviews and letters of recommendation from those previous employers.

3. On your application form, write in parentheses immediately after the "deceased" companies' names, "No longer in business."

Businesses come and go, so this situation will not be unusual in the eyes of a potential employer, especially when looking at businesses that were up and running more than 18 years ago! You will not be blamed for the failure of those companies, nor will you be suspected of being a liar. If the new employer wants to, he can research public records to see if the companies existed at the times you stated on your resume.

Here's my hunch: You're going to make this transition without any problems regarding your previous employers!

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