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Old 11-10-2015, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
12,184 posts, read 10,359,091 times
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I've applied for a number of federal positions that require you to go through a vigorous background check. I plan on complying with the check of course if I get any bites on these positions but how do I go about listing a position I held for a few months in a another state that I normally don't list on my resume? Should I just leave it off my resume and application but then if I make it to the background stage do I need to list the job or just the location I was in? I don't want them to come back and say why didn't you list it in the first place.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:51 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,795 posts, read 54,455,776 times
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If the application says to list all previous employment, then list it. Most government agencies, especially federal will reject you if there is any omission, false or questionable information discovered, and they are not likely to question you on it first. What is your reason for not listing it? Even if only a few months, just be prepared to explain the short duration.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
12,184 posts, read 10,359,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
If the application says to list all previous employment, then list it. Most government agencies, especially federal will reject you if there is any omission, false or questionable information discovered, and they are not likely to question you on it first. What is your reason for not listing it? Even if only a few months, just be prepared to explain the short duration.
I just never list it when I apply to non-federal jobs because I think it looks worse than a small gap that I quit a job after 3 months.
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Old 11-10-2015, 02:37 PM
 
2,563 posts, read 2,791,070 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Geek View Post
I've applied for a number of federal positions that require you to go through a vigorous background check. I plan on complying with the check of course if I get any bites on these positions but how do I go about listing a position I held for a few months in a another state that I normally don't list on my resume? Should I just leave it off my resume and application but then if I make it to the background stage do I need to list the job or just the location I was in? I don't want them to come back and say why didn't you list it in the first place.
Depends on how long ago you did the particular job. Doesn't the original job app limit the past work to 10 years? The security clearance forms are another matter. I wouldn't worry about any discrepancy, so long as you fill out the security clearance forms completely.
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:37 PM
 
10,060 posts, read 4,662,763 times
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they had me list school as being unemployed because i had to account for past ten years... i had a few years of working, then had to list college as unemployed... they didnt count it against me, they just wanted the time listed. i think anything past a three month gap needed accounting for. i had issues with a summer vacation post graduation because i wasnt working or looking for job since i had one already waiting. it was right around the three month so i called up the hr to ask about it, i may have just put unemployed for it as well, i dont remember really

they also wanted references to verify location for 15 years... name on utilities, taxes didnt count. they interviewed people i gave them. so make sure you have this ready as well, in case you moved around

i got job so listing everything didnt hurt, not sure if it helped, but hr just said to account for where you were for past ten years so i did

Last edited by MLSFan; 11-10-2015 at 06:46 PM..
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
39 posts, read 23,703 times
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When it comes to the background check, they really do mean list ALL jobs. It's not a matter of experience or questioning why you left or if you got fired. They're looking for extended lengths of time without employment.

When my background check was done, I had to account for even one month of having no job or being in school (gap between leaving a job and going to graduate school). They ask for anyone who knew you at that time to verify that yes, you were doing what you said you were doing. Instead of saying "traveling" but really meaning "in jail".

I would definitely put the job down instead of having a 3 month discontinuity. You WILL be questioned about the discontinuity. They won't really bat an eye if it's a 3 month job. They'll ask why you left, but it won't be as big of a deal as being unemployed. Plus there's the issue of if/when they find out that you weren't telling the truth about those three months. They really don't like it when people try to hide things.

For what it's worth, I've been at my federal job for less than a year, so my background check interview with the investigator was relatively recent. That being said, it STILL has not yet been adjucated, because OPM has had............issues lately.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
12,184 posts, read 10,359,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sekhmet View Post
When it comes to the background check, they really do mean list ALL jobs. It's not a matter of experience or questioning why you left or if you got fired. They're looking for extended lengths of time without employment.

When my background check was done, I had to account for even one month of having no job or being in school (gap between leaving a job and going to graduate school). They ask for anyone who knew you at that time to verify that yes, you were doing what you said you were doing. Instead of saying "traveling" but really meaning "in jail".

I would definitely put the job down instead of having a 3 month discontinuity. You WILL be questioned about the discontinuity. They won't really bat an eye if it's a 3 month job. They'll ask why you left, but it won't be as big of a deal as being unemployed. Plus there's the issue of if/when they find out that you weren't telling the truth about those three months. They really don't like it when people try to hide things.

For what it's worth, I've been at my federal job for less than a year, so my background check interview with the investigator was relatively recent. That being said, it STILL has not yet been adjucated, because OPM has had............issues lately.
So I should put the 3 month job on the background check AND resume/app? Or just make sure to include it on the background check?
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
39 posts, read 23,703 times
Reputation: 165
It depends on how long ago this was and how relevant it is to your field. Everyone tailors their resumes to showcase the jobs that are related to the one they want, and downplay (or omit) the ones that don't. I can't really say yes or no on the resume question. That is a job specific issue and I can't really help. Personally, I have always seen a resume as a way to highlight your skills and experience, not as a "where have you been and what have you been doing for the last X years?"

For the background check, it goes back I believe 7 years (I would have to look at my old emails to be sure). When you get to that point, which is usually after the interview(s) and tentative offer, put down EVERYTHING. Even temp, part time, whatever. You can omit any gaps under 1 month, but the system will automatically flag and warn you if you haven't accounted for all time periods. I can't say if they actually do go back and check every reference from every time you put down, as mine still hasn't been adjucated after 8 months, but my investigator basically said to not hide anything. The background check isn't meant to see if you're suitable for that specific job. It's meant to see if you're "suitable" for work with the federal government. And they really really don't like people that try to hide things, especially if any kind of security clearance is needed.

You won't be doing the huge background check forms until you've been selected, however. And possibly not even meet your investigator until after you've started! I was "lucky" in that I met with mine the Thursday before I was due to report. Many of my co-workers had their meetings 1-2 weeks after their start date.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Bangkok, NYC, and LV
2,037 posts, read 2,554,507 times
Reputation: 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by John7777 View Post
Depends on how long ago you did the particular job. Doesn't the original job app limit the past work to 10 years? The security clearance forms are another matter. I wouldn't worry about any discrepancy, so long as you fill out the security clearance forms completely.
Correct. I worked as contract background investigator doing federal background investigations. Your resume is your resume. the Sf-86 is the legally binding document
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