Scandal-Tarnished Institutions on Your Resume: How to Deal By Jeremy Cyrus 08/03/2012
When you were accepted into your first choice university as a senior in high school, your heart swelled with pride. And the day you graduated, you nearly popped the buttons off your shirt. Later, you entered the working world, shifted from your first employer to your second, and eventually landed a dream job with a company at the very top of your industry. Again, pride swelled your heart on that first day with that company, the last day, and all the days in between.
Years have passed and you’re back on the job market again. But unfortunately, the years have not been as kind to your former employer as they’ve been to you. As you polish your resume, how do you account for those early years you spent in the nurturing shadow of a now-tarnished university? And where has that glow in your heart gone as you set aside space in your resume for the five years you spent as a manager at Enron?
Obviously, you didn’t bring these institutions down. No employer would assume or imagine that. But what can you do now that pride has turned to slight embarrassment and an awkward interview conversation looms in your future? FreeResumeBuilder.org can help with your resume organization and formatting. But in the meantime, consider these tips.
Handling Embarrassing Associations on a Resume
First, don’t remove the institution from your resume. You’ll either have to explain its absence during an interview, or allow potential employers to think your education and job history have conspicuous gaps.
- Second, don’t mention the scandal on your resume. Don’t use phrases like “Managed seven employees prior to the scandal and decline of the company.”
- Finally, don’t overestimate the stakes. Employers may bring up the scandal during your interview for the sake of conversation, but don’t assume this means they blame you or think less of your qualifications. Don’t feel pushed to apologize. Just answer their inquiries politely, have a sense of humor about the situation, and move on.