Fixer: Should I leave a bad experience off my CV?

Is it better to acknowledge a short time in a role, or gloss over it?

I’ve just started in a new role, but I’m not comfortable with the treatment of staff. There’s a huge turnover of HR professionals, which doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence, nor does what I am hearing from company alumni. I’ve offered my resignation, but should I leave this short experience off my CV and dissociate myself from the company entirely? And how do I increase the level of research I do around prospective employers in the future?

Like many people, you have high expectations of your employer and its organisational culture and it’s clear this company fell short of your ethical standards.

I don’t know the ins and outs, so I can’t say for sure whether you might have been able play a part in turning things around had you stayed. What I do know is that leaving this experience off your CV is a bad idea.

I would recommend being honest and if questioned by a prospective employer explaining clearly and openly that you didn’t agree with how this business treated people. Some interviewers might ask why you didn’t try to change things but most would use it as a starting point to discuss your values and how this business fell short.

Concealing the truth is rarely a good starting point for an employment relationship, and with the amount of sharing that goes on through social media there is every chance you wouldn’t keep the appointment secret for long. For your own peace of mind, it’s best to be up front.

What should you do to avoid a repeat of the situation? Glassdoor is a powerful tool to find out about employers’ reputations, and by looking at how long people stay with a business on LinkedIn you can get a good sense of any issues. But most of all, trust your network – reach out and ask if anyone knows the business well and you’ll invariably find you can get some personal insight before you sign on the dotted line.