Leaving Employers off your resume

There seems to be some difference of opinion about whether its appropriate to leave an employer off your resume.  I’ve seen two resumes this week where I noticed a gap in the “work experience” chronology.  On further follow-up, I learned that the lawyer left off an employer from their resume.  In one case, the lawyer omitted that part of their legal experience at the advice of a professional resume writing company.

I am really surprised that anyone is advising lawyers to do this.

In my opinion, your resume should always identify every place where you’ve worked–in the case of lawyers–every single employer since you’ve graduated.  “I don’t want it to look like I’ve worked for too many firms” isn’t an excuse, unfortunately.  Your resume should put your experience in the best possible light, but you have to be totally accurate about what that experience is and when it occurred.

There are lawyers who believe that omitting an employer is nothing short of lying on your resume.  I’m not this militant about it.  I don’t think that most people are trying to be deceitful when they do it–but it’s still a bad idea.  There is no tricking a potential employer into thinking you’ve worked at fewer firms than you actually have–best just to deal with the issue head on.

I look at resumes all day–I can pick out a gap in employment in an instant.  Hiring partners and other hiring professionals inside firms can too.  Instead of obscuring how many times you’ve changed jobs, omitting your tenure at a firm may actually shine a brighter light on the issue.  You don’t want your candidacy for a job to be obscured by a discussion about whether you’ve withheld relevant employment information.

Related posts:

  1. Monday’s Random Resume Tip
  2. A Resume Must Tell the Whole Story
  3. Resume Referrals, How to Choose Wisely

See the original post: Lateral Attorney Report