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Honesty Resumes Job Interviews

I received a severance package which was paid out over 10 months. Right now my resume shows that I left the company when I stopped working there. Would it be unethical for me to change the dates to show the service to the company ending when my severance elapsed, i.e. 10 months later?

Do you really want to be in a situation where a job interviewer asks you about your job responsibilities at the company during the past year, and you are forced to respond with, "Uh, well, I wasn't exactly working there...." To which the interviewer will instantly think, "And you won't exactly be working here either."

The fact is that when your service to the company ended, it ended. There is nothing negative about that and there is nothing to hide. By changing the dates on your resume, you are providing misleading information to a potential employer. This cannot only prevent your being employed, but it can be grounds for termination if you are hired and this fact is discovered later.

Rather than misrepresenting the 10 months, let the employer know what you have been doing in this period. If you have been taking some time off, that is not a problem. In fact, some employers interpret that positively. You were able to step back, relax, clear your head, and now you are ready to work. Obviously, if you have taken any steps to upgrade your skills, such as through classes, readings, or seminars, that is important to mention.

The employer may have a number of questions about what you were doing, but at least there will be no question about your ethics.

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