I have an offer and salary letter, pending references which I know are solid.

My resume states I worked somewhere November 2012, and while this isn't a lie, a background check would show that I was on a grant, and thus an employee of the academic place from March 2013 to January 2017.

Prior to March 13 and after Jan 17 I did still work very closely with the boss and the team. The boss is one of my strong references.

Should I inform HR?

My concern is that they'll see this as lying, as my work dates do not coincide with the time covered by the grant.

  • The sentence structure of this question makes it hard to follow, in my opinion. I honestly don't understand the question at all, as it is worded. – Southpaw Hare Feb 28 '18 at 13:39
  • @raterus the comment section is not for posting answers, please post any answers in the answer section below. – Old_Lamplighter Feb 28 '18 at 14:28
  • I edited this for a bit of clarity. If my edit does not clearly reflect your intent, feel free to rollback to your original post. – Old_Lamplighter Feb 28 '18 at 14:35
  • The edit cleared this up for me, I deleted my answer. I now understand the question. – SaggingRufus Feb 28 '18 at 15:46
  • don't inform HR, that just sounds suspicious; just explain it if asked, which is unlikely, and seems a debate over terminology, not an actual work/no work discrepancy that would be construed as dishonest... – dandavis Feb 28 '18 at 18:29

You should probably not worry about it.

On the one hand, having solid references really protects you. You made an honest mistake on your resume, and HR at the prospective company will almost always understand that. If they ask, explain to them that you did not realize that the period before the official start date did not count, despite you working closely with the team during that time period. Your references can verify that you worked closely with them, and by taking ownership of it as a mistake, they are much more likely to tell you it doesn't matter, and just ask you to update the copy of your resume they have on file.

On the other hand, not telling them can lead to a situation where they see you failing a background check for lying on a resume. While not dishonest on your part, the official date is what will show during a BG check, and that's what it will compare against your resume date. Regardless of how it came about, false information on a resume is always a terminable offence (though they won't unless they're looking for a reason to get rid of you already, or it involves something illegal/much more major in scope) even if it was not malicious.

I think in either case, pleading ignorance on your part is honest and the best course of action. I would personally inform the HR department of the mix up, and attempt to rectify it immediately. If they found out ahead of time and asked me about it, I would state what you did in your question, and plead ignorance as to the unofficial start date being unacceptable.

I don't think they will put as much weight on it as you have though.

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