I left a job after 2.5 years to take a new position. I was laid off after 6 months and a few months later, rejoined my old employer in my previous position. I don't include the 6-mo job on my resume (the job was not in the field I'm working in). My resume shows my current job dates as 2012-present (omitting the 11 mo gap)

Do I need to list the short-term job in inside sales if I'm asked to complete a job application though it's not on my resume? This seems a bit diff. from other questions on this topic in that I returned to my old position after this short-term job change.

  • The "duplicate" is about a few weeks gap. This is about a year gap. Jun 28, 2018 at 12:52
  • In your industry, is it common / not suspicious to appear to have been out-of-work for that length of time?
    – user34587
    Jun 28, 2018 at 13:02
  • Worth noting that in the USA, intentionally lying (by inclusion or omission) on a security clearance background check can be penalized with a $10,000 fine and/or 5 years in prison. Jun 28, 2018 at 13:41
  • @PhotoScientist There is a HUGE difference between a standard background check and a security clearance background check. The OP has said nothing about this being a government job or for a security clearance. I strongly suspect this is just your standard background check.
    – David K
    Jun 28, 2018 at 14:00
  • The OP has not specified which background check they are facing. That is why I left a comment which would hopefully motivate them to clarify. I guess I could have worded it to indicate that clarifications is needed, though. You would be surprised how many people do lie on clearance applications and it seemed prudent to me to warn anyone reading this before the ruined their lives. Jun 28, 2018 at 14:07

3 Answers 3


If you continue to lie like this, you will get caught in the background check. When they call HR to verify employment, your dates and theirs do not match up. This means pretty close to an automatic rejection of your application.

Don't claim 11 months more employment at a particular employer than you have.


I would say yes.

Your resume should be specialised for the role you are applying for. Therefore, there is a good reason to ommit experience that you don't think is relevant.

However, a job application I feel is a more comprehensive and complete account of your activities, so I can see no reason not to include information about those 6 months of employment.

Also, I would consider putting the experience in your resume. It might not be relevant to your specific field, but horizontal experience is still relevant. Even if for only 6 months. It depends on the role you are applying for though, like I said earlier if it really isn't relevant then there's no point. If you're junior then it is more likely to be relevant.


Your resume needs to make your strongest case. If the job you worked at for 6 months makes you look less qualified for the job you are seeking, then leave it off but be prepared to explain the gap in employment. It is rare that this would be the situation, though. Usually simply going to work every day, no matter where you go, looks better than a gap.

In the equally rare situation where your resume must be 1 page long, you may omit less qualifying jobs so that you can fit other qualifying factors such as capabilities, publications, or certifications onto the resume. Again, your resume must make your best case and nobody will blame you for making that happen, though they may follow up in an interview.

Finally, your title asked about background checks, even though the content of the question did not. Always provide exactly the information requested on a background check. If the check wants to know all of your jobs for the last 5 years, don't list one worked 6 years ago (it won't impress them) but you must list every single one in the last 5 years, even if you worked there for days. Background investigators assume all omissions are intentional and all omissions are lies.

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