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I'm from India. I'm 35 and I have 13 years of work experience. My first job was with one of the Indian companies. I worked there for 2 years. I did not resign and literally stopped going to work when I got the job offer from my next employer. I did this because I have seen one of my colleagues being harassed when he handed his resignation letter. I was scared that it would happen to me too. I was young and stupid. I faked the relieving letter from this company.

The next job I took was in the Middle East. The employer took my passport on the day I joined and getting relieved from that company was a nightmare for any employee. I worked here for 1 year and 6 months. They let me go on personal (family) emergency reasons for a short break. I never returned. So I had to fake this relieving letter too.

The next two companies I had worked with I ensured that I got a clean exit. Now, I work as a contract employee for a US-based company in India now. There is a possibility that they may hire me as a direct employee.
I'm worried that if they do a background check with my first/second employer, I might get caught and might end up losing my current job.

I'm also apprehensive about applying to US-based companies as my background check wouldn't come clean.

Question:

  1. Should I deny the direct employment opportunity if it is given by my present employer? (If they ask for a reason, I will have to find one)
  2. When I apply to jobs going forward, should I drop the first two jobs I did or is there another way out?

Note: I will be able to answer all questions pertaining to the first two jobs in an interview.

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1) If you want to go for it, go for it. If they didn't do their background checks before bringing you onboard, I'd be very surprised if they initiate one after working with you for some time.

2) Your typical background check isn't going to be going through literally every employer you've ever had, especially ones that, after doing the math, are over a decade old. If you can talk about your experiences enough that the employer can tell you aren't lying on your CV, they'll get the reference information they need from your last employer (the one you got a clean-break from)

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I work as a contract employee for a US-based company in India now.

The normal in India for the HR is to go 2 companies back or 3 years back (in my limited experience), and not beyond that. So I think you would be pretty much safe, since your bad experiences go back to over 8-9 year back.

Also, the background checks in India can be fairly rudimentary - in the sense that sometimes only producing the documents can suffice with a copy for their records, they may not even reach out to every past employer/ validate the documents.

If you still have concerns, check informally with the HR on what kind of information they need from you if you were to convert, and if background checks need any extra details as you are not in touch with your previous employer. They will themselves inform you of the details, no need to mention your bad experiences to them.

You can also check around with people who converted before you on what information they had to provide, if going to HR sounds daunting to you.


  1. When I apply to jobs going forward, should I drop the first two jobs I did or is there another way out?

I have seen resumes where people drop some of the initial companies / club them into something like below in 1 pager resumes, so its not out of the normal to drop references.

Company 1: Current
    Some work done

Company 2: Previous
    Some work done

Multiple IT Organizations
    Did X at Y
    * Details available on request
-1

The other answers are correct, so far as companies not going back forever.

That said, I wouldn't straight-up admit to faking the relieving letters, but I would be honest about the circumstances surrounding your departure in so far as how ("I quit") and if asked why ("Company had bad reputation for immediately terminating employees who resigned").

You don't have to be brutally honest, but you do have to be honest. I left one job because I knew the company was going to be bought out and my attempts to be hired by the acquiring company failed. I simply didn't want a demotion, so I resigned and went to work for another company with an increase in position and salary. If asked, that's what they get told. There is more to it -- one co-worker was creating a hostile work environment because he blamed me for things my predecessor had done, but that's irrelevant, so I don't go into the gory details.

What you can't do is say something which is obviously and factually false. For example, saying you were laid off ("made redundant") if you were fired for gross misconduct. Or you were a manager if you were actually just a lead over 2 other employees in a department of 20.

I worked my way through Uni and didn't have a particularly high GPA -- I was working 20-30 hours a week, and taking classes at night. A co-worker that I'd fallen out with learned about some of my academic ... misfortunes ... and tried to use it against me. I don't disclose the extent of struggling to be a software consultant while earning an undergraduate degree taking many classes at night, but that is part of my "narrative", so when the (former) friend tried using it against me, they failed.

In your case, if you were ever to mention the difficulty you had in the Middle East, and your co-workers were told everything was just fine, it could become an issue. By being honest that "I had trouble with an employer in the Middle East", and just leaving it at that, you don't put yourself in a position where you have to explain the discrepancy. The details of your life can be private, but the "public overview" has to be consistent.

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