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Summary: During 2012-2014 I have held unpaid jobs and two paid gigs. Got fired from one, lasted 4 months at second. I have been employed full-time since 2014. I have not disclosed these two bad jobs on my CV and now applying for a job at a bank. Will that get in the way of background check, can it be cause for termination at the new job?


I have progressed through the interview stages through to pre-employment background check for a big 4 bank.

Below is a snapshot of my background

  • 2012-2014: Largely did unpaid jobs but held couple of brief paid (full-time) jobs that did not go well.

  • 2014 onwards: Have held proper full time jobs with large companies

My query is in relation to the brief full time jobs I held. Unfortunately these jobs did not go well for me

Job-1 with a small firm (held for a month in 2012)

  • Was let go because of poor performance. Burned some bridges too. Hence do not have any service letter or people who can give reference. Only payslips

Job-2 with a small firm (held for 4 months in 2013)

  • This was a bad, unethical company that I became fed up with and resigned impromptu. Again do not have service letter or references. Only payslips.

Due to these issues, I chose to omit these jobs from my resume and background check (BGC) application and cover the gap with unpaid internship. The resume and BGC application looks like follows

  • 2012-2014: Unpaid internships
  • 2014 onwards: Full time jobs

My questions are:

  • The background check agency is verifying last 10 years employment and has taken my SSN and other identification documents (passport, DL etc). Would they be able to detect my paid employment? I have mentioned in the BGC application and resume that I did unpaid internships between 2012-2014.

  • If I do clear the checks and join the bank, can they fire me if they come to know from someone about the paid employments?

I know in an ideal world, I should have disclosed the jobs but my unfortunate situation prevented me from highlighting those.

Thanks for your help. I am quite restless and your help will be appreciated

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    The mention of "Hence do not have any service letter" makes it sound like it isn't the United States. The country should be clarified. Aug 1 at 12:00
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    I just love how on this site it's completely random if not mentioning short term jobs can either get "you're the worst person on the planet and totally deserve to not be hired/get fired" or "it's absolutely normal and OK not to mention a short job that didn't work out" depending on the tides or phases of the moon. Aug 2 at 3:29
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    @DanIsFiddlingByFirelight I think part of the issue is that the omission was for a background check application. I am unfamiliar with this but it’s possible that this form, unlike a resume, is actually meant to include all employment.
    – BSMP
    Aug 3 at 0:05
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    Did the background check application explicitly ask you to list all employment? Did the employer indicate that you needed to provide a complete job history at some point?
    – BSMP
    Aug 3 at 0:12
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    @DanIsFiddlingByFirelight it also depends heavily on the country and industry, sometimes position, and whether or not it is relevant for the job you're applying for Aug 4 at 6:07
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Would they be able to detect my paid employment?

Yes. Since it's short and long ago, it's not very likely but it's certainly possible.

If I do clear the checks and join the bank, can they fire me if they come to know from someone about the paid employments?

Yes. You lied on your application. That's typically grounds for dismissal.

I know in an ideal world, I should have disclosed the jobs but my unfortunate situation prevented me from highlighting those.

Your situation did NOT prevent from disclosing those. You chose to do so yourself. In my personal opinion having a few bad spots on your record is fairly normal and not a big deal, but lying or omitting information is much worse.

I had one candidate that put a fairly esoteric skill on their resume. I just happened to be familiar with this skill and during the interview I could clearly tell that the candidate had almost no experience there whatsoever. Not only did I veto them being hired I also put them on the permanent "do not hire list".

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    This really depends on the region. I've lived in a few European countries. In all of them it was completely normal to omit jobs that didn't go well. The normal advice is: if you discover in the first weeks that the job is not for you, quit immediately and don't disclose them. The thought that this omission could ever be interpreted as lying or not being honest would never cross my mind.
    – BigMadAndy
    Aug 5 at 15:24
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    Background checks vary a lot in how thorough they are. They may well not check up or verify small details - in the past I've acted as a reference and not been contacted. It depends on the level of security required: for an ordinary bank job, they're unlikely to spend large amounts of time and money investigating your every move. And even if they do check, they may not care - they want to account for your time to know you weren't in jail or fighting with the Taliban, they don't care about minor details that could easily be mistakes or expect you to know every detail from 10 years ago.
    – Stuart F
    Aug 5 at 15:28
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Yes, they can find out about all your previous employers from tax and other records. Those were short and long ago so maybe they’ll find them, maybe not, depending on how detailed the background check is - they vary widely.

Yes, they can fire you for lying on your application if they find out. They might not care, or you might be able to explain it away as “part of an early history of odd jobs,” so you didn’t bother to list them - or might not.

Try being honest on applications in the future, “I worked a place in 2012 that didn’t work out” is just life, “I lied on my application” means you are unethical today. You don't have to list all jobs on resumes or CVs, but background checks expect full disclosure.

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On a BGC form I would expect the applicant to underplay a negative episode not omit it entirely. Omission is lying, and if an employer found one lie they'd be justifying in thinking there are other things the applicant has omitted or lied about in their resume.

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It depends on the employer they can ignore the lies. But the the BGV is done for last 10 years in banking.

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