I have a degree in a subject, had several work experiences to begin with, then I spent 5 years in one job in the retail, in a good position. Afterwards I found my vocation and took a second degree in a healthcare discipline. Now I need to find a job ASAP, and it may be easier in the retail, as I have experience, but I am actually looking for a job in healthcare, in the medium-long term, because that's my call.

I'm afraid that if I apply for a job in retail but mention that I really want one in healthcare, nobody will employ me. If they understand that in the last years I have stopped working to gain a degree in healthcare and then tried to find a job in healthcare, it will be apparent that my motivation to work in retail is low.

How can I avoid this situation without causing problems down the road?

I am specifically thinking of what will happen when a prospective employer in healthcare asks for references. If I take a retail job now, they could think that I had been lying to them...

Is it legal in UK to omit things from one's resume?

  • 2
    If you don't list the second degree, will you have an awkward gap you need to explain away? Jan 21, 2014 at 22:00
  • No, I won't. I have been working almost all through the second degree and I can say that a one-year gap was due to not having access to childcare for my 2 children so I had to give up my job.
    – diddy
    Jan 21, 2014 at 22:13
  • Are the two degrees not related at all?
    – CMW
    Jan 21, 2014 at 23:07
  • your question kind of trails off. Is there something going on here that just having two resumes (one to use in each field) can't cover? I am having trouble finding a question in the question. Jan 21, 2014 at 23:34
  • Not mentioned in this is how the two vocations 'rank' with respect to each other. Moving from insurance agent to real estate agent tends to be 'lateral' - one is as remunerative as the other. Moving from retail management to banking is probably an 'upgrade'. In the former case you could probably get one of the 'old' jobs while looking for the 'new' one, in the latter you should look for both, and take the new one whenever someone accepts you. Taking a step up is a good sign, taking a step sidewise is 'ho hum'. Jan 22, 2014 at 1:51

2 Answers 2


How can I avoid this situation without causing problems down the road?

You are under no obligation to include all of your degrees on your resume. Since it's usually best to tailor your resume to the desired job anyway, when you apply for a retail position, simply omit your healthcare degree.

However, if you are asked, you might need to account for the missing years in your work history. You may be able to get away with simply saying "I was taking classes" or something like that which is non-specific.

  • Hi, Joe! I don't really have gaps to explain. I started my degree in 2008 and I left my job in feb 2009. At the time I had a 1 year old and a 2 year old children and moved in a nearby town, so I did not have access to childcare anymore. I started working again in apr 2010. I can say that I left my job because we were moving, I did not have access to childcare anymore and then started working again when I could. This makes sense.
    – diddy
    Jan 22, 2014 at 14:23

I think your best bet is to fuse the two: Find a job at a retailer specializing in health care.

Use this second degree to your advantage. There's virtually no combination of two degrees that one can't use to their advantage when you have the right attitude.

Transition from one field to the other in a step-by-step manner like this:

  1. First you have work experience in field A
  2. You collect theoretical experience in field B
  3. You look for a job that values both your experience in field A and your passion for field B
  4. Get some practical experience in field B through this job
  5. Move on to a new job with full focus on field B (or find out you like the combination of both fields better, who knows)

Step 3 demands your creativity. Think outside the box, don't go looking for "That One Job" that you want to do in the long run, but see how the things you like about that perspective can be fused with the job experience you already have.

These jobs are out there and with an open mind, unblinkered, you will find it. And sooner than you expect.

  • 1
    Thanks for your answer CMW and for your encouragement! Your advice to find a job such as in retail in healthcare makes sense, but it's not like I can choose the sector at the moment, I just happen to find job advs in the retail, which I think I could be selected for, but I don't want to spoil my chances with my CV. For the rest... healthcare is not like this, for me. If you want to help people as a doctor or as a nurse, you just don't want to sell electromedicals to put together your knowledges ;P it's only "that one job" that I want to do.
    – diddy
    Jan 22, 2014 at 11:48
  • "If you want to help people as a doctor or as a nurse, you just don't want to sell electromedicals to put together your knowledges" That is very much a question of attitude and the opposite if the one what my answer advises for this situation.
    – CMW
    Jan 22, 2014 at 11:52
  • 1
    Yes, I get that. I will be moving shortly to the UK from abroad, without any job, contact or place to stay already fixed, so I will have to do with the first job I can find to be able to enter the work system, cover my expenses and to be able to move my first steps there. Only then I think I will find something related to healthcare. Thank you.
    – diddy
    Jan 22, 2014 at 11:58
  • You seem to be encouraging people to 'self-brand' in delusional ways rather than look for jobs in areas they want to work in and are good at.
    – jwg
    Jan 22, 2014 at 12:30
  • 1
    Never mind, I caught that, even though I am not English mother tongue! and I also caught that in some other fields what CMW suggests would work nicely! :)
    – diddy
    Jan 22, 2014 at 15:51

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