I recently received a verbal offer to join a company that is very strict with its background check policy. A formal written offer is contingent on the completion of a background check. The issue is I left off a job on the background check form that was an internship I did in college for 2 months. Since it was reported on my U-4 (a document that contains my previous employment that my firm will see), which I had filled out at my previous employer, and the background check requires disclosure of all previous employment, I am concerned about having my offer withdrawn.

Any advice on the best course of action here? My background check started 3 days ago and is still on going.

Edit: U-4 is the required form by capital markets regulator, FINRA, for agents that will be selling regulated financial products or providing investment advice to the public to register with the regulator.

Edit: Thanks all for the answers. I decided to forego disclosing to my employer and was told that my background screening was successfully completed with no additional details required.

  • 1
    My question would be does an internship count as a "job" in this context? My gut reaction would be to say no. Why don't you email or call the person at the company you're in communication with and ask them?
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Aug 27, 2023 at 20:42
  • 1
    @joeqwerty I was an independent contractor (so self-employed but performing services for the company). Commented Aug 27, 2023 at 21:17

3 Answers 3


Call your main contact ASAP and tell them about it. Let them know that you may have made a mistake by omitting a 2 month internship in college and you want to make sure you provide complete and accurate information.

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    Sorry, but this isn't a good answer. In my opinion it's best to wait for an inquiry, and then respond by saying I forgot. Commented Aug 27, 2023 at 19:48
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    @questioner5234 - Nope. Nopenopenopenope. Golden rule of Anything - it always look better if you are honest up-front. If you know you've forgotten something and wait for an Inquiry, that looks terrible. If you call them up and tell them that you've realized you hadn't included a 2 month internship, there's a high probability they won't even care that you forgot. But if they find out in an Inquiry, it makes you look dishonest. Call them. ASAP. Be honest. Commented Aug 27, 2023 at 20:23
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    @questioner5234 - Let me put it this way. If I was your manager, I do an inquiry and I get a sniff that you knew and didn't fess up - I'd fire you. If you come to me to let me know you missed a 2 month internship - I'd say thanks for letting me know about it and then let it slide. Commented Aug 27, 2023 at 21:09
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    @questioner5234 - These type of background checks, value full disclosure, even if corrections are required. Your worried about a job offer, if they find out you knew you left something out, the offer is gone anyways.
    – Donald
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 1:53
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    @questioner5234 if you already have an answer, why ask? Make you feel better?
    – lpounng
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 6:55

Honesty and trust are important in any job but even more so when you work in capital markets and financial investments trading.

With FINRA, they care about people who sell financial investments being upfront and intent matters too. You don't want your oversight to be interpreted as deliberate, as if you had been terminated at the internship for misconduct.

So I would call whoever is offering your position and explain that you accidentally left off an internship. You don't have to go overboard by providing details of why you left but you need to be forthcoming with any followup questions FINRA asks as long as such requests are related to your suitability of working in the capital trading markets.


If it's a genuine oversight, I wouldn't worry too much.

A 2-month internship during a college course is scarcely a "job" or "employment" as we usually know it, and once they conclude, such short stints are easily forgotten from a general chronology in the mind.

My recommendation is to simply contact your new would-be employer and correct the record.

Unless the undisclosed internship actually yielded some kind of adverse information when that employer was contacted, then no reasonable hiring employer (certainly no employer where you would actually want to work) would interpret this omission as speaking to your honesty or conscientiousness.

Even if you didn't correct the record now, but the fact was somehow found later, again I don't think it would make any difference in its own right.

The only thing that would usually matter is if the fact of this short internship were found and some kind of adverse information resulted from contacting the employer.

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