I recently accepted a job offer for a job that I really want. However, I did not include on my resume that I work as a contractor in my current position, nor I did in the application. However, I put it down in the background check papers. I am really scared I will lose the job because of my stupidity. I just didn't feel that working as a contractor affects my skills, so I did not mention it.

Am I likely to lose the position? If it is brought up how should I handle the questions?

  • Hey jhenen, just a suggestion, but can you edit with more details, answering the questions in Wesley's answer about whether you were or weren't a contractor? Those are important questions that will help distinguish the answers. Hope this helps. – jmort253 May 30 '14 at 2:16

Usually the reason employers want to know about your previous jobs is to know what your expertise and skills are, not what type of employment it was. In the UK I'd see no difference between hiring a contractor vs a permanent employee. I'm not aware of this type of thing varying from country to country.

I'd recommend just relaxing and seeing what happens with the background check, but it'll probably be fine. Don't raise it unless someone else does - unless you have some other specific reason to feel worried that you didn't mention in the question?

If they do raise it, just apologise and say you didn't realise it was important. But I'd be very surprised if they did - the difference amounts to how you were paid and what your rights / hours were, and does not really have any bearing on your work ability.

  • 1
    To add to this, if you think you should inform your potential employer about being a contractor at one of your positions then you can always say so during the interview process when/if they ask you about the details of that job. – Working Title May 27 '14 at 19:09


First, I'd be very surprised if you were actually a contractor. Most likely you were actually a contract employee.

Did you provide your own hardware and software? Did you quote a price based on a job, and not get paid by the hour? Did you have your own business (even as a DBA) and send invoices?

If you answered "No" to those questions, you were actually a contract employee, not a contractor. It's an important distinction, and you can use that to your advantage.

You likely used the employer-provided systems, worked in their offices, at their direction, and filled out timesheets, not invoices. Am I correct? You're a contract employee, not a contractor.

  • Hey Wesley, is it possible this could still come up as a question for the asker. If so, what should he say if it's brought up? Also, suppose the answers are "yes, I provided my own hardware?" Since we typically don't put clarifying questions in answers, would you be able to address the situation for if he was really a contractor? Thanks and hope this helps. – jmort253 May 30 '14 at 2:15

I have to disagree with this answer. What concerns people is not that you were a contractor or not but that you lied on your resume. Particularly if you used the name of the company you were working for but you were never an actual employee of that company. Lying on a resume can get you fired even years after you were hired.

It is good that you told the truth in the background check, but for the future never put anything on your resume that will conflict with what you will put on the background check or with what they will find if they do one.

For right now, I would come clean with their HR. Tell them you put the full information on the background check because it wasn't until you saw the form that you realized that it might be important. In such situations, it usually is more in your favor to admit the mistake before they catch you in a lie. And if it isn't at this company, you get the bad news faster.

  • This might be more correct for the OPs specific situation than my answer if this expectation is typical in the US. I'll leave mine up as I believe it is correct for others who might view this from the UK. – StackExchange What The Heck May 27 '14 at 21:38
  • So HLGEM, you suggest I contact the HR for the new employer and let them know what the mistake! is it going to look bad! for some reason i don't see as I lie. I put the duties I had done in the company I worked in how I got the job or who is paying me that's something else! – Jhenen May 27 '14 at 21:41

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