I was recently offered a job out of graduate school and did not expect any issues with my background check. Unfortunately, a discrepancy for employment end date showed up for my undergraduate research job, which officially started in June and ended in August of the same year (paid), but I continued the work until May the following year for credit instead of pay. I ended up listing it as June to May of the following year but the check came back as June to August of the same year.

This was completely unexpected and now I'm worried it looks like a lie, especially since I only saw this AFTER the background check was completed.

EDIT: I emailed my hiring manager and HR about the discrepancy and they seem to find it insignificant and may or may not contact my reference, who I informed of the issue as well. It looks like I still have the job and the starting date has not changed.

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    I think providing them with the same information you provided for this question would be a good place to start. Commented May 27, 2016 at 0:42

2 Answers 2


You need to contact the hiring manager or HR department for that company immediately. If you leave this unaddressed it will look like you padded your resume which is tantamount to lying which hiring managers are Not Fond Of.

You have a simple and reasonable explanation for why an official background check would list different employment dates. So explain it.

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    Alternatively, if you can get a letter from your former superior confirming the situation, that might be enough for them as well. I would also recommend updating your Resume with a note about this "work for credit" deal so that in the future you can be the one to address before it becomes an issue.
    – user48276
    Commented May 27, 2016 at 12:44

Your explanation seems reasonable. I would just explain the mishap. I really don't believe it's that serious.

  • Agreed - just give good detail as to why you made that change, and give them the employer as a reference so they can check.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented May 27, 2016 at 9:04

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