Hello J.T. & Dale: I am making a re-entry into the work force. Here’s the rub: My work history has gone awry. By that I mean one major employer no longer exists, another was sold, and so on. When submitting a job application or resume, how do I address the fact that there is no way to contact my previous employers? – Mary
J.T.: To start, I’d strongly suggest that you do your best to track down former managers at those defunct businesses.
DALE: Yes, even though the companies don’t exist, the people do. You list your former employer on your resume, and only later, when it comes time for reference checking, will you need to provide contact information.
J.T.: Social media has made it much easier for us to find people. Seek out individuals to serve as references who can validate your work history. For those organizations where you can’t locate anyone, simply list the company as out of business. The most important thing is to not leave blank any part of the application. Applicant tracking systems are picky about things like that. Be sure to put something in those fields, or you will be screened out.
DALE: And don’t feel that your time spent tracking down former managers and colleagues is distracting from your job search – it’s a marvelous way to network, and reconnecting with people is the most lively and enjoyable form of job searching.
Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale via e-mail at [email protected] or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.
© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock