Dear Experts, I just relocated to the Richmond, VA area and am applying to as many jobs as physically possible. While these aren't in any way related to my field, they're something to bring money in while I search and pursue internship opportunities. One thing I keep running into is applications that require me to be very specific regarding any job dismissals. Last year, I was fired from my factory job after being accused of vandalizing product. The quality standards had changed that morning, but no one changed the pictures in the standards book to include the new defect. Since the defect had been okay up until that morning, I was putting my inspection mark on them and packing them. I found myself being yelled at for making the mistake and was not listened to when I tried to explain the change hadn't been communicated. I attempted to push the box I had been working on off the skid to move it to a holding area and it tipped over, spilling the parts all over the floor. At this point, I admit I acted very poorly and threw one of the pieces back into the box. The head of quality for my shift saw me and went to the shift supervisor, who promptly accused me of vandalizing the parts. After being yelled at for so long, I was extremely upset. I was fired on the spot. Some of my friends who worked there as well informed me later the story of what I had done had changed over the course of the day from me pushing the box on purpose, to kicking it, to picking it up over my head and throwing it like the Incredible Hulk! I know better than to bad mouth a former employer and have a plan in place for the interview, but these questions on applications just absolutely terrify me. How do I be specific as requested on applications without ruining my chances for a job? Here is how our CAREEREALISM-Approved Experts answered this question on Twitter: Q#403 Why not just put that you left for a better opportunity or something? Explain IF you get an interview. (@beneubanks) Q#403 Simply put: "Threw part in box ... was fired for vandalism"; w/sound minute to HR reps, because it is. (@teenarose) Q#403 If app'n asks "were u let go?" u need 2 say yes, due 2 diffrnce of opinion. Rehearse SHORT explanation. (@juliaerickson) Q#403 Be honest about what happened, share what you've learned from the experience to show professional growth. (@jtodonnell) Our Twitter Advice Project (T.A.P.) is no longer an active campaign. To find an answer to the above question, please use the "Search" box in the right-hand column of this website.
December 23, 2009