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How can I reword my resume without using my last employer on my resume for 5 years?

by Roy
(Highland Park, Michigan USA)

I was fired from my last job 5 years 10/2004 to 12/2009.

I do not want to list this employer on my resume.
* the reason I was fired was that I had a drinking problem, I was drinking before I went to work, last year which now I have resolved that issue. I haven't been drinking for 7 months now.

I am currently working for working for a staffing agency as a temporary worker off and on from 03/2010 to current.

The question I get is why did I get fired, why did the job didn't last.
*I say I had some personal issues and now they are resolved. Employer asks can you share more and I say the issues are personal and from that point the interview goes sour.

If I don't include my last employer then I will not have to go through that ordeal about my last job.

So how can I reword my resume without my last employer and how can I account for those 5 years 10/2004 to 12/2009 on my resume?

Answer: First off, Roy, I just want to say congrats for your 7 months of sobriety! I'm sure that was a hard-fought battle, for which you should be proud. Unfortunately, you are now between the proverbial rock & a hard place.

If you don't list the last job, then you'll have a 5-year gap on your resume, which is certainly also going to raise red flags and probing questions, like "What have you been doing for the past 5 years?" I can't imagine what answer you could give to those questions that is going to turn out any better than what's been happening, unless you lie outright, which I never advise. Lies have a way of being found out.

What if you were completely honest about your past alcoholism? What if you told recruiters when they ask that you were fired because you had unresolved personal issues at the time. After being fired, you eventually got your life together and you have worked hard and now have 7 months of stability behind you. Talk about being confident you are now on the right track with your life and ready to recommit to an employer, as you did in the past.

I know it must be hard to be that honest, but I think it would be harder to explain away a 5-year employment gap. Honesty, humility, and focused determination might take you a long way. Just be careful not to get defensive about your past.

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