5 Ways to Overcome a Negative Work History

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5 Ways to Overcome a Negative Work History By Angela Rose for BioSpace.com

According to the latest stats provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for Biological Technicians are growing 14 percent faster than average. This means that in order to secure a position for yourself, you have to put you best foot forward. If you have bad marks in your employment record, this could get a little tricky, but not to worry, we have you covered. Here are a few easy ways to overcome negative work history.

1. Be Equipped with an Explanation, but Be Honest

If you've had poor performance on a past job, don't hide it from your potential employer when asked. The last thing you want is for them to perform a reference check and find out that you stretched the trust. Dishonesty is one of the top mistakes that keeps people from landing a job after an interview. Just be honest about what happened and share what you learned from the experience. You may consider calling your past employer and reaching an agreement as to what they'll say when being asked about you. Even if you think this won't work, it's certainly worth a try. (The Federal Trade Commission states that employers may also inquire about you through credit reporting agencies, so keep your credit in tip top shape).

2. Explain How You Overcame These Issues

If you had past discrepancies with fellow employees, customers or your employer, explain the situation and what steps you took to ensure that it will not happen again. Most employers are forgiving and understand that problems do occur and they're mainly focused on how you got past them. If you haven't already, think about the problem you encountered and brain storm ways to show improvement from it. For example, if you've had a dispute with a customer, you might show goodwill by taking a course in customer service.

3. Take Courses to Overcome a Weak Skill-set

Most employers provide on the job training, but every so often, you'll run into one that just expects you to dive right in. This could prove disastrous if you don't know what you're doing and it could earn you a bad mark. If you've gotten a poor report due to a mishap on the job, take a community course to improve your skill-set. Some adult colleges offer accounting, speech, math, customer service and even sales courses. Take advantage of these courses, especially those that offer certificates upon completion. You can bring this certificate to your next interview in case you're asked about your past employment mishap.

4. Obtain Better References

Your Biotech resume may be impressive, but what will your references say about your past work performance? This may seem a bit self-explanatory, but you'd be surprised at just how easy it is to forget to change your references (especially if you've just gotten a surprise interview. Update your resume today and replace poor references with better ones. Academic references may work as well.

5. Leave it Out

Market your best self. Don't include any poor information about yourself in your cover letter. Write in all of your strengths and really highlight your skill-set. Unless you're specifically asked, don't volunteer any information about your past poor work performance.

When in an interview, stay calm, cordial, focused and relaxed. Showing that you can maintain assertiveness in an interview may cause the employer to skip over questions concerning unsavory past events.

Read more biotech career tips. Find more biotech and pharma jobs by visiting the career center.

About the Author

Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for BioSpace.com.

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