Good news is that I had a somewhat impromtu phone interview today for a job. I am a CNA who really wants to get on the therapy side of things and this would be working for a rehab facility.
On my resume, I have 6 months working for an adult day center and 7 months at an assisted living facility, which was my last job (ended in May). The adult center I voluntarily left. I had been in an accident, went back to work like a week or so after and honestly could not handle. I honestly think I had some post traumatic going on. I resigned. The assisted living facility, I was fired. I was fired because of poor attendance. I was being bullied at work and really didn't not handle right. I let my anxiety take over and just "quit" by not showing up or calling off my shift.
My question is how should I answer questions regarding these jobs? For instance, today on the phone, I was asked about my last job. I have to be honest. I spoke up and said "to be honest, I was fired due to poor attendance, only because I had some medical issues that were going on that affected my attendance and yes those issues have been resolved." Then the recruiter asked me, 'well what about this other job..looks like you were there for a short period of time as well'..I said yes I was, but I was involved in a car accident and went back to work a week or so afterwards, and frankly discovered it was too much for me. I decided I needed to take time to take care of myself. I resigned.
Is this okay?? What should I say? I hate not being honest, but I feel like my answers may be making future employers cautious.
Sep 2, '16
Find out if you are eligible for re-hire at the previous facility. They aren't allowed to say anything bad about you when they get called. But they will tell the HR dept if you are eligible for rehire or not. This is key. This is how they know if you got fired, resigned on your own, or were given the option to resign. Employers know you are not perfect, they also know previous jobs are not take as seriously as the one you are applying for after graduation. Be honest but vague, don't offer more information than is asked from you. If it comes up simply tell them you were terminated for absenteeism and left without incident (you didn't start throwing stuff). Make sure the conversation ends with what you have learned from the experience and what you have done since then to ensure you will not have the same problem with future employers.
Sep 9, '16
Thank you for such good advice! Should I allow this company to contact my last employer? Is this a red flag if I say no? The DON that I worked under is no longer there and the administrator is fairly new.
Sep 10, '16
That's even better, tell them yes, the person they speak to won't even know you. If someone didn't like you (again can't legally say anything bad) they might worst case scenario say "she works hard when she shows up". They will be calling someone who doesn't know you. That person will pull your files, verify you worked from date A to date B and were terminated for X reason and are/are not eligible for re-hire. It won't be anything you didn't already tell them and they will probably admire your transparency. It would be good to find a reference from a charge nurse, staff nurse who worked over you, or a preceptor so they can see you were more than just an attendance sheet.
The big don'ts are don't trash your old boss,
don't show up smelling like smoke,
don't tell them your biggest weakness is you try too hard (they want a real answer and again what you are doing to improve)
don't show up late
don't show up an hour early
And relax! you've got that new shiny RN license and experience on a unit instead of at Chilis's (that was the only thing on my first resume) they'll want you.