A reader writes:
I have been in the job market for about 6 months now. The most recent interview turned out to be horrible due to the fact that I worked at Hooters for two years. The man interviewing me sexually harassed me and just degraded me to no extent. It seems the only reason I was asked in was because I had worked at Hooters and not that I have a degree in Mass Communications and was an ideal candidate for the job I was applying for.
Since then I have left Hooters off of my resume. I find that I may not have been put into an "interview" pile because of it or that I was only put into that pile because of it. It was my last job in college so the "gap" in my resume just makes people assume i didn't work for those two years.
I have now made it to the next round of interviewing for a job I really want. They want me to fill out an employment history for the past 7 years. Do I add it in there? I would feel awful if I left it out. Would they be understanding to the situation? Thanks for your help.
What a horrible experience! I'm sorry to hear that.
The vast majority of interviewers aren't going to see this as a factor one way or another. But since you're concerned about it, there are some precautionary measures you can take for the tiny fraction who might be asses. (And that guy who interviewed you was the ass of all asses.)
It's ridiculous that you would have to do this, but rather than having a gap, can you simply put "waitressing" for that period, without specifying the employer? If you're not applying for jobs where those skills are relevant, chances are good most people won't ask where you were waitressing; they'll just be satisfied to know you were employed during that period and roughly what you were doing. Especially because it was while you were in college, this isn't likely to be a major factor in assessment of your resume.
Regarding the employment history form you have to fill out, you could likely take the same approach.
For this record, it isn't fair or right that this is posing this sort of issue for you, but it's also likely the most practical way of handling it.