Be the Boss Over Cancer

Hi, I was wondering if you could help me with an issue regarding my last job and updating my resume.  I was only at my last job 6 months and then I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was on long term disability and when I was ready to return, they told be they consolidated my job with the person who was filling in for me.  Because I was not there a year, legally they were allowed to do that.  I never heard back from my boss, so I really don't feel comfortable putting her down as a reference.  I was at my last job from August 2011 until mid March 2012.  How should I date this on my resume and what do you think about not listing her as a reference?  Thank you in advance for your help.  Tricia O'Malley


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  • Sarah Goodell

    Sarah Goodell on May 9, 2013

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Tricia,

    Apologies for the delayed response, we've been experiencing problems with the alerts from our website. I am sending your question to one of our career coaches who will get back to you soon. 

    If you haven't submitted your resume for review, I would recommend that you do so here:


    Sarah, Cancer and Careers Program Coordinator

  • Rosalind Joffe

    Rosalind Joffe on May 13, 2013

    Career Coach Comment:

    Dear Tricia

    It sounds like your instinct is that you wouldn't get a strong, positive reference from your last boss. It's hard to know for sure what your most recent boss would say about you as a reference and if you think the previous boss would give you a stronger reference, then I'd give her.  If pressed during an interview, you might explain that the most recent job was a relatively short experience. I don't know what you're employment gap is and whether you'd be listing the last job at all.  Do you plan to disclose the time off from work and why you were let go? I'm not suggesting that you 'should' -- but if  yes, then you can fold it all into one story.  Otherwise, I'd suggest that you can give 1 or more references from the last job.  I hope that this is helpful.  Best of luck with landing the next job!



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