Joyce Lain Kennedy

Don't let a bad reference ruin your day

DEAR JOYCE: What's the worst that could happen if I were to omit one of my previous jobs on my resume? The job lasted 10 months and, to put it mildly, the boss and I didn't hit it off. -- M.M.

Employment verification (a background check) will highlight significant gaps in your employment history. It's a small world, and the internet makes it even smaller. For example, if you ever included the job on a social networking site, chances are that someone determined to find it will find it.

DEAR JOYCE: I work for a large county in a big state. I've been assigned to manage a two-year project that will require me to be out of town for three days per week initially, and later as much...