ASK HR: If you accept a position in a field other than your current one due to the economy, will it be a blemish on your resume?

A. It is unlikely that this would be looked upon negatively and, more often than not, will be considered a positive. Many employers understand this situation, especially in a recession and if the position is held for a short duration. Furthermore, this ability demonstrates flexibility to an employer and shows that you are continuing to expand your skills. — Cay Gliebe, VP, Sales and Marketing, Northgate Arinso

A: Anytime the economy has seen a tremendous downturn and the workforce is hit with enormous amounts of closings and layoffs, employers should expect to receive resumes with variations in employment history. Regardless of how these variations are viewed on a resume, it challenges the individual to be creative in explaining and tying their present experience with past experiences, while reflecting their dedication and willingness to maintaining employment and learning new skills. — Ronald Miranda, HR Manager with Aldeasa A.J.V


A: It’s no secret that jobs have been scarce, so future employers should be more open-minded to those candidates who must take a position temporarily outside their career path. What’s important is that the individual remains active and, if possible, finds a job that complements the skills needed in his chosen field and allows him to demonstrate enhanced abilities. — Margaret Hintz, Team Manager for Administaff in Atlanta

These human resources professionals are members of the Atlanta Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. If you have a question you would like to ask a panel of local experts, please e-mail it to Sharon Belhamel, vice president of public relations for SHRM-Atlanta at For more information about becoming a member of SHRM-Atlanta, please visit their membership section or call 404.442.7335.

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15 comments Add your comment

kelly drake

November 30th, 2009
7:48 am

Enter your comments here
I was terminated when someone I worked with on a job that was a step down from where I was in my career was hired by my employer. Somehow it came to my supervusors attention that I had not put this job on my resume as I had built my resume of 18+ yrs as a value and contribution summary for the position I was seeking. They said it was an integrity issue that I left it off my resume. In a terminate at will state I had no recourse. At the time I was receiving accolades from both peers and clients. I would appreciate your opinion on this as I have been basically unemployed since and that was 2 years ago. It still upsets me.


November 30th, 2009
11:53 pm

It is not outside of my element to take on a new job in a different industry but somebody need to re-evaluate the requirements for American citizens. There have been countless jobs that I qualify for BUT! why are we required to speak Spanish in a primary English speaking country? This I know for sure have set back countless job hunters that I personally have spoken with, so our Congress need to update a few laws that all incoming legal and illegal citizens be required to SPEAK ENGLISH not the other way around!!!


December 2nd, 2009
10:00 am

How about learning Spanish?

Learning does not kill you.


January 3rd, 2010
1:55 pm

Yeah you’re right learning does not kill you….but, this is an English speaking country…we shouldn’t be turned down for a job if we can’t speak, read or write spanish. Let them learn, speak/read/write English for once!!!!!!!!!! You probably have a job…but for people that don’t….its pretty tough out there!!

BongWater Slurpee

January 8th, 2010
10:39 am

kelly drake

November 30th, 2009
7:48 am

I guess that strippers job came back to haunt ya…LOL!!

Katrina Young

January 20th, 2010
9:12 pm

I received my MBA degree in Human Resource Management in May of 2006. However, I have not had any success finding a position with the HR field. Presently, I am employed with an Infertilty Specialist as a Precertification Representative. I have been applying for HR postiions but I have not received any responses. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can get into this field?


January 24th, 2010
2:51 pm

It comes down to survival. I would take anything at this point. And I am getting really tired of reading articles by so-called “experts” who obviously have not been in the job market recently. And if any of them have been, I apologize.


January 30th, 2010
3:10 pm

I moved from Columbus, Ga to Atlanta in August 2008, leaving behind a part time position in the print shop for a beverage distributor. The move was prompted on the decision to transfer from Columbus State University to pursue my degree at the more affluent and business driven college at Georgia State. I was hoping that not only would I get a better education but also find a better job. I am content with my education at Georgia State and will be graduating this semester. However, it seems I picked the wrong time to switch jobs being that I have been unemployed since I left Columbus in August of 2008. As a result I’m not looking forward to graduating and looking for a job, as I have applied at many places, even McDonald’s which did not lead to a single call back. So now imagine how I feel about the bailout plan and stimulus plans. Yeah, a complete waste!


February 28th, 2010
11:26 pm

Should you ask Human Resource with assisting in finding a new position in the company when you feel you are about to be fired?


March 4th, 2010
7:54 am

I can tell illegal Aliens are here thinking we should be speaking Spanish in AMERICA. FU all.
WE SPEAK ENGLISH HERE!!!! I’ve stopped shopping in Walmart locally since they are infamous for hiring Mexicans to sell the Crap made in China.

For the record I do speak Spanish, but this is America. Se hablas ingles aqui!!!! LEARN ENGLISH!

For the sorry A$$ employer’s that hire anyone not American, I choose not to buy any of your products or services, I sure as heck don’t want to work side by side with the illegal aliens you hire.


March 7th, 2010
1:15 pm

I kind of agree…If you want to move to this country, the least you can do is to learn our native language. I have thought the same thing…I see lots of jobs there that I think I could do except for one thing—they say that you need to be fluent in Spanish as well as in English! I don’t mind learning another language but that is beside the point. Either learn English or get out of here!

Boogers in your hair

March 16th, 2010
10:05 am

Speak English or stay away. We dont want you or need you so KissAss!


March 31st, 2010
12:28 pm

I agree that illegals should learn English but if an employer hires them or only hires employees that speak Spanish then blame them, not the illegal trying to get work. Too many times anger is directed at these people when they are just pawns to big business.

"to no fault of my own"

June 10th, 2010
11:20 pm

Is it true that HR will allow an investigation into the financial situation of an employee before a lay off to determine if the employee is in a position to waive a separation agreement and preserve his right to file a complaint with the EEOC?


July 8th, 2010
5:04 pm

Is it true that hiring managers automatically disqualify unemployed job applicants, with the weight of disqualification bearing more so on those who are the longer-term employed, despite stellar qualifications?