Resumes and Out of Work for a Year

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mom returningtowork in fairfax, Virginia

61 months ago

Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts said: Gaps are fatal -- say you worked for a friend and have the friend vouch for you especially most agency recruiters who seem to control 90% of all open positions won't present someone with any type of employment ga

Hi Nick,
The kind of profile I had was a senior IT Business Analyst. If I lie on my resume that I worked for a friend during last 3 years, isnt that risky meaning dont companies go for background checks and all? First, I dont have a friend who can vouch for me and secondly most corps go really deep these days to do credit and background checks and hunt you down.

Whats your say on that?

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tina454542 in Pembroke, Georgia

61 months ago

How do you explain gaps on your resume? Maybe I was looking for a job, hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please give advice on this. I had several jobs where I was in a job program to get me back to work, not through a temp agency but it was a very valuable way to pick up skills. Some jobs were good but others not so good. Can anyone give me some good advice, I do not want to look like a job hopper.

Thank You
The Unemployed

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Courtney Mason in San Francisco, California

61 months ago

aurorablue215 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey said: I'm sure I'm not alone in this: for those who have been out of work for at least a year, how do we address this on our resume?

My last job ended in Nov. 2008. I have never had such a gap between jobs. I hesitate to even send out my resume at this point because of this, figuring the competition is so fierce that this will be a glaring disqualification for me. I've heard it suggested to list volunteer work for the time not worked, but is this viable?

Any input is appreciated.

Due to the downturn of the economy, the unemployment rate is at all time high and companies have been very picky when choosing the lucky candidate to fill in the positions. Most of them are hiring people that will sit in and do the job right away without having been trained on what to do at all to save on their resources, time and money.

You don't have to hesitate in sending out your resume as it will hinder your chances in getting the job you needed. Keep on sending it and be honest to say that you were doing a volunteer work while waiting for the right job that would keep you long-term. Try reading on articles on Interview Mastermind or seek advice form the experts on how to answer interview questions.

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FS in Salem, Massachusetts

61 months ago

Courtney Mason in San Francisco, California said: Due to the downturn of the economy, the unemployment rate is at all time high and companies have been very picky when choosing the lucky candidate to fill in the positions. Most of them are hiring people that will sit in and do the job right away without having been trained on what to do at all to save on their resources, time and money.

You don't have to hesitate in sending out your resume as it will hinder your chances in getting the job you needed. Keep on sending it and be honest to say that you were doing a volunteer work while waiting for the right job that would keep you long-term. Try reading on articles on Interview Mastermind or seek advice form the experts on how to answer interview questions.

Waste of money

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Nanlisa in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

61 months ago

rw_davis in Woodinville, Washington said: As far as references go, a lot of companies are getting away from that because of the legal liabilities. They are using a company/website called theworknumber.com for employment verification only. Two of my former employers won't do references. They wil give theworknumber.com website or phone number. There is also an issue of how many companies have gone under in the past 10 years or even the past 2 years. Most of my former employers before 2002 are no longer in business or in business in this state.

I agree with you that. Companies are also looking for verifiable references. Most of the places that I've worked for have either gone out of business or the supervisors that I worked under are not there anymore. What I do now is list my last four jobs, because they are verifiable. I will also give them additional information if they need to verify employment.

I once went to a staffing agency that has a policy of contacting the supervisor that you worked under. I told them that most places will tell you to contact Human Resources, but they said that Human Resources won't give them the information they need. If the supervisor left the company and there's nobody else there who can verify that you worked there, it wouldn't be worth their time to call them. But this is what most staffing agencies do.

My brother once said that it's illegal for a former employer to say something negative against you, and I don't blame him. I believe that when companies verify employment, they can only tell you how long you worked there and what you did. I'm not an employment legal expert, but that's what I know.

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FS in Salem, Massachusetts

61 months ago

To further my comment I applied everywhere, went through recruiters, went through my contacts and went to job fairs. All I got was one interview. My options are done if I'm in the right mood I will not do anything more to find a job. Then 2 days will go by and I'll continue my job search for about a week or 2. I set up Linkedin and get 5 contacts. I added only people I know and invited 40 people and only 5 people added me back.

Recruiters tell me there's nothing but say its picking up. Employers post jobs everywhere and go to job fairs but never call back. My network tells me their companies are busy expanding but never come through.

Even if I only find a short term temp. assignment no one is contacting them for a reference, other temp agencies can wait to find out who it was. I'm writing company confidential on my resume. They refused to help me so I won't help.

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

61 months ago

FS in Salem, Massachusetts said: To further my comment I applied everywhere, went through recruiters, went through my contacts and went to job fairs. All I got was one interview. My options are done if I'm in the right mood I will not do anything more to find a job. Then 2 days will go by and I'll continue my job search for about a week or 2. I set up Linkedin and get 5 contacts. I added only people I know and invited 40 people and only 5 people added me back.

Recruiters tell me there's nothing but say its picking up. Employers post jobs everywhere and go to job fairs but never call back. My network tells me their companies are busy expanding but never come through.

Even if I only find a short term temp. assignment no one is contacting them for a reference, other temp agencies can wait to find out who it was. I'm writing company confidential on my resume. They refused to help me so I won't help.

I don't understand, supposedly the job market here is supposed to be the best in the country after washington dc. I apply to about 10 jobs and get no response. everything is done online thru a third party website or recruiters. Only got a 4 day temp job thru Kforce (despite all the job postings they have that match my skillset on hotjobs) that got cut down to 2 days because I finished the work so quicly

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FS in Salem, Massachusetts

61 months ago

Janet in North Hollywood, California said: Nick - Just a heads up. I worked in the insurance field. I don't know how your credit is. Mine is a wreck due to being unemployed but if you don't have good credit you won't be able to get an agent's license.

Wow, I have someone in my network hounding me about SELLING funds, insurance, loan modifications part time or full time. He never mentioned that being a problem. Next time I'll ask him about this. It would be a waste of time to go through all that work for nothing. Also 100 % commissions, your an independent contractor, sell sell sell to get paid. You can follow my posts everywhere I'm not a salesmen type. I think it would be a bad fit for me. I just want to find a job in my field and I'll take it from there. Oh yeah the best part is I would have to build my own network from scratch.

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Chelle Manderson in tuscaloosa, Alabama

61 months ago

vicque fassinger said: Sure, they will find out you aren't working DURING THE PHONE INTERVIEW - when you wrangle their interest in about how much you know about their company, about your diverse experiences and how they relate to the available job, and about all your wonderful skills. YES, you honestly tell them you are unemployed IF THEY ASK. You can simply say the truth, "Due to the economy they recently abolished our department." Again, your goal when sending out your resume to someone who does not know you exist is to GET A RESPONSE - to get an interview (whether in person or over the phone).

If you plant seeds all over it that raise flags (the year you graduated from college - decades ago, the last date of your last day of work - months ago, all 50 jobs you ever held starting with paper boy - 'cuz you think it will show what a hard worker you are, a notation about being the founding member of a gun club, etc. etc. etc.). The resume is to SPARK an interest. If there is just ONE flag-raiser on it - they'll move on and go to the next candidate - and one flag raiser is that you haven't worked (or done anything worth mentioning since you didn't put anything on it) for 2 years (or however long it's been).

I never advocate dishonesty on the resume (or anywhere in life); the point is, you are not telling a perfect stranger EVERYTHING about you on the paper (resume) UNTIL you speak with them - you are, after all, INTERVIEWING THEM, TOO!

why in the heck do employers check for credit and make that they final decision? u ever apply at a retail store and wondering why the "f" they are want me to sign a paper about fair credit reporting "bull*****" MAJORITY OF THE U.S IS UNDER RECESSION why even chekc for credit !!!!

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Janet in Woodland Hills, California

61 months ago

To sell insurance you absolutely have to have a license.

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David in Gainesville, Florida

59 months ago

I have just hit my one year mark of being unemployed. I have moved from positive to DEPRESSED. I've even thought about ending it all. At least the insurance money will take care of my family.... I just had an interview and they told me that I was nervous and I would not be happy working there... Bull crap..... I have a physically disability that makes me look a little ugly and that is why. I have never been nervous in an interview in my life, I have been going back to school for the past year, and I have been working since 12! These employers are idiots, and our wonderful messiah Barrack INSANE Obama keeps saying how great the economy is and all these jobs he has created... very sad.... 1 year out of work... NEVER collected government benefits... I don’t qualify.... and I cant find work.... very sad....

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Nanlisa in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

59 months ago

rw_davis in Woodinville, Washington said: As far as references go, a lot of companies are getting away from that because of the legal liabilities. They are using a company/website called theworknumber.com for employment verification only. Two of my former employers won't do references. They wil give theworknumber.com website or phone number. There is also an issue of how many companies have gone under in the past 10 years or even the past 2 years. Most of my former employers before 2002 are no longer in business or in business in this state.

I agree with that wholeheartedly! Some companies, and most of the staffing agencies, want a verifiable work history. In fact, I even came across a position that required a 10-year verifiable work history. Of course, I didn't apply for it because I wasn't even qualified for it.

In my entire 33 years in the workforce, most of my supervisors are all gone. Plus a few of the places that I worked at previously have all since gone out of business. Since I've been out work for the last four months, I just list my last four employers. Except for one, the supervisors there have all since left, but there somebody there at each company who could verify that I actually worked there.

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Nanlisa in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

59 months ago

One of the staffing agencies that I dealt with a few years ago has a policy of verifying employment with your supervisor. I once told them that most companies are going to tell you to call Human Resources, but they said that Human Resources won't give them the information that you need.

Secondly, whenever they check your references, I let them know that some of my supervisors are no longer with that company, and I will give them the name of somebody else they can call.

Companies, and most definitely staffing agencies, need to realize that supervisors come and go, and companies do either go out of business, downsize, reorganize, or even outsource. I guess in this day and age, there is no such thing as a "verifiable" 10-year employment history.

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Nanlisa in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

59 months ago

My fault. I should have said "Whenever they check my references."

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Nanlisa in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

59 months ago

As far as job fairs go, I stopped going to them. Most of the companies there want you to have a college degree. They mainly look for outside salespeople, financial stuff, high-tech, and so forth. Definitely out of my range.

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Very discouraged in Scottsdale, Arizona

59 months ago

David in Gainesville, Florida said: I have just hit my one year mark of being unemployed. I have moved from positive to DEPRESSED. I've even thought about ending it all. At least the insurance money will take care of my family.... I just had an interview and they told me that I was nervous and I would not be happy working there... Bull crap..... I have a physically disability that makes me look a little ugly and that is why. I have never been nervous in an interview in my life, I have been going back to school for the past year, and I have been working since 12! These employers are idiots, and our wonderful messiah Barrack INSANE Obama keeps saying how great the economy is and all these jobs he has created... very sad.... 1 year out of work... NEVER collected government benefits... I don’t qualify.... and I cant find work.... very sad....

I'm so sorry David. I do understand the depression, but please know that ending it all would only make things worse for your family. If there is any sort of help you can get, any sort of support, a job support group, please check it out? Know you are not alone. So many of us are in the same boat. It is NOT your fault. It is just the way things have gone in this country and it IS so sad. One thing to keep in mind, we were losing 700K jobs a month I think for two years or so and they are not going to come back overnight. At least now we are moving in a direction where we're not experiencing the massive losses.

There is a forum online called Unemployed Friends that you might google on. It's a big forum for people who have been unemployed a long time with many topics.

Please hang in there. All we can do is to take things a day at a time.

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she in Greer, South Carolina

59 months ago

Goodgrl34 in Portland, Maine said: but isn't this a form of discrimination? it should be considered so, figuring that this is a bad economy. what if, just for the sake of stating it..what if business across the country got monetary incentives for hiring "past, present laid off workers with some job gaps because of this economy?" why not be creative with this economy...instead of punishing those who have been laid off for more than 1 year. seriously, do they really have that much of a stick up their "you know what?" or their head too far up their, "you know what?"

Actually, it is not discrimination. It is justified by employers as a requirement. Is it rather heartless? Yes, because employers who would pass up a candidate on that basis alone is assuming that they are better off with a candidate who is currently employed.

There are 2 kinds of candidates: Active (you as an unemployed person, or someone who doesn't appreciate that they are actually still employed in this econonomy and is looking)
Pasive (employed, not looking, gets call or email from recruiter, has to be seriously wooed to leave current position)

So, in answer to several questions and comments here: Absolutely list volunteer work, tutoring, course work, continuing education etc that you are doing. Could be what you are doing on your own, through your church or community.

Volunteer work is still work,and if you can volunteer to help an organization in the area of what you were doing (IT, Customer support etc) or in a new area of interest to you, it is very worthy of mention and attention.

Returning to the work force after many years of raising children? List previous skills and knowledge, organizational skills, adaptablity, etc in brief statements. All offices are under staffed so focused, organized and reliable individuals are always needed. Just don't expect to start at the top, or even middle regardless of whether you have a degree, if you have more time out than in.

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she in Greer, South Carolina

59 months ago

David in Gainesville, Florida said: I have just hit my one year mark of being unemployed. I have moved from positive to DEPRESSED. I've even thought about ending it all. At least the insurance money will take care of my family.... I just had an interview and they told me that I was nervous and I would not be happy working there... Bull crap..... I have a physically disability that makes me look a little ugly and that is why. I have never been nervous in an interview in my life, I have been going back to school for the past year, and I have been working since 12! These employers are idiots, and our wonderful messiah Barrack INSANE Obama keeps saying how great the economy is and all these jobs he has created... very sad.... 1 year out of work... NEVER collected government benefits... I don’t qualify.... and I cant find work.... very sad....

David - it is a strange realization we are facing these days...but there is NOTHING, i repeat NOTHING good that would come of a drastic action. You would do your family no service in the end.

Please seek help for your depression. I am not one to run to the dr. over every little thing, but depression and the stress of your unemployment are more than most anyone could possibly handle, and you will do yourself a favor too.

I could give all kinds of positive quips and quotes, but lets be real...this situation really is bad for you. Get help for yourself, and see if you can maybe help someone else who is in a similar situation. You never know what great thing you may come up with when you get outside of your own head and focus on someone, or something outside of yourself!! Could lead to a new career you never imagined:)
Peace man...

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David in Gainesville, Florida

59 months ago

Thanks for the encouraging words..... I will keep my head up and keep looking. Just pray for me...

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David in Gainesville, Florida

59 months ago

Lets not forget that there is actually more than 15 million out of work, because the government estiments dont include people that A. are not on unemployment, B. Have lost their benifits, C. Have been unemployeed for more than 6 months....

I heard this dude, (democrat) on the radio yesterday saying that all this unemployment is not as bad as WE are sayin it is.... and that the fact that there is an average of 6 applicants to one job is bogas and that the unemployment numbers and not as high as we think..... what a moron... but he is right about one thing... there is not 6 applicants to one job.... it is more like 300!!!! YUP! 300! I spoke to a manager the other day and her EXACT words were.... "I have over 300 applicants for an average position all the way down to janitor, and people with degrees are applying for these jobs.... so the only thing I can say is wait, and keep trying."

This administration is so out of touch it is pathetic..... then again, the most scariest words of the english language (or any language) is "I am from the government and I am here to help.....

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FS in Lynn, Massachusetts

58 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: The difference is the employed people are coming to you. In that situation, absolutely you should ask them to talk to people in their companies on your behalf. Networking is demeaning when you have beg for help from someone. Not only is doing so demeaning, it is degrading.

Is networking viable still? My network came up with nothing in over 1 year. I was even told to apply on-line by a "network friend" and got an automated answer. What a joke.

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skrj in Greer, South Carolina

58 months ago

Are You Serious in Denver, Colorado said: My days of "trying to dress up and leave an impression" are OVER. I'm like, "You need to be actually evaluating me based on my personality, my attitude and what job skills I bring to the table/group, not what type of clothes I'm wearing.....that's dumb...I've seen well dressed women including ones older than me who are very stupid in the work ethics department and also lack moral values, team work/peer interaction skills, common sense and critical thinking skills, but they dress well, so allegedly they are more valuable? I have all those important skills and if I want to dress in jeans, I will. Employers can take it or leave it and hire trash that "looks good", but isn't actually of high quality or professional or they can actually hire quality. How stupid of someone to assume, that because someone is well dressed and wearing high fashion clothes and suits, that they must be a good person."

I've looked at many employers in my community and I'm like, "The work environments you provide are lame, your pay is lame and your system of rewarding hard working people is lame. Things you should be paying attention to, you aren't and dumb things, you are paying attention to."

your rant is juvenile, which if added to unprofessional attire would likely make you a great candidate for the local donut shop.

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Liberal in Fishers, Indiana

58 months ago

To David in Gainsville, you quickly blame this administration for your trouble. Don't forget about the 'Toy Story Cowboy' who ran this country into the ground with the trillion dollars spent on a ficticious war that he never evan had the balls to put in the budget. Not to metion deregulation of Big Oil, Wall Street, Pharmecutical annd Insurace companies .... Obama inherited a country falling off a cliff!!!!

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Sharon Perry in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

52 months ago

aurorablue215 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey said: I'm sure I'm not alone in this: for those who have been out of work for at least a year, how do we address this on our resume?

My last job ended in Nov. 2008. I have never had such a gap between jobs. I hesitate to even send out my resume at this point because of this, figuring the competition is so fierce that this will be a glaring disqualification for me. I've heard it suggested to list volunteer work for the time not worked, but is this viable?

Any input is appreciated.

You are definitely not alone. I have been unemployed since March 2009. It seems there are just NO JOBS. I apply to at least 4 or 5 jobs a week and nothing. It is depressing.

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Tina Crabtree in Pembroke, Georgia

52 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Blame it on the economy. So many people have been out of work for at least a year. For that reason, your resume may not come off to HR as being unusual.

That said, consider preparing a functional resume. Your goal is to sell your knowledge, skills and abilities to an employer, and not necessarily your employment record. A functional resume places KSAs high, so HR sees them first, and employment record lower.

As far as time out of work goes, you don't necessarily have to list the actual chronological years you worked for an employer on a resume. You can list total years. E.g., instead of "2 0 0 0 - 2 0 0 8" you can list "Eight years." That way your time out of work is less obvious.

Try googling "functional resume" for sample forms and more advice about using this format.

IMO you should list volunteer work, especially if you collected transferable work skills and particularly if you received recognition and/or awards.

What is exactly transferrable skills? Plus I like the idea about the functional resume instead of chronological.
Thank You

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

52 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Transferable skills are skills one learns in a job, vocation or industry that could be used in a different job, vocation or industry.

Let's say you worked the counter at Mickey D's. In that job you handled customers' cash. That cash handling experience would be a tranaferable skill to, e.g., being a bank teller.

Another example: you are a news reporter. In that job, among other things, you write - a lot. Your writing experience is a directly tranferable skill for, e.g., report writing, etc.

Those are examples of transferable skills.

How do you sell 'transferable' skills when most positions are thru 3rd party recruiters who will summarily reject you or trash your resume if it doesn't mean 110% of what their "client" is looking for??

Today a recruiter emailed me about a job. I emailed her back my Resume and she said it wouldn't work because my resume looked too much like "accounting" and not "business analysis' as she was seeking. She couldn't tell me why she contacted me if I wasn't a match other than say "you are in our database".

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

52 months ago

Sharon Perry in Port Saint Lucie, Florida said: You are definitely not alone. I have been unemployed since March 2009. It seems there are just NO JOBS. I apply to at least 4 or 5 jobs a week and nothing. It is depressing.

There ARE jobs, you just have to meet certain criterion to get one in the 'New Economy' of today . They are:

1) Have a BA/BS degree but NO higher
2) Be currently employed
3) Have not gaps in employment longer than 3 months
4) Be attractive and under the age of 30 and act, talk & dress like someone on MTV or Reality TV.

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Goin Crazy in New Orleans, Louisiana

50 months ago

I think I am doomed! Grad school was the worst mistake of my life. I did not finish the program, and I definitely believes that sends red flags on my resume. Now I'm trying to get back into a grad program but who wants me now??? And because I was in grad school, my work history has a huge gap. It's filled with a bunch of work-study jobs and summer gigs. Ugh...all that hard work for nothing. If I knew this was going to happen, I would have skipped college and started building experience after high school. Because that's what seems to count more, experience over education. And being in the technical field means you have to stay current with technology. They want engineers who know CATIA, Java, Linux, etc. Stuff I wasn't taught in school. Each year they want the candidate to proficient in some new fancy computer program. Arghhhh!

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Janet in Van Nuys, California

50 months ago

Also the problem is that things are changing so fast, you learn one new program another comes up and what you know is extinct. I spoke to a temp agency before who wanted me to test for a program that I knew the company didn't use and told them so and I did not bother to sign up with them. Another temp agency called me regarding the same company and didn't want me to test for this program. I just decided it was all b.s.
Also a huge factor is pay. When I was laid off I took it personally but now I think it's numbers crunchers who don't even know you or what kind of worker you are. My co-workers were really upset when they laid me off because I was a good worker and they kept a girl who was annoying and a ding-bat but she was paid less. I'm also thinking the more education you have the more the company is thinking they will have to pay.

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Goin Crazy in New Orleans, Louisiana

50 months ago

Janet in Van Nuys, California said: Also the problem is that things are changing so fast, you learn one new program another comes up and what you know is extinct.

That is what I was trying to say. These programs are not easy to learn and they take a lot of time. So by time you get advanced with it, it becomes extinct like you said. This is a joke. It doesn't seem worth the investment. In the past, they would tell you to throw all of what you learned in school out of the window because you'll only be applying 10% of it. They would say the companies train you. Things are so competitive that these companies don't want to waste resources training employees. I mean c'mon we're entry-level for a reason. When did entry-level become 5 years???

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

48 months ago

vicque fassinger said:

For some clients, I update their resumes and put their most recent job (the one they just got fired from or let go) in PRESENT tense. AS IF they came to me months ago when they really were still working. So it might read, "Office Manager whatever year you got hired thru to -present" -

In other words lie about working and say you are working when you really are not?

Recruiters do this and worse. They also change job titles, insert skills & software on ones resume to 'match' the job description. Ex. they will change proficient in MS Access to Knowledge of advance MS Access with VBA Macros & Queries. Other things like changing titles -- Financial Ananlyst to Business Analyst to 'match the job description' is their explanation.

Regarding the above (lying about working in the present) it is something you may have to do if you have been unemployed for awhile. We have all read stories how employers won't interview let alone hire someone who has been unemployed longer than a few months. Many also look askance at a period of temporary or consulting work.

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Nanlisa in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

48 months ago

Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts said: How do you sell 'transferable' skills when most positions are thru 3rd party recruiters who will summarily reject you or trash your resume if it doesn't mean 110% of what their "client" is looking for??

Today a recruiter emailed me about a job. I emailed her back my Resume and she said it wouldn't work because my resume looked too much like "accounting" and not "business analysis' as she was seeking. She couldn't tell me why she contacted me if I wasn't a match other than say "you are in our database".

After I lost a medical telemarketing job back in 1989, I remember applying for this one job over in New Jersey making appointments for the company's account executives. The woman who interviewed me looked at my resume and she said that it was more "customer service". (You had to cold call out of the phone book.) That's because I have worked for telemarketing service agencies and market research firms who are hired by other companies to do their various sales and marketing projects. She probably wanted somebody with cold-calling experience. Whereas with most of my telephone contact jobs, we are provided with contact information and phone numbers by the client. Well it wasn't the end of the world.

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vicque

48 months ago

ABC NEWS just reported tonight that people who are unemployed (and who state that they are unemployed on their resumes) get put into a "black hole" and are discriminated against and are NOT asked to come in for interviews (to even be given a chance to explain/share what they have been doing while unemployed!)

I state again (as I have in the past here), if you are unemployed (within a year), put your most recent job IN PRESENT TENSE or DO VOLUNTEER WORK (do NOT state that it is volunteer work) and put THAT experience on the top of your resume.

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vicque

48 months ago

Lots of news sources cover the same events OVER AND OVER. Being unemployed and not being able to land a job is OLD NEWS FOR MOST FOLKS.

Just like you repeat the same points and recommendations OVER AND OVER on here because NOT EVERYONE remains GLUED to this site 24/7, right?
What I shared was JUST on the news tonight, so I thought I would take a moment to share it.

I've already explained myself in previous postings. What it comes down to IN LIFE is this - do what works for you.

If stating/showing that you have been unemployed for two years lands you tons of great interviews - go for it!

If you haven't worked in the past 3 months (and your most recent job was LONGER than 9 months) - write it as present tense AND WHEN YOU GET THE PHONE CALL you can explain it then! AGAIN - a resume is TO GET NOTICED TO GET AN INTERVIEW. I have NEVER met anyone who landed an interview by putting they were still employed and who was called a liar or not offered a job because of that! That's silly. Once you get in front of the interviewer - dazzle them with your charisma, good looks, great disposition, upbeat personality, honed skills, and well-rounded experience. You can't do that if you don't get the interview.

NOBODY wants to hire someone who hasn't worked (or volunteered, or taken classes, or done SOME SORT OF SELF IMPROVEMENT) in the past two years!

Again, the proof is in the results. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

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HR Professional in Brighton, Massachusetts

48 months ago

vicque fassinger said: Not being willing to say what you have been doing for the past two years raises more flags than at a winter olympics game! You can say you lots of things, and then pick the one that is true:

1) I've taken a hiatus to finish my novel
2) I've been helping my family member recover from an ailment
3) I've been traveling and exploring the country
4) I've been in prison (they'll find that out one way or another)
5) I've been taking classes and improving my skills
6) I've been in a coma
7) I've been sending out 1000s of resumes and you are the first person who
has interviewed me and asked me that!
8) I've been going on lots of interviews and turned down some opportunities as I am holding out for a position where I can continue to grow as an individual while contributing to the success of a corporation; I am looking for a company where I can build a future and remain with them for a long time.
9) I've been catching up on my soap operas
10) I've been eating mass quantities of chips and helluva dip while lounging like a lizard on my sofa with my hound and wondering how if I can wear sweat pants to an interview since I can't fit into my suit anymore

whatever your answer, whatever the response you get from it - you need an answer. I can't imagine a potential employer hiring anyone who has been out of work for the past two years and who doesn't say what they've been doing. Say it and quickly move on to another topic.

I absolutely agree!!! Answer: I've been living is what all of these answers state. I'm a recruiter, and I love when someone tells me they have actually been enjoying their time off, or they are doing interesting things, that they took a break from actually looking for a job so they can do things they can't when they are working. It shows me that they are honest, interesting, have NOTHING to hide, have passions or compassion if they are tending to a sick relative. Say nothing, bad call. JNM-Recruiter

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Sharon Perry in Connecticut

48 months ago

I was asked what I have been doing since my layoff back in March 09. I felt like saying, None of your business! But I don't think that would be appropriate, but it actually is none of their business. Whether I was caring for a sick relative or traveling on my savings or collecting unemployment <em>is</em> none of their business!

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Sharon Perry in Connecticut

48 months ago

I was asked what I have been doing since my layoff back in March 09. I felt like saying, None of your business! But I don't think that would be appropriate, but it actually is none of their business. Whether I was caring for a sick relative or traveling on my savings or collecting unemployment is (darn! html doesn't work here...LOL) none of their business!

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janne.kirk in Palermo, Italy

48 months ago

don't worry. try to be positive and determined and i'm sure you will find your job!

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Hello in Santa Monica, California

48 months ago

I'm not going to sort through all the postings to see if these things were mentioned.

Address it in your cover letter so no one fills in their own answer to the "Why?"

Good Reasons:
(a) stay-at-home parent
(b) a family/personal medical situation
(c) travel
(d) working on a personal creative and or entrepreneurial endeavor
(e) taking classes

I will be honest that I worked on the recruiting end, and if you were laid off and you did NOTHING, you are in bad shape. I had a supervisor tell me "I would rather see that someone has been doing temp jobs or volunteering than nothing at all."

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

48 months ago

Hello in Santa Monica, California said: I'm not going to sort through all the postings to see if these things were mentioned.

Address it in your cover letter so no one fills in their own answer to the "Why?"

I will be honest that I worked on the recruiting end, and if you were laid off and you did NOTHING, you are in bad shape. I had a supervisor tell me "I would rather see that someone has been doing temp jobs or volunteering than nothing at all."

So why are temp jobs always seen as inferior even though the requirements to continue as a temp are much greater than that for a full time perm employee. Temps typically do the same work as perm employees and held to the same standards & deadlines however there is no learning curve, you have to have a thick skin due to being treated usually in an insulting or at best as a 'less than or inferior' person by mgmt & perm staff and you can let go at any time due to the whim of the employer.

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Hello in Santa Monica, California

48 months ago

It's not seen as inferior. It's seen as a POSITIVE THING on a resume, although you should indicate on your resume that these short-term positions were on a temporary, freelance or consulting basis so it doesn't look like you were hired/laid off. (I'm not sure what you meant by "seen as inferior", unless you mean socially).

In this economy, if two similar candidates were interviewing against eachother, both of whom had been laid off 18 months ago, one collected unemployment, one held two 3-6 month temp assignments while job hunting, the second person would be seen as more of a go-getter and someone who was gaining skills and learning about their industry.

(If two students graduated from the same college program, one had done two internships and one had done no internships, you could understand why one is seen as more of a go-getter, right?)

Volunteering or taking classes demonstrates the same quality.

Please keep in mind that if you are temping (and not "temp-to-hire" three month contract etc), you should still be job hunting and you can leave your position on the same "whim" that they can let you go.

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

48 months ago

{{{Please keep in mind that if you are temping (and not "temp-to-hire" three month contract etc), you should still be job hunting and you can leave your position on the same "whim" that they can let you go.}}}

Its much harder to continue to conduct a full time job search while on a temp assignment. Like I said, you are expected to treat the job as a perm job by the client and still subject to the same deadlines & performance expectations. "Temp to Hire" is really a myth that you dont' find out about until you have been working on the assignment for some time and see many others come on board as direct hires in the same department.

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Hello in Santa Monica, California

48 months ago

@Displaced Legal

I wouldn't make it more than a one-liner. I've seen cover letters that say "I'm returning to the work force after taking five years off to raise my children/spending six months traveling through Asia/writing a screenplay".

I agree some things are better addressed face-to-face. Sorry, I think I combined thoughts. I think it works if you are returning to the workforce after taking a self-imposed hiatus. I've heard people say in interviews... "Got in a bad car accident a few years ago, there is nothing wrong with me currently, but I didn't need to work for a few years", "I was taking care of a sick relative", "I won (a large amount of money)" in interviews. I wouldn't put these in a cover letter, but if you've been unemployed more than 3-4 months I would have this answer ready in an interview.

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Hello in Santa Monica, California

48 months ago

@Nick L

I was just trying to answer the original poster with what I have heard REAL hiring managers say. If you don't like temping, don't do it. I told you WHY some people view temping as a good thing.

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

48 months ago

It's not seen as inferior. It's seen as a POSITIVE THING on a resume, although you should indicate on your resume that these short-term positions were on a temporary, freelance or consulting basis so it doesn't look like you were hired/laid off. (I'm not sure what you meant by "seen as inferior", unless you mean socially).}}}

Uh socially it is seen as worse. You have to remember that most employed people think of anyone who is unemployed or less than upper middle class as somehow inferior. This applys to many younger people who grew up in very sheltered environments and had everything handed to them and were told that what you own and what you wear is more important than who you are or how you treat others

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

48 months ago

Hello in Santa Monica, California said: @Nick L

I was just trying to answer the original poster with what I have heard REAL hiring managers say. If you don't like temping, don't do it. I told you WHY some people view temping as a good thing.

I am doing it and have given you my experience both with hiring managers as well as on the job. It rarely is seen as positive as you are making it and more of something you have to 'explain' to others and others think that you can't find or don't want a real job

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Hello in Santa Monica, California

48 months ago

Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts said: I am doing it and have given you my experience both with hiring managers as well as on the job. It rarely is seen as positive as you are making it and more of something you have to 'explain' to others and others think that you can't find or don't want a real job

I didn't say temping was preferential to a full-time position. I said it was preferential to unemployment, both on your resume (which I was talking about) or socially (which you seem to be talking about).

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Sharon Perry in Connecticut

48 months ago

How do I stop getting comments in my email?

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janne kirk in Copenaghen, Denmark

48 months ago

In your email you should read "cancel this alert". Click on it :)

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Col in Lynn, Massachusetts

46 months ago

Hello in Santa Monica, California said: I'm not going to sort through all the postings to see if these things were mentioned.

Address it in your cover letter so no one fills in their own answer to the "Why?"

Good Reasons:
(a) stay-at-home parent
(b) a family/personal medical situation
(c) travel
(d) working on a personal creative and or entrepreneurial endeavor
(e) taking classes

I will be honest that I worked on the recruiting end, and if you were laid off and you did NOTHING, you are in bad shape. I had a supervisor tell me "I would rather see that someone has been doing temp jobs or volunteering than nothing at all."

And no one wants to hire you as a temp or full-time. That happened to me, all the reliable temp agencies from the past have nothing. And no one knows what happened. They'll call when they have something.

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