Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Don't Explain

My job requires me to review job applications. In the near future, it is likely that I will be directly or indirectly responsible for hiring large numbers of staff. For years-years!- I have been unable to find a livable job; suddenly I not only have a job, but my job is to help create jobs, albeit temporary ones.

Anyway, a lot of folks seem to be looking for work these days, so I'd like to offer some advice on what not to write on one's resume or application.

- You might not want to mention that you have been fired from three jobs in three years because of "personality conflicts". That sort of work-history is not what we, as "team- builders", are looking for.

- We don't care who's fault it was or who started it. The Court decided that and we cannot overturn or overlook your "guilty" verdicts.

- Under Have you ever been convicted of a felony?, do not write: "Will explain at interview."

I have to note here- I have three Federal convictions on my record, I gave the honest details on my application and I got hired in the first round of staffing, so the standard isn't all that high- if I can pass an FBI screen, I imagine most people can. In fact, I was working this same job when I got arrested nearly a decade ago- I didn't get in trouble at work, just in court.

Nonetheless, many applicants tend to be far too informative, apologetic or confessional when it comes to their criminal records:

- Permutations on the phrase : "I have learned my lesson" are very common on applications. I have used that very phrase myself- once to the Judge and several times to my Probation Officer.
In each case, I was lying. Seeing it on a job application causes me to have second thoughts.

- If you have had articles published in a local paper, you don't need to include clippings. Really.

- If you note that you have outstanding warrants against you in several neighboring states, writing "can explain in person" will not help you with the FBI background check. Are you sure that you want the FBI to have your home address? You might have some explainin' to do.

- Your boyfriend's cocaine habit is not such a good thing to bring up when explaining why you got busted for writing bad checks. I'm glad to hear you learned your lesson, though.

- I didn't know you could claim "religious exemption" from drug-screening, but here it is, pencilled in...this job doesn't require drug screens though.

- The Lord Jesus Christ might perhaps be your Savior, but He is not an acceptable job reference. Acceptable Job references might include things such as giving and taking away, plagues of boils and extreme fishing. In any case, being crazy does not eliminate you from consideration. See you soon!


more cowbell said...

Jesus Christ as a reference? Seriously?

It's amazing what people will put on a resume or application. At least you've got some entertainment.

yellowdog granny said...

hm, does that mean I can't give the Goddess as a reference either?...feck!

Craig D said...


Can you get me a Senate seat?

billy pilgrim said...

i'd hire someone who has a reference from jesus. they'd have to give me his phone number.

if i dialed the number and got the rosewater foundation, that would be ok too.