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Resume Help/Employment History on an Application


Hi, :)

I've been looking for a job for quite some time, but have been unsuccessful in landing a position, although I have had several interviews. I'm unsure as to what I should do on a few parts of the job application.

I'm 21, male, have a high school diploma, and I currently attend the local community college, with extensive background in community service (all of which was voluntary).  The problem I have, however, is that I don't know what to put on my job applications for some of the required information. They ask for your employment history, and I don't know what kind of answer to give. I have a well-formatted resume, with "core competencies" and education and an objective, etc. I had my resume revised by a friend of mine (he is a retired Russian professor, who speaks 7 languages actually, and for years gave lectures and so forth on communication and things like that)

You see, last May, I had a data entry position at an insurance company and I was fired. I was late for work ONCE, and I truthfully explained to my boss that my Bipolar medication is very sedating sometimes. He said that it was OK and to just call next time. I felt so bad that I was crying in the supply closet,trying to compose myself. Somebody heard me, and the human resources woman very impatiently and rudely told me, "Stop crying! Stop crying!" As she instructed, I went home and called the temp agency only to find out that I was fired. I never received an explanation or heard from the insurance company itself.

I don't know what to put on my job applications. If I lie, they'll find out via background check or something. If I tell the truth, they certainly won't give me the job. Usually, I put that the position was temporary (partly true), and that works because I've had many interviews. I interview well! I'm likable, I smile, I'm polite, and give good answers and I can think on my feet.

What should I do? Also, what are other means by which I can maximize my chances of, not only getting an interview, but more importantly getting the job?

Thanks a bunch,

Dear Matt:

Continue listing your position as working for a temp agency.

The only thing you can do on an interview is try to be in the top three candidates.  If you do that statistically, eventually you will become number 1!  Make sure you are sending a thank you note after the interview.  Try to close the interview by saying something like this IF you really want the position.

Thank you for this opportunity to talk with you about this position.  I know you have other candidates to see, but I really would like this position and think I could bring a lot to the table.  When will you make your decision and let me know?

See if this helps.

Warmly, R. Butler

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Ruth Butler


I will answer questions about resumes and how to do well on an interview. I am a former employment counselor and I have owned my own resume and career counseling business since 1982.

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