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tom jackson
Randy D
Discussion » Questions » Communication » If you haven't worked for 15 years and haven't been in jail what do you put on an application for employment as a reason?

If you haven't worked for 15 years and haven't been in jail what do you put on an application for employment as a reason?

Posted - August 4


  • 37718


      Le truth, whatever it may be. 


      August 4, 2020 7:23 PM MDT

  • 37718


     (Comma after the word “jail”.)

      August 4, 2020 7:24 PM MDT

  • 6076

    * I was walking around Europe trying to find myself… and got lost.
    * I was in a deep conversation with the voices… but couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

      August 4, 2020 10:11 PM MDT

  • 7887
    What Randy D said. 

    But, for what it's worth, you shouldn't put any kind of explanation on the resume. If it's beneficial, you can add details about that in your cover letter though, so long as you can frame it in a positive way. If you address it this way, you take more control of the situation and prime them for it but make them see it differently. It's a bit of a psychological hack- glaze over the problem issues and play up something that benefits them in the same line. That way, they're mentally prepared for the "bad" stuff on the resume and they tend to ignore it when they read. 

    "Over the past several years, I've engaged in unpaid work to keep my skills sharp..." (Word it better, but lines like that are good if you've been volunteering or even just helping out at your child's school or similar.)
    "As much as I've enjoyed taking time away from work to care for my family, I miss (insert activity you love about work that's beneficial to potential employer)."
    "I was delighted to qualify for retirement with a company I love but I miss having work I'm passionate about."

    The only caveat here is that it's wise to know your audience and tailor your note to the company. Bonus points if you can research the individual who will read your cover letter and tailor it to that specific person. Even though companies legally can't (or shouldn't in some cases) discriminate on factors like age or family status, they do. A "family" company will likely be ok and may even appreciate a mom who took time off to care for kids. Another company might see time away for family matters as lack of dedication. Some companies might love the idea of having a grandmotherly woman helping with customer service or filling odd hours on the schedule. Another might be automatically biased and think you're technologically inept or slow. 

    If you do mess around with the resume, I suggest testing a layout with a "skills" column that pops out in some way. They'll read that before they read the rest of the resume and it will prime their mind to approve of the resume before they see any deal-breakers.
      August 5, 2020 1:40 AM MDT

  • Great answer. 
      August 5, 2020 6:06 AM MDT

  • 11004
    Full time parenting.
      August 5, 2020 2:57 AM MDT

  • 37718



      August 5, 2020 6:38 AM MDT

  • 13610
    None of your business.
      August 5, 2020 6:27 AM MDT

  • 14297
    I would put down the truth unless you were in a mental institution or addiction facility.
      August 5, 2020 11:12 AM MDT

  • 251
    chores or volunteers

      August 5, 2020 2:29 PM MDT

  • 1277
    i be straight. im not fond of working for someone to behonest. im looking to work for myself for my own business. 

    ill simply say i was doing something else and now im looking to work
      August 6, 2020 9:50 AM MDT

  • 226
    Oh gosh, not for fifteen years! Just think of all the aggravation and hard-done-by-ness and trade union threat and extortion you have missed. But you could always say you are a person of independent means and instead of working you had been giving succor and God's blessings to tribes of starving midgets in deepest ex-British South West Africa. This post was edited by rattbagge at August 18, 2020 6:06 AM MDT
      August 18, 2020 6:06 AM MDT

  • 11004
    Human trafficking. Procuring woman as harem slaves and slave labour in a sandwich-making facility for a grammar Nazi. I was being paid in tildes.
      August 18, 2020 3:12 PM MDT