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Old 02-05-2014, 05:52 PM
 
3,279 posts, read 4,075,684 times
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I have been out of work for 3-odd years, and I am anxious to get back into work. I'm in my 40s.

Today I heard about a clerical/administrative position at a small local insurance office, such a job would be perfect for me. That is the very type of work I excel in. I could've applied right away but I've been seeking advice for what a good resume would be in terms of format, layout, and content. I want to do this RIGHT. I have Word XP to type it in.

My last job was a 3 month assignment & it was a job very much like this one. However, the only other jobs like it recently go back to 2003-2005, since then, from 2006-2010, the jobs have been other things. However, when temporary agencies test me on my typing speed and my Microsoft Office scores, I rate very highly every time. Also, the last job in 2010 that was 3 months was that very type of job. The only reason the job lasted for only 3 months was because it was a temporary assignment through a Manpower type of firm and the job ran its course, I was not released based on any problems.

At the same time, one job I had from 2007-2008, I was released because someone claimed I had my hand in my pants, I seriously don't recall doing such a thing. I figure that if someone calls they will be told "not eligible for rehire." The job I got after that one, Dec 2008-Apr 2009, I was also let go due to performance issues, it will probably also state "not eligible for rehire." Those 2 jobs were back-to-back, but the jobs I had prior to those 2, and the one I've had since then, no such thing has occurred. Also, both jobs were high-pressure call center environment positions.

Should I even disclose those 2 jobs at all, and run the risk that the "not eligible for re-hire" feedback kills it for me? Or would such gaps in employment be a death knell for me on the resume? I am told some resume styles that are not "chronological" in layout somewhat stress your QUALIFICATIONS and downplay actual positions, if such a style stressed my last position but downplayed those 2, that would be good I'd say.

Sorry for being all over the place, I'm writing this in a hurry in a situation where my connectivity is limited (although I can read replies here quickly enough).

Basically--what are your thoughts on the situation as I described it, and what would a good layout look like? Any links that contain good examples I can go by? I assume the Word templates in Word XP are probably out of date by now? Also, do people still mostly print out resumes, or do many people nowadays email them?

Also, when I Yahoo! search my real name, nothing awful comes up, and also the email address I use is one I use STRICTLY for job applications and NOTHING else (it's not linked to any social media or anything else at all whatsoever).

I appreciate your help VERY much, I really want to do this right.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:05 PM
 
3,072 posts, read 4,274,949 times
Reputation: 6512
I haven't worked in almost 4 years either. I wrote my resume as normal - the last employment reads 2008-2011. The gap should be explained in your cover letter though, because even a functional resume will leave an employer wondering what's going on. For me, it is easy, I have been at home with the kids. If it was for issues that you feel an employer will outright reject (depression, prison, whatever) - then my best advice is to try and make your cover letter sound enthusiastic about the position and getting back to work, rather than hide it.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:29 PM
 
4,125 posts, read 4,137,432 times
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I don't know what exactly word xp is. If you mean MS Office then I'd probably advise looking at youtube for some of the videos on it. Office XP came out a long long time ago. We're talking 12 years ago. The 2013 version s still really new but given that XP itself is being phazed out I'd argue 2010 isn't bad to look at. Download Libreoffice if you want something free. It's decent and has spreadsheets and other formats.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:45 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 1,318,222 times
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About the hand down your pants thing, go ahead and reference that place. Companies are deathly afraid of controversy, and they will do everything to avoid it. When this one calls, your old company will simply tell them your start and end dates.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:25 PM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,302,267 times
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Any resume that ends in 2011 will be put in PILE B. (Which is not the pile you want to be in!) You need to describe your activities since then as a job in your resume.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aliss2 View Post
I haven't worked in almost 4 years either. I wrote my resume as normal - the last employment reads 2008-2011. The gap should be explained in your cover letter though, because even a functional resume will leave an employer wondering what's going on. For me, it is easy, I have been at home with the kids. If it was for issues that you feel an employer will outright reject (depression, prison, whatever) - then my best advice is to try and make your cover letter sound enthusiastic about the position and getting back to work, rather than hide it.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:30 AM
 
3,072 posts, read 4,274,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post
Any resume that ends in 2011 will be put in PILE B. (Which is not the pile you want to be in!) You need to describe your activities since then as a job in your resume.
I came from a particular specialized (and female-dominated) career which requires years of training and is hiring constantly, I don't need to apologize or put some ridiculous fluff like domestic engineer to try and hide that I spent 2011-2014 playing at Burger King with two babies.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:38 AM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,302,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliss2 View Post
I came from a particular specialized (and female-dominated) career which requires years of training and is hiring constantly, I don't need to apologize or put some ridiculous fluff like domestic engineer to try and hide that I spent 2011-2014 playing at Burger King with two babies.
Your mistake! You will be discriminated against unless you can show that you learned new things during your period as domestic engineer.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:28 AM
 
3,072 posts, read 4,274,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post
Your mistake! You will be discriminated against unless you can show that you learned new things during your period as domestic engineer.
Not in my field, and the vast majority of women in my female-dominated career take years off to stay at home with their children, so I'm just very typical. Not everything applies to all fields in all locations.

Why am I arguing with a troll...
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:54 AM
 
758 posts, read 1,213,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliss2 View Post
I haven't worked in almost 4 years either. I wrote my resume as normal - the last employment reads 2008-2011. The gap should be explained in your cover letter though, because even a functional resume will leave an employer wondering what's going on.
I agree that a chronological resume is still the type most people expect.

Because of your work history gaps, anything else will make them think you are "hiding" something.
You'd rather be up-front with the gaps.

The 4 years gap should be explained.

you don't have to do anything fancy: http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_...functional.pdf

accentuate the Microsoft Office skills and PC skills

If you are still using XP computer, you might want to buy a used one running Win7

Good luck.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,788 posts, read 13,277,872 times
Reputation: 15911
If you have that big a gap you need to do some faking (fake job) or it will be summarily rejected possibly by the ATS software or else by the HR screener.
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