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Old 05-23-2019, 07:33 AM
 
1 posts, read 370 times
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I worked as a customer service representative for a small plumbing company for the past three years. Last summer my mother suffered a severe stroke and I left the job in October to take care of her. Since she has made a lot of progress and is nearing full recover, I'm ready to look for work. Should I include the reason why I left my previous job in my cover letters to employers?

I've talked to a few people and each one had different opinions on this. Some friends told me not to mention it at all because it because some companies might view it as a problem, in that what if my mother is not 'fully recovered' per se, and might assume I might need to miss time or whatever. But if I don't, then I'll have to come up with a random reason why I left my old job. While I left my old job on good terms and have good references, there have been a lot of changes made within the past several months with new managers taking over and some of my old co-workers I was really enjoyed working together have moved on to different places as well. After everything I've been through over the past year, I would love to find a customer service position in the healthcare industry. I wonder if I could use my own personal experience from the past year of taking care of a sick relative in a healthcare CSR position cover letter.

Do you think its a good idea to mention my family issue to employers or would it do more harm than good?

Rachel
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:48 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,496 posts, read 62,152,821 times
Reputation: 32173
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelski14 View Post
I worked as a customer service representative for a small plumbing company for the past three years.
Last summer my mother suffered a severe stroke and I left the job in October to take care of her.

Do you think its a good idea to mention my family issue to employers ...?
When they ask what you've been doing for the past seven months... yes.
If the answer was something like 'stuck in jail' ... THEN you might want to be shy about it.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,761 posts, read 1,016,794 times
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To care/assist with a family medical issue that has since been resolved.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Planet Telex
4,656 posts, read 2,291,550 times
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I think the above is a good suggestion. I would simply be honest because you really haven't done anything wrong.
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:56 PM
Status: "Disagreeing is not the same thing as trolling." (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Texas
9,511 posts, read 3,649,616 times
Reputation: 19536
It's crazy that employers would make a case about what' s only seven months out of the workforce.
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:41 PM
 
2,419 posts, read 690,595 times
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Employers discriminate against people who are out of work. When asked what you did, you took care of a sick relative. Then talk about how that made you a better customer service person (if you're applying for a CS position).

Talk about the skills you used in this time, so you can show them your awesomeness is not rusty.
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Planet Telex
4,656 posts, read 2,291,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PriscillaVanilla View Post
It's crazy that employers would make a case about what' s only seven months out of the workforce.
Nothing would surprise me. Some HR screeners will see the gap on the resume and then automatically assume the applicant is the "problem" for being out of work for seven months and not even bother to read the reason why they have been out of work. I don't have much faith in people reading cover letters.
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Old 05-24-2019, 02:00 PM
 
9,778 posts, read 16,979,525 times
Reputation: 18395
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sockeye66 View Post
To care/assist with a family medical issue that has since been resolved.
I have seen this (or a variation of it) a number of times. We don't hold it against anyone. It keeps me from wondering why you are unemployed. I commend anyone who is able to do this.
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Old 05-24-2019, 03:45 PM
 
1,860 posts, read 716,497 times
Reputation: 3980
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandsthetime View Post
Nothing would surprise me. Some HR screeners will see the gap on the resume and then automatically assume the applicant is the "problem" for being out of work for seven months and not even bother to read the reason why they have been out of work. I don't have much faith in people reading cover letters.
Even if they read the cover letter they may not believe the reason. Next applicant...
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
9,150 posts, read 3,003,072 times
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Many employers and also friends, neighbors, relatives, etc., regard time spent caring for a family member at home, as though the person was too lazy to work and was free-loading at home. Some people will say, "You're still living with your parents, at your age?". Such family care-providers should be given a lot of respect, but often, they get none at all.
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