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RoseGoesToYale

Lie of omission in job hunting

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RoseGoesToYale

Can I just leave out my education and apply for high school grad only jobs? At this point I just need a job, and hopefully not minimum wage because interacting with customers would kill me, and I don't qualify for anything in my field of study, which is useless anyway. Will interviewers grill me about what I've been doing the past five years and why I've never worked a job?

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Anthracite_Impreza
6 minutes ago, RoseGoesToYale said:

Will interviewers grill me about what I've been doing the past five years and why I've never worked a job?

Yes, they will almost certainly ask, and no, don't lie. Lies will always get found out eventually.

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Iam9man 🐧
9 minutes ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

Yes, they will almost certainly ask, and no, don't lie. Lies will always get found out eventually.

Agree with this.

 

You can spin things in a positive light but don’t lie; e.g.:

 

- If you worked a frankly shit job talk about how you enjoyed working as a team and learnt to also be more independent (or vice versa).

 

- If you’re a shy introvert (like me) talk about how you even surprised yourself with how confident and passionate you became about [insert shit job] once you learnt and understood it and how you are looking forward to going through that experience as you learn [insert new job].

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Back to Avalon

@Anthracite_Impreza is right. Job applications are legal documents. They often have you sign to affirm that everything is true and complete, and they usually say, "Under penalty of perjury..." 

 

I'm sorry you're having trouble finding a job. My degrees don't qualify me for much either. But I thought you were in computing, which is a pretty big field. Am I wrong?

 

Also, I love your signature. You know I do.

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Anthracite_Impreza
1 minute ago, Iam9man 🐧 said:

If you worked a frankly shit job

@RoseGoesToYale has never had any job, so it's even harder to bullshit it.

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Iam9man 🐧
Just now, Anthracite_Impreza said:

@RoseGoesToYale has never had any job, so it's even harder to bullshit it.

Fair point. The same technique works for stuff you did at uni, volunteer work, etc.

 

I changed career in my 20s and moved away from my field of study (which was extremely extremely niche). For me it was a case of finding the least shit shit job to get a year’s work experience on my CV. Then I moved on to a better job, and do on, and am now in a decent job. Not saying this is the best way or even the only way, but it is a way.

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Jade Cross

In jobs, there are lies you can tell and lies you cant tell. Unfoftunately, this is one you cant  because of how difficult it would be to keep up, plus the whole "degree" is a type of BS neccesary evil.

 

I would advice that even in a minimum wage job (which will unfortunately be what you may find for the most part) try steering clear of customer service. Office jobs can still offer minimum wage but they tend to be generally less emotionally draining (been there)

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not_all_who_wander

Don't lie.

 

Be factual about what you were doing in the last five years and try to use your degree to present yourself in a positive light. There is always a way to spin it. Always. But it's hard for me to give you advice without knowing what your degree was and why you decided on a new career. You can always talk about the skills pursuing a college degree gave you. Probably you had to have good time management skills, communication, and problem-solving skills to complete that degree. Were there any group projects where you can talk about the team work skills you used?

 

It's also ok to talk about why you are pursuing a different area of work now. Again, be honest, but highlight the positive aspects of the situation. For instance, maybe you went through a lot of personal growth in the last five years and realized that you didn't have the passion for your area of study that you thought you did. So now you are trying to pursue new avenues that allow you to use your great ____ skills (whatever skills you have that are pertinent to the job you are being interviewed for).

 

Good luck!

 

 

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RoseGoesToYale
45 minutes ago, Back to Avalon said:

They often have you sign to affirm that everything is true and complete, and they usually say, "Under penalty of perjury..."

What? I haven't encountered this at all. Maybe I'm applying to the wrong places...

 

45 minutes ago, Back to Avalon said:

But I thought you were in computing, which is a pretty big field. Am I wrong?

My degree's in sociology, but I've been using computers since I was four, have a decent amount of knowledge about them, have experience building and repairing them, modifying and installing software. Unfortunately it's all moot because jobs involving computers I know I could do, I don't qualify for because I don't have certifications, and they're hardline about that stuff.

 

Also, the problem is... I have no idea what I'm doing, my parents are useless and 30 years out of date, college literally screwed me over as far as any career prep and they don't care what happens to you after you graduate, or even before, and I don't want a career. I literally just want a means of money making that's legal so I don't starve to death. There are no job ads I've looked at that are halfway interesting anyway, and I already know the world of work is just a soul-sucking, stress-inducing, endless hell no matter what the field. I'll take my hell in any package, minimum wage or in a desk job... but they won't hire me because I'm either overeducated or don't have enough experience for entry level trainee positions!

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Jade Cross
2 minutes ago, RoseGoesToYale said:

What? I haven't encountered this at all. Maybe I'm applying to the wrong places...

 

My degree's in sociology, but I've been using computers since I was four, have a decent amount of knowledge about them, have experience building and repairing them, modifying and installing software. Unfortunately it's all moot because jobs involving computers I know I could do, I don't qualify for because I don't have certifications, and they're hardline about that stuff.

 

Also, the problem is... I have no idea what I'm doing, my parents are useless and 30 years out of date, college literally screwed me over as far as any career prep and they don't care what happens to you after you graduate, or even before, and I don't want a career. I literally just want a means of money making that's legal so I don't starve to death. There are no job ads I've looked at that are halfway interesting anyway, and I already know the world of work is just a soul-sucking, stress-inducing, endless hell no matter what the field. I'll take my hell in any package, minimum wage or in a desk job... but they won't hire me because I'm either overeducated or don't have enough experience for entry level trainee positions!

Im wondering. If your decently knowledgeable about computers, have you considered opening a repair service? 

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RoseGoesToYale
2 minutes ago, Jade Cross said:

Im wondering. If your decently knowledgeable about computers, have you considered opening a repair service? 

Don't you have to be certified for that? Can't people sue you if you're not?

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Jade Cross

Hmm it may be neccesary to check the legal requirements in your specific area but maybe minor repairs wont be so tied to a certification.

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Philip027
Quote

Will interviewers grill me about what I've been doing the past five years and why I've never worked a job?

Almost certainly, yes.

 

Not to mention about where you think you'll be five years in the future, as well.  Pro tip: "not working for you guys, that's for sure" is usually not the correct response.

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Jade Cross
19 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

Almost certainly, yes.

 

Not to mention about where you think you'll be five years in the future, as well.  Pro tip: "not working for you guys, that's for sure" is usually not the correct response.

Personally, Ive never understood this question in realistic terms because its just so vague and your being asked to make a scenario on a whim because you cant know what you will do in 5 years. You would not be sure what you could be doing 5 days from there. I get the whole "having a vision"  but really, we arent in pre industrial revolution time. Anything can literraly change each day. 

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Back to Avalon
40 minutes ago, RoseGoesToYale said:
1 hour ago, Back to Avalon said:

They often have you sign to affirm that everything is true and complete, and they usually say, "Under penalty of perjury..."

What? I haven't encountered this at all. Maybe I'm applying to the wrong places...

I just looked at an application for a place I called last week. It doesn't say "Under penalty of perjury," but it does say that you certify that everything is true and correct, that you allow the organization to look into your background, and that misleading information can be grounds for termination. I think I've seen applications that say "Under penalty of perjury," but maybe that was for a bank or the government or something. Or maybe I'm just conflating job applications with tax returns. To be fair, I haven't filled out a job application in a long time.

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allieakat

Do you have any job experience? Any part time or summer jobs?  Anything that has earned you money ever that you can spin into being previous experience of turning effort into money?

 

Don't leave any gap in your CV that is longer than a summer holiday during college.  In the days when I was looking at CVs and job applications I tended to assume that any unexplained gap could be a jail term. 

 

On the other hand a sociology degree (from Yale?) can be spun as someone who understands systems, understands motivations, understands the way the world works.  How about HR?  When you say interacting with customers is not your thing, is it any people-facing jobs or particularly ones involving the public?  Because business to business sales might be a good fit.  Also look at logistics, which needs computer skills and an understanding of how the world works.  And don't limit yourself to job ads: look at what interesting businesses there are in your neighbourhood and try a speculative application.

 

Good luck.

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fiѕh

you never know, being fed up and just spilling it all got me my first okay job after endless hunting. owning it when you get grilled doesn't seem like the worst idea.

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Moon Spirit ☽

@Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) All I saw at first was "Lie of omission" and I thought it said Onision. I figured maybe you made a thread where he could be discussed further. 😆

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Jade Cross
17 minutes ago, Back to Avalon said:

I just looked at an application for a place I called last week. It doesn't say "Under penalty of perjury," but it does say that you certify that everything is true and correct, that you allow the organization to look into your background, and that misleading information can be grounds for termination. I think I've seen applications that say "Under penalty of perjury," but maybe that was for a bank or the government or something. Or maybe I'm just conflating job applications with tax returns. To be fair, I haven't filled out a job application in a long time.

I can confirm that banks, they do have a "Under penalty of perjury" line because I worked in one and they do federal background checks on you before giving you a contract. For most other jobs however, its mostly the "omision can result in job termination"

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RoseGoesToYale
33 minutes ago, allieakat said:

Do you have any job experience? Any part time or summer jobs?  Anything that has earned you money ever that you can spin into being previous experience of turning effort into money?

 

Don't leave any gap in your CV that is longer than a summer holiday during college.  In the days when I was looking at CVs and job applications I tended to assume that any unexplained gap could be a jail term.

I have literally nothing. I only started volunteering at a local food pantry a few months ago. When I wanted to make money as a kid, I worked for my parents, like dog sitting or playing travel agent for my dad, and those don't count. My parents, family, and teachers never encouraged me to take any jobs or internships. I was actively discouraged from taking a job in college, because it was either have my tuition paid by my state's prepaid or work and take out loans to pay for it myself. I was determined to graduate without debt, so... I originally wanted to take a gap year and work before college because I had no major ambitions, but all of my immediate and extended family steered me away from that, saying I might like working so much that I'd forget to go to college. My college (barely known Tampa university) basically brainwashed me into thinking a degree was enough to be job material. I did dog sit for my previous roommate and she'd shave the money off my rent, but I didn't earn any legal, valid taxed income, nor am I licensed dog sitter, plus I couldn't give her as a reference because she turned out to be a really nasty human being.

 

I'm screwed, aren't I?

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ben8884

Are there temp agencies in your city? Maybe they can help? Or an employee specialist?

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allieakat

You don't need to be able to give references for every job you've done.  Your references now are from your tutors at college and from the person running the food pantry.  That should be enough to get you started.

 

Then you put down "part time employment during school and college: dog training and dog sitting" [you've taught a dog to beg for treats, right?] If you are asked about it you can talk about how training a dog is really about training the handler, with examples.  If you are asked what you earned, you say something like "enough to help with the rent but although I enjoyed it as a part time job I think [job applying for] has the options for career advancement that I'm looking for".  No-one is going to be asking you for pay slips or tax returns.

 

You also add something under "other skills and experiences" which covers "arranging national/international business travel for family members".

 

None of this is a lie.  It is presenting your life experience in a way which tells a potential employer that "here is someone who can be useful and productive for us".

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Dreamer23
20 hours ago, RoseGoesToYale said:

Can I just leave out my education and apply for high school grad only jobs?

Yes! As long as you don't claim to have the required qualifications, you are absolutely allowed to apply to any position - and it might go well! It depends on the job marked for the position you're applying to, but it's quite possible they just added that requirement because it was the default on some template. In practice, the only thing you'll need your resume for is to get you an interview. Impressive qualifications are one way - if you can sell yourself with an excellent cover letter, that's another. (Of course, them turning you down and citing the lack of that education they listed is absolutely legal and might happen as well - I don't want to oversell it :)

 

Quote

Will interviewers grill me about what I've been doing the past five years and why I've never worked a job?

Oh yes! Just be prepared for it and have a good story ready :)

 

 

As for the actual lying part many people have mentioned:

In general, there are certain classes of information you can't legally lie about (usually around education and qualifications) - so don't claim to have an MD unless you really have a friggin' MD. You'll go to prison for that. It's mostly in state laws and only certain classes of lies are illegal, but even legal lies will get you fired.

The forms some mentioned you'd have to sign are dependent on industry. It's always illegal - those are more to hold you accountable against third parties (let's say at a bank, you could get a job as a broker by claiming you have experience in it. If you do so, they'll want to make sure they can hold you liable for that in case their customers find out and sue). But again, that's actual lies - not omission, which is in no way a lie.

 

 

Whichever jobs you end up applying to - good luck! :)

Just nail getting that interview and then blow them away there - who cares what your formal education is?! There are very few industries where that's actually a particularly important factor, so give it your best and I'm sure everything will go fine! :D

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Una Salus Victus

I was pretty much taught put on job relevant info, and even then it wouldn't always hurt to put on any other experience as well. Like if you were doing a teaching degree at university, while applying for a bar job, and you have bar experience, why the hell would you be forced to put on that you're at university?

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Zash

Also, saying you have a degree (even if it isn't in the field you are applying in) shows that you have the ability to learn things, so you can learn how to do your new job quickly, and adapt to a changing workplace as the world changes and becomes more modern.

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Aebt

While I think not mentioning you have a degree when you do would rarely ever be advantageous, unless the application specifically has a legal notification attached why not lie by omission?

 

Life is a game with everyone assuming roles. Sometimes for the role one assumes you must create a different facade for yourself. Unless you let it slip or they delve deeply into researching the applicants it would be rare for them to find out about the factual error being committed. If they find out after you are hired, unless you state it yourself, it would be odd for them to ask if you lied-by-omission unless they had other suspicions or motives.

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timewarp
On 8/14/2019 at 8:12 PM, RoseGoesToYale said:

My degree's in sociology, but I've been using computers since I was four, have a decent amount of knowledge about them, have experience building and repairing them, modifying and installing software. Unfortunately it's all moot because jobs involving computers I know I could do, I don't qualify for because I don't have certifications, and they're hardline about that stuff.

For me there are several questions here.

 

Are you willing to move anywhere for a good job? If you want to stay in one specific region, that might be your main problem.

 

Does it absolutely need to be a job in industry? Your profile (as far as I can guess it from what you've mentioned) has some research topics written all over it that are in extremely high demand right now - just to mention a few key words: artificial intelligence, big data, deep learning. A sociology degree together with computing skills is a good basis to get in touch with researchers who can provide you with the necessary funding to do a PhD in one of those in-demand areas. It's not an easy route to follow, but it might be what you need.

 

Trainee positions are more often than not for a very specific purpose - find the future management of a company. Only very specific personalities fit into those programmes and I'm guessing you, just like me, are not one of them and never will be. No reason to be frustrated about that, it's just not the right way to go.

 

Your main focus should be on finding an appropriate income source that allows you to develop a real career. Based on everything I've seen you're more likely to find it in academia (for now) than elsewhere. So if I were you I would search for senior scientists who do social sciences research involving computing and get in touch with them. If you show a genuine interest in what they are doing, they will be very easy to get along with and happy to help as much as they can. Well, some will not, but as everywhere it's about finding your kind of people.

 

Yes, I know, that's not what you've asked, but you won't solve any of your problems by giving up and settling with a job way below your skills. It's a tough situation and I'm sorry about that, but if you keep fighting I'm sure you'll get there eventually. Absolutely do keep trying to find some temporary job, but don't make it your priority.

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