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Danielle Sanchez
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Front Desk at Gym

I cannot believe it. After submitting countless applications, I'm finally getting an interview next week. It's an admin assistant job that I've been wanting to transition into. I've been at the front desk for so long and really want to step up. But now my insecurity is hitting me and I'm paranoid about addressing the two year gap in my resume when I was in prison. What should I do?

#jobsearch #resume #fairchance

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over 1 year ago
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Florence Love
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Content Creator

@Diane Koretha Earl Congrats to you wishing you nothing but success.

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Tamara Hall
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Full Stack Developer at Banyan Labs

Can you do the job? Do you deserve the job? Yes and Yes! Be honest briefly, then pellet them with the value you can add to that position. Re-integrating into society is something to be proud of.

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Gabriel Albala
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Motivated and ambitious leader.

Hi Danielle, Congrats on your interview! Sounds like this is a promotion opportunity for you since you already work at the Front Desk. I second Debra's input. Just be honest! When I was released from prison after 25.5 months, I was also worried about that time gap in employment. While I was incarcerated, I worked in Food Service at FDC Miami, and then at Unicor at FCI Jesup. I listed my time working in those positions so that I didn't really have any gaps. Always remember to focus on your strengths, and that you have learned and grown from your mistake. Always put a positive spin on it, and how your experience can benefit the company and team members. You and your experiences are unique and you have developed skills that will benefit the company. Keep positive!

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Debra May
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I wish you could just explain that time away, but you have to tell the truth. The position you are going for can have certain responsibilities that will trigger a background. Especially if money is involved. Yes tell them but like the others said talk about you strengths and education is key. If you have been out for a while let them know how your training, schooling and personal triumphs has helped you to be the best person for this job. Sell yourself, and don’t be down on yourself. We have all made mistakes, tell them how you have worked hard for this opportunity. Good luck, YOU CAN DO THIS😉🙃🙂

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Debra May
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Tell them the truth, they can find out anyway. It’s better if you tell them. Go over what you are going to say you don’t have to tell them everything, but let them know you messed up and paid the price. You have learned from your mistake and let them know that you will be a hard worker, and that you ware willing to work whatever shift they have. Tell them that you need someone to give you a chance toe prove yourself, then go over the qualifications you have for the job.

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Scott Silvers
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Until it is done, it will remain undone...

@Danielle Sanchez, congratulations on securing this interview after persevering and not giving up. I’m proud of you and your efforts. An Administrative Assistant position can open the door to other doors down the line. When I began reading your post I could feel the excitement permeate from the page like the first downslope on a roller coaster ride, when every fiber of my being comes alive. But then the second half of your post you become filled with this fear that changes this anticipation, this enthusiasm into doubt, worry, and paranoia. Don’t do this to yourself. You have stepped the right way for too long to render yourself trapped within your past. Don’t create a resume with a two year gap. Did you work while you were a part of that other world? Did you have any duties, responsibilities, or schooling while there? If so, this is what is included for those two years. If not, that’s okay too. You create a functional resume, one where none of your past employment is written out in a timeline. Instead, you highlight your education, experience, and skills. Then you eliminate that gap in time from your past out of the equation. The best quick advice I can give you is stop carrying your past mistakes around with you. Who you are now is not what you did then. That is your biggest obstacle. Jobs are plentiful out here right now and you must implement into your mindset that all you really ever have is this moment. What is the worst that can happen? You don’t get the job? If you don’t get the job, that job isn’t what you’re supposed to do right now. You pursue another. The way it sounds you already submitted your resume, thus creating the interview, right? I would be thinking that the person interviewing me has my resume, which means he has seen the two-year gap, yet he’s still giving me the interview. Let yourself be at ease from that knowledge alone. This gap doesn’t seem to be a deal breaker for him. If your skill-set qualifies you for the position, the two year gap isn’t important. I think you may just find the conversation will be more geared toward what you can bring to the table and what fresh ideas you have. Be knowledgeable about the company, talk about what you know about the company, the history, the culture, as well as their mission statement and goals. Talk about how you see yourself fitting in. Don’t be afraid because of what may never be. You paid your debt to society. If you buy something on credit, and then pay it off, you don’t keep paying for it, do you? This company isn’t interviewing you to find out what you did for those two years; they are meeting with you to find out what you can do for them now. One more thing to think about: the interviewer is a fallible human being, the same as you. Fallible means that he or she has also made mistakes. You never know, that person may have been in your shoes at one time….

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jeff glass
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Plant Operator at O M I

tell them that you have a fiancé and you traveled with him for two years seeing the world...or that you had your own business, and you couldn't make it work.

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Sonya James
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Accountability! Take ownership for your wrong doings and tell them what you've learned since and ways you have tried to move ahead and away from that time in your life. Achievements since then will help them trust you and your efforts to do more with your life. Start volunteering in any way you can, it looks great on resumes and will show that you are giving back to your community in a positive way.

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Erin Seely
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Controller Accounting Manager Trainer Temporary Contractor at Norwoodstone

I’m not sure an HR person resides, but it is not illegal to do a background check in any state in this country. All the company is required to do is get your permission to run a check. You dint have to agree, but the employer can reject your application and secondly the employer must give you a copy of the information if they chose to not hire you. But they CAN run one and ask you about the prison time. The ONLY time they can’t is when they use it to base they decision off your gender, race, age, religion, sexual preference or disability. If they chose not hire you based off previous conviction that’s their right. But they also look at when the crime took place, violent or nonviolent and what the punishment was. They are more likely to look past a conviction if it was 7 to 10 years ago, but if it was the last couple years, you’ll more than likely have to explain yourself. Don’t lie, because they can run a check at any point of Employment too. If they find out you have a criminal record and you omitted it they will fire you for just cause. So your best bet is to be upfront and honest. Honesty goes a longer way then a lie does!! Just saying

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Diane Koretha Earl
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Reliable Professional with 23 years experience in customer service

Federal law does not prohibit employers from conducting background checks before an offer of employment is made. State laws, however, may have restrictions. Although in most states a standard background check can be conducted prior to an offer, a small number of states do not allow it.

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