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How Am I Perceived By Employers

elainebadkneeelainebadknee Posts: 3,703
edited 22. Feb 2013, 12:25 in Community Chit-chat archive
Hi

I have had my new knee now for 17 weeks so I am getting to the stage where I will be thinking about applying for a job..Obviously I have not worked from February 2010 as I had an arthroscopy before my replacement surgery and had to seek a second opinion. All of this took time to find my great consultant and finally got my operation on 25th October 2012.
My question is how do i explain the gap now on my CV...I mean in a way I am no different to a woman who has taken time off to have baby and then spend time with that child till it goes to school....Im pretty sure however yummy mummy will be seen more favourably than myself and I have been ill, it's really unfair...I personally think my new knee is amazing and im glad i got it done so think its something to be proud of, just wish potential employers would see that too...

Elainexx

Comments

  • rockchickrockchick Posts: 58
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Elaine, I have no idea what employers look for or expect these days, but I'm willing to bet that some will be secretly relieved to have an employee that isn't likely to leave to have any more babies.

    I would try and be as honest as possible. The fact is you had a problem that stopped you being able to function 100%. You were refused a solution to this, but you didn't take no for an answer, and if I'm correct, you lost weight, (no mean feat for anyone with arthritis), and did it all within the timescale you and your surgeon agreed upon. To me that shows determination, the ability to set and achieve goals, traits that an employer should be happy to have in an employee. If your knee problem is hopefully resolved, you're willing and eager now to get back into the workforce. All you can try to do is put a positive spin on the last few years.

    I know employers don't like to see gaps on CV's, but you can account for yours honestly, with a very valid reason, and one you did your very best to sort out, despite the constraints of the NHS etc. It's unaccounted for gaps they don't like to see.

    Good luck with your job search.
  • elainebadkneeelainebadknee Posts: 3,703
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Rockchick

    Well first of all can I just say I wish you were an employer that I was applying to? :-))...Honestly though I'm sure they skim through the CV's/applications looking for certain key words or what they see as skills...Therefore that makes it hard for me to just even get an interview as its my CV that is trying to sell me in the first instance..
    I am proud of what I have done and I see it as a positive thing that I knew the treatment I needed and knew what obstacles I had to clear in order to get that treatment so I, myself, don't see it as a negative..
    I guess it annoys me as my niece who indeed was a scrounger for well over a decade and has all of a sudden taken up work (I'm sure they stopped her benefits so she had to as she previously had a pelvis condition, the same one that Charlotte Church has and having babies makes its worse, my niece has 5 kids. Ironically she never moans about her pelvis now, is she miraculously cured?).....Well she has got a job in the care industry, which i hasten to add, is one I could not work in but respect those who do a good job....And she got it with very little work experience, she has previously had 2 jobs, one cleaning a golf club the other cleaning holiday homes both cash in hand and no references....So how the hell does she manage it? My dad says the care industry is one who takes most people though and that is why...
    It harder for me but I am trying, i could never go back to shop work dont think my knee would take that as it did damage many years ago..

    Elainexx

    rockchick wrote:
    Elaine, I have no idea what employers look for or expect these days, but I'm willing to bet that some will be secretly relieved to have an employee that isn't likely to leave to have any more babies.

    I would try and be as honest as possible. The fact is you had a problem that stopped you being able to function 100%. You were refused a solution to this, but you didn't take no for an answer, and if I'm correct, you lost weight, (no mean feat for anyone with arthritis), and did it all within the timescale you and your surgeon agreed upon. To me that shows determination, the ability to set and achieve goals, traits that an employer should be happy to have in an employee. If your knee problem is hopefully resolved, you're willing and eager now to get back into the workforce. All you can try to do is put a positive spin on the last few years.

    I know employers don't like to see gaps on CV's, but you can account for yours honestly, with a very valid reason, and one you did your very best to sort out, despite the constraints of the NHS etc. It's unaccounted for gaps they don't like to see.

    Good luck with your job search.
  • rockchickrockchick Posts: 58
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I get what you're saying about them skimming through applications, in which case, your covering letter has to do the hard sell, including those key words you feel they might be looking for, depending on which type of job you're applying for.

    Your dad is probably right in a way, about the care industry, they often struggle to find decent workers. Let's hope your niece has discovered her vocation, otherwise she probably won't go the distance. It's a profession that requires hard work, compassion and dedication. Time will tell. But yes, that could explain how apparently easy it was for her to secure her job.

    I can appreciate your reluctance to go back to the type of work you did before, but in your shoes, if only to test the waters, I might be tempted to just apply for anything and everything, and see what happens. So you don't get the job as CEO for BP, but maybe they'd have something they felt you would be suited to. Just put yourself out there. Sell yourself. You can do it here, so do the same on your CV and your covering letter. It's all about confidence Elaine.

    Failing all else, you could always put on your CV that you've been doing voluntary work for the NHS :wink:
  • elainebadkneeelainebadknee Posts: 3,703
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Grr...I typed a reply and laptop went offline losing it!

    First of all I do try my best to sell myself with the covering letter and meet the essential criteria and state that.....
    My niece, well her husband isn't streetwise and that isn't being unkind he is the brawn she is the brains....I give it about a year max at least she will have paid some stamps to society...
    The other thing put yourself out there do anything....Well within reason, i haven't done retial work for over 15years and had to give it up cos of knee...I have problems with hips and can;t see a 9-5 standing on my feet, running up and down stairs helping that...Plus I will apply for other jobs i think i can do, im not a snob will clean if it pays well and can fit in another job too, plus its shorter spells so woould tell me if my knee would cope...
    Its about getting a foot in the door though...I rung about job other day and hand delivered letter/cv...But on the phone manager asked was i working, i said no and had had knee replacement...she then said I sounded too young to have had that done even though she didn't know my age, so that assumption although i put on my cheeriest voice and said was ready to work will stick in the head....They are interviewing monday and haven't heard so doubt i will....
    What do you mean about NHS voluntary work?

    Elainexx
    rockchick wrote:
    I get what you're saying about them skimming through applications, in which case, your covering letter has to do the hard sell, including those key words you feel they might be looking for, depending on which type of job you're applying for.

    Your dad is probably right in a way, about the care industry, they often struggle to find decent workers. Let's hope your niece has discovered her vocation, otherwise she probably won't go the distance. It's a profession that requires hard work, compassion and dedication. Time will tell. But yes, that could explain how apparently easy it was for her to secure her job.

    I can appreciate your reluctance to go back to the type of work you did before, but in your shoes, if only to test the waters, I might be tempted to just apply for anything and everything, and see what happens. So you don't get the job as CEO for BP, but maybe they'd have something they felt you would be suited to. Just put yourself out there. Sell yourself. You can do it here, so do the same on your CV and your covering letter. It's all about confidence Elaine.

    Failing all else, you could always put on your CV that you've been doing voluntary work for the NHS :wink:
  • rockchickrockchick Posts: 58
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Elaine, hi, it sounds like you're doing all you can at the moment. It's easy for me, or anyone else, to sit here and say do this, do that, when I'm not the one in your shoes. I do understand how difficult it can be, without the health issues that have clouded the waters for you.

    My comment about voluntary work for the NHS, it was me just trying to make a lame joke (bad pun intended). I know that people make up all sorts of weird and wonderful stories for their CV's. Personally I would always try and be honest, which is why I suggested you do the same.

    Just keep on putting out those letters and CVs. I know it can be very disheartening, and if you get knocked back, it might be nothing to do with your knee, it could be a million other reasons. If you feel you aren't getting anywhere, try contacting the employer, and find out if there was any particular reason they didn't interview you.

    Good luck with everything.
    RC
  • elainebadkneeelainebadknee Posts: 3,703
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Rockchick

    Its a sign of the times when a coffee chain in Nottingham advertises for 8 barristas and get over 1,700 applications, 1,900 if you count the telephone enquiries and most of the applicants all had degrees from university!
    I can only do my best and apply for what I think I can do...It just hacks me off when people say there is work for everyone out there...Maybe in some areas there is but its not always the case...

    Elainexx
    rockchick wrote:
    Elaine, hi, it sounds like you're doing all you can at the moment. It's easy for me, or anyone else, to sit here and say do this, do that, when I'm not the one in your shoes. I do understand how difficult it can be, without the health issues that have clouded the waters for you.

    My comment about voluntary work for the NHS, it was me just trying to make a lame joke (bad pun intended). I know that people make up all sorts of weird and wonderful stories for their CV's. Personally I would always try and be honest, which is why I suggested you do the same.

    Just keep on putting out those letters and CVs. I know it can be very disheartening, and if you get knocked back, it might be nothing to do with your knee, it could be a million other reasons. If you feel you aren't getting anywhere, try contacting the employer, and find out if there was any particular reason they didn't interview you.

    Good luck with everything.
    RC
  • daffy2daffy2 Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Elaine
    It's the classic stalemate situation isn't it? You need someone to give you an opportunity to find your feet, so to speak!, so that both you and prospective employers have an idea what is possible, but getting that first opportunity is a major hurdle.
    A couple of suggestions, although you may have already considered and rejected these; if so I apologise.
    Would temping be an option, perhaps office work?
    Also, would helping someone with shopping, accessing social activities etc be suitable.There often seem to be quite a few adverts in the papers, for a few hours over different days.The other thing I wondered was whether there are any volunteer opportunities in charity shops etc, while you are job seeking.Some of the larger ones have accredited training available which, if you were eligible,might be useful when dealing with prospective employers, and also the work would give another source of references. You will know all the stuff from your previous working life, but you don't want the 'that was then, what about now' to be a cause for rejection.
  • elainebadkneeelainebadknee Posts: 3,703
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Daffy

    Temping I have done for years, the last firm I worked for Adecco took me off their books, why? Becuase i worked hard at the witness care unit, was told I did a great job and applied for an admin role...Was then told I was very poor quality and only been interviewed out of politeness so felt thoroughly ashamed......Helping someone with shopping, im sorry its not me, some can do social work and are good with caring aspects, I'm not....Charity shops could be an option can look at...Not being obstructive simply explaining things..

    Elainex
    daffy2 wrote:
    Hi Elaine
    It's the classic stalemate situation isn't it? You need someone to give you an opportunity to find your feet, so to speak!, so that both you and prospective employers have an idea what is possible, but getting that first opportunity is a major hurdle.
    A couple of suggestions, although you may have already considered and rejected these; if so I apologise.
    Would temping be an option, perhaps office work?
    Also, would helping someone with shopping, accessing social activities etc be suitable.There often seem to be quite a few adverts in the papers, for a few hours over different days.The other thing I wondered was whether there are any volunteer opportunities in charity shops etc, while you are job seeking.Some of the larger ones have accredited training available which, if you were eligible,might be useful when dealing with prospective employers, and also the work would give another source of references. You will know all the stuff from your previous working life, but you don't want the 'that was then, what about now' to be a cause for rejection.
  • elainebadkneeelainebadknee Posts: 3,703
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Daffy

    Temping I have done for years, the last firm I worked for Adecco took me off their books, why? Becuase i worked hard at the witness care unit, was told I did a great job and applied for an admin role...Was then told I was very poor quality and only been interviewed out of politeness so felt thoroughly ashamed......Helping someone with shopping, im sorry its not me, some can do social work and are good with caring aspects, I'm not....Charity shops could be an option can look at...Not being obstructive simply explaining things..

    Elainex
    daffy2 wrote:
    Hi Elaine
    It's the classic stalemate situation isn't it? You need someone to give you an opportunity to find your feet, so to speak!, so that both you and prospective employers have an idea what is possible, but getting that first opportunity is a major hurdle.
    A couple of suggestions, although you may have already considered and rejected these; if so I apologise.
    Would temping be an option, perhaps office work?
    Also, would helping someone with shopping, accessing social activities etc be suitable.There often seem to be quite a few adverts in the papers, for a few hours over different days.The other thing I wondered was whether there are any volunteer opportunities in charity shops etc, while you are job seeking.Some of the larger ones have accredited training available which, if you were eligible,might be useful when dealing with prospective employers, and also the work would give another source of references. You will know all the stuff from your previous working life, but you don't want the 'that was then, what about now' to be a cause for rejection.
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