Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: A question about CV's and job interviews

  1. #1

    A question about CV's and job interviews

    Hi everyone,

    I recently got out of the hospital (as in: discharged this morning), and I don't know exactly what's going to happen health-wise in the next few weeks/months. But I've been out of the work force for twelve months already, and because I can't wait forever for things to 'stabilize' or 'get better' or whatever, I've started to actively job-hunt again.

    Now, it's not like I've never worked before, but my work experience is relatively limited for someone my age. I'm 25 years old, and I have 2+ years of work experience in a commercial position. I'm willing to work in a job similar to the one I held before, but am actually hoping to find something that relates a little more closely to my college degree (which is in developmental psychology).

    I realize that my chances of landing a job based on my psychology degree are pretty slim at this point. I didn't find work immediately upon graduation in 2008, which is why I started working on a new, unrelated degree then, while taking a job that didn't require higher education. Recent graduates are going to have a serious leg up on me. But even if I resign myself to the fact that I might not be able to work as a psychologist (at least not unless I start my own private practice, which is not in the cards right now), I'm still facing a few problems:
    • I have a 'gap' in my resume, where I haven't worked since May 2010, mostly because of my health and related issues.
    • Two or three times in the past ten months or so, I actually came close to being hired in a position that I think would have suited me very well (one of those as a psychologist), only to be confronted at the last minute by allegedly 'insurmountable' accessibility issues. One potential employer even retracted an offer already extended, after a chat with a lawyer about the potential safety implications of employing a crutch-walker/wheelchair user in a building that wasn't completely accessible.
    • My health issues are ongoing in more than one sense of the word, and might have implications for my long-term employability, even in an accessible workplace.


    All of this leads to the same question: how and when do I disclose my medical situation to a potential employer?

    An unexplained twelve-month gap might in itself be a disqualifying factor. So should I mention something about health problems on the CV, in order to explain it? Should I drop subtle hints about my situation (secretary of wheelchair basketball club xyz)? This might save both me and the employer some time, if the accessibility of their building is such that they would never consider hiring a wheelchair user anyway. It might also make me miss opportunities, in that I could potentially convince someone to hire me in an in-person interview, despite my wheelchair. But that's not going to happen if they won't even invite me to the interview.

    Other than the wheelchair, I also have an additional serious health issue (epilepsy that's not entirely controlled by medication). This is not something I would ever consider mentioning on my CV -- not even 'between the lines'. But because I could literally have a seizure any minute, it *is* something that my employer will eventually need to know. Is it 'cheating' to wait until I'm hired, and then tell them? I did that with my last employer (actually, I wasn't going to tell them at all, but then I had a seizure in the middle of the workday). They weren't happy.

    So again, the question is: when and how do I inform my (potential) employer of these things? Does anyone have any experience they'd like to share? Any insights will be highly appreciated!
    Last edited by Saranoya; 06-17-2011 at 09:48 AM. Reason: clarification

  2. #2
    Not a lawyer but its my understanding you don't have to reveal any medical issues.
    Gap, chalk it up to family issues that needed attention.
    I always did a drive by to check access.

    Have you tried positions that utilize psychologiststhat have clientele with disabilities? UCP?,AHRC?
    do you have an ed license too to work in a school?
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
    Posts
    8,152
    Quote Originally Posted by Saranoya View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I recently got out of the hospital (as in: discharged this morning), and I don't know exactly what's going to happen health-wise in the next few weeks/months. But I've been out of the work force for twelve months already, and because I can't wait forever for things to 'stabilize' or 'get better' or whatever, I've started to actively job-hunt again.

    Now, it's not like I've never worked before, but my work experience is relatively limited for someone my age. I'm 25 years old, and I have 2+ years of work experience in a commercial position. I'm willing to work in a job similar to the one I held before, but am actually hoping to find something that relates a little more closely to my college degree (which is in developmental psychology).


    I realize that my chances of landing a job based on my psychology degree are pretty slim at this point. I didn't find work immediately upon graduation in 2008, which is why I started working on a new, unrelated degree then, while taking a job that didn't require higher education. Recent graduates are going to have a serious leg up on me. But even if I resign myself to the fact that I might not be able to work as a psychologist (at least not unless I start my own private practice, which is not in the cards right now), I'm still facing a few problems:
    • I have a 'gap' in my resume, where I haven't worked since May 2010, mostly because of my health and related issues.
    • Two or three times in the past ten months or so, I actually came close to being hired in a position that I think would have suited me very well (one of those as a psychologist), only to be confronted at the last minute by allegedly 'insurmountable' accessibility issues. One potential employer even retracted an offer already extended, after a chat with a lawyer about the potential safety implications of employing a crutch-walker/wheelchair user in a building that wasn't completely accessible.
    • My health issues are ongoing in more than one sense of the word, and might have implications for my long-term employability, even in an accessible workplace.

    All of this leads to the same question: how and when do I disclose my medical situation to a potential employer?

    An unexplained twelve-month gap might in itself be a disqualifying factor. So should I mention something about health problems on the CV, in order to explain it? Should I drop subtle hints about my situation (secretary of wheelchair basketball club xyz)? This might save both me and the employer some time, if the accessibility of their building is such that they would never consider hiring a wheelchair user anyway. It might also make me miss opportunities, in that I could potentially convince someone to hire me in an in-person interview, despite my wheelchair. But that's not going to happen if they won't even invite me to the interview.

    Other than the wheelchair, I also have an additional serious health issue (epilepsy that's not entirely controlled by medication). This is not something I would ever consider mentioning on my CV -- not even 'between the lines'. But because I could literally have a seizure any minute, it *is* something that my employer will eventually need to know. Is it 'cheating' to wait until I'm hired, and then tell them? I did that with my last employer (actually, I wasn't going to tell them at all, but then I had a seizure in the middle of the workday). They weren't happy.

    So again, the question is: when and how do I inform my (potential) employer of these things? Does anyone have any experience they'd like to share? Any insights will be highly appreciated!
    1. Never disclose on your resume anything about your health and nothing related to your wheelchair or cane or crutches...etc
    2. Gaps in my resume..I explain with family illness. Father with Cancer and this time october 10 (if I go back) to take care of my daughter who developed seizures. I only tell them this if I feel comfortable in an interview situation. Comfortable is judged by me.
    3. Psychologists tend to locate their offices in old houses or around here it seems the cheapest place they can find to rent. I had to go to an appointment with my daughter and had to climb a flight of stairs so I fully understand what you are saying.
    4. You may have had an ADA lawsuit on the retracted job offer as they could have been made to make some reasonable accomodations whether you know it or not.

    I experienced a similar situation in 2000 at a hospital. I applied and an offer was extended by the department manager. I accepted. When the HR manager found out I walked with a cane and braces, she inquired as to why? I informed her that I thought that was illegal and that my cane and my braces would not interfere with my ability to do the job with which I was hired. She came up with this form for me to fill out which was a generic health questionaire. I filled it out. I got suspicsious and called a human rights office in Raleigh NC and they advised me that if they did not make every other employee fill out that health questionaire then they were breaking the law. The next day the HR manager called me and said I needed to come up and sign a release for them to get some of my medical records. I asked "why"? She said it is standard procedure. I said I don't think so. She said "I have been in HR 30 years and I am telling you this is standard procedure". I said Ms ?, I spoke to the ADA Human Rights Office (I can't even remember the exact title of the office now) yesterday. IF you do not have documentation in every employees file in your hospital that they have filled out a form like the one you made me fill out, you are breaking the law. You extended a job offer to me that I have the ability to do. I have an organization and a lawyer that is willing to represent me if you do not honor that job offer and hung up on her.

    I had made her give me copies of everything I had signed all along in the process and kept my paper trail.

    I made copies of my paper trail and sent a letter to the hospital board. The department manager amazingly did not know any of this was going on and had no idea what the hold up was because my start date kept getting pushed.

    This hospital had a high rate of CNA's who took jobs then claimed back injuries.... I was not a CNA. I was a Medical Records person with a degree.

    In the end, I was Director of Medical Records for this hospital for a few years but I started out as a pion transcriptionist/Medical Records Tech.

    I have NEVER had a Workmans comp claim in my 17 years of working off and on even when I worked in retail just because I was bored.

    So I guess my question is: With your seizure condition are you employable? I don't say this to be mean but it is reality. I just had to give up my job so I totally understand where you are coming from. I don't know where you live but in a larger city, could you take a position in a hospital where they could deal with a seizure better than a person in an office setting? Larger Health systems are much more disabilty friendly and accessible too. I know in places like Phoenix they advertise for Psychologists in treatment centers and those are always going to be accessible for the most part.

    Just some ideas....good luck. I envy the field you have chosen. It interests me.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  4. #4
    Hi Liz & Daisy,

    Thank you for your reactions.

    I guess I should mention that I'm not an American. The ADA does not apply here, and I'm not sure there even exists equivalent legislation where I live. I'm guessing no, because even some hospitals are not completely wheelchair-accessible around here (no accessible toilet stalls for visitors & employees, that sort of thing).

    Even if such a law does exist (I'll have to do some research on that), I've never heard of anyone who filed a lawsuit over it, let alone won their case. The American 'happy to sue you' culture is something of a running joke around here, especially among the lawyers I know (and I know quite a few of them, since I used to sing in a student choir that counted lots of law students among its membership).

    Both of your comments did give me the idea of looking at job openings in places that are more likely to be accessible by default. Just a few minutes ago, I sent in my CV to a school for disabled children, where I spent part of my elementary school career. I guess now that I'm in a wheelchair (which I wasn't before I busted my right knee a year ago), I'll just have to learn to think a little differently.

    As for my employability in general ... I don't think having a seizure about once a week (sometimes less) should necessarily disqualify me as a productive member of society. The hard part is the unpredictability of these seizures. But that's just another thing I have to live around.

  5. #5
    We have had a law suit here. A woman who had got a job as a teacher when she was able bodied and before she could start she broke her back and after rehab she wanted the job, she had been on sick leave for about a year I think, and they did not want her back. She lost the lawsuit because the building was not accessible. And they had promised her that she should get the job after rehab and make the building accessible.

    If you have google translater, you can read it.
    http://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/2002/10/11/350974.html

    It is some years ago but I met the woman at the rehab so I followed the case.
    TH 12, 43 years post

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
    Posts
    8,152
    Quote Originally Posted by Saranoya View Post
    Hi Liz & Daisy,

    Thank you for your reactions.

    I guess I should mention that I'm not an American. The ADA does not apply here, and I'm not sure there even exists equivalent legislation where I live. I'm guessing no, because even some hospitals are not completely wheelchair-accessible around here (no accessible toilet stalls for visitors & employees, that sort of thing).

    Even if such a law does exist (I'll have to do some research on that), I've never heard of anyone who filed a lawsuit over it, let alone won their case. The American 'happy to sue you' culture is something of a running joke around here, especially among the lawyers I know (and I know quite a few of them, since I used to sing in a student choir that counted lots of law students among its membership).

    Both of your comments did give me the idea of looking at job openings in places that are more likely to be accessible by default. Just a few minutes ago, I sent in my CV to a school for disabled children, where I spent part of my elementary school career. I guess now that I'm in a wheelchair (which I wasn't before I busted my right knee a year ago), I'll just have to learn to think a little differently.

    As for my employability in general ... I don't think having a seizure about once a week (sometimes less) should necessarily disqualify me as a productive member of society. The hard part is the unpredictability of these seizures. But that's just another thing I have to live around.

    Sorry I didn't even look to see where you were from.

    Its not about being sue happy. I wanted a job and I had the qualifications. That is what our ADA law is about. I have never brought a lawsuit against anyone but I do believe in fairness. The person that was going to hire you didn't think twice about calling his attorney.

    I agree on your employability...and I would be doing the same thing you are doing. Someday hopefully you can get them under control.

    Good luck....I hope you get the position.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by darkeyed_daisy View Post
    It's not about being sue happy. I wanted a job and I had the qualifications. That is what our ADA law is about.
    I didn't mean you personally, or even most Americans ... if I offended you, I sincerely apologize.

    All I'm saying is that from where I'm sitting, it looks like American employers are much more aware of the possibility that someone might sue them over something, and so they are more likely to give credence to even as much as the threat of a law suit, spoken or unspoken.

    That said, it's a sword that cuts both ways. In the situation I am talking about (concerning the job offer that was retracted), I was applying for a job with a company that had recently been taken over by an American multi-national. They told me in so many words that before that take-over, they would not have hesitated to hire me. But since the take-over, safety was a much bigger concern for them than it had been before. They themselves attributed this to the American mothership's fear of being sued (by me, I assume) if something untoward were to happen.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
    Posts
    8,152
    Quote Originally Posted by Saranoya View Post
    I didn't mean you personally, or even most Americans ... if I offended you, I sincerely apologize.

    All I'm saying is that from where I'm sitting, it looks like American employers are much more aware of the possibility that someone might sue them over something, and so they are more likely to give credence to even as much as the threat of a law suit, spoken or unspoken.

    That said, it's a sword that cuts both ways. In the situation I am talking about (concerning the job offer that was retracted), I was applying for a job with a company that had recently been taken over by an American multi-national. They told me in so many words that before that take-over, they would not have hesitated to hire me. But since the take-over, safety was a much bigger concern for them than it had been before. They themselves attributed this to the American mothership's fear of being sued (by me, I assume) if something untoward were to happen.

    Oh you didn't offend me at all.

    Yes I agree with the two edged sword.

    We can only hope there is a much better accessible position awaiting you.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  9. #9
    The 'gap' you describe doesn't seem significant, especially given your age and that you are recently out of school (or still in, completing grad degree?).

    Once you become certified and licensed, your prospects will increase. The higher the degree in psych (or related) the less physical the job requirements will be, particularly in the area of developmental psych and work dealing with children.

  10. #10
    The only reason that American companies are aware of and willing to make things accessible is that they are forced to by the ADA. If they had a choice, as they did in your case, they'd say Sayonara, Saranoya!
    I suggest that you make it your job at the present to find out just what is your legal situation. What does Belgium - or the EU - have in place that you can use; what protection do they provide you? Do they offer any counseling?
    A school for disabled children sounds good. But it may be disturbing to the kids if you did have a fit in their presence, depending on how long it lasts & severity; also depending on whether everybody already know about it and can accept it as "Oh, teacher's having another fit - let's make sure she's OK and wait." However I could see the administration getting very upset. Is any medication available to help?
    Best of luck to you
    - Richard

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-18-2006, 08:53 PM
  2. Here are the interviews done by Kim from Brown
    By Curt Leatherbee in forum Care
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 05-02-2003, 11:22 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •