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Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

Joined: 11 May 2016
Gender: Female
Posts: 58
Location: United Kingdom

25 May 2016, 10:34 pm

Hi everybody,

I am from England so I am not sure if job related processes are the same in the rest of the world.

A lot of job applications ask why you have gaps in your CV. And for someone like me who has ASD and has not had luck with paid employment (i have done volunteering) its really offputting having to explain my ASD makes it more.difficult to get an interview etc. I hate that question, as its very personal and some people who have to answer that question may have been a victim of rape or domestic violence, may have lost their spouse or child etc.

Secondly, here in England as well we have health questionnaires some employers except you to fill out and of course it asks about mental health so I need to put ive suffered from anxiety and depression due to my ASD and.i also have irritable bowel syndrome so they ask about that too.

Do you have these job processes in your country? I think they need to be illegal as they are way too personal. And do you have any general advice that could help me.


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Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,993
Location: New Zealand

26 May 2016, 12:39 am

Is there a chance of contacting an autism group or advice centre of some kind like citizen's advice bureau maybe to see if they can link you to a career counsellor you could brainstorm solutions to these problems with?

I have met some really good ones, and they are not just about vocational guidance in a strict sense but skilled at constructive ways of looking at all stages of the transition into work and jobs, and all issues involved in that. That's their field of expertise. Hopefully you will also get some helpful replies here also.


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Joined: 7 Apr 2015
Posts: 2,666

26 May 2016, 5:12 am

Yup, it's a killer.
My solution has been to decide to heavily retrain, and do part time voluntary work placement while doing so. My hope is that when I gain the qualification, especially if it takes me more than 6 months which is likely, plus I have the (I hope) good report from my host placement employer with it, no one will go digging into my patchy work history.
The advice I have had from the job services in regard to this problem has been woeful - lie, they recommend. Say you went backpacking overseas or something, just don't tell them you were unwell. I don't lie.
It's not just autism, either - I've heard people who have had any illness get this. I had a pain condition, and even when I have proof that corrective surgery late last year has fixed my problems, if I was to admit there is a big gap in my résumé because I was chronically ill, they would not hire me even recovered.
I'm not sure about the legalities of health disclosure, but sometimes it is the small print - is there anything that would affect your work. If your anxiety / depression / IBS is under control then no, it won't affect your work and you would not have to disclose it. You also wouldn't be able to claim worker's compensation due to it, though.
I'd mention anti-discrimination and equal opportunity employers but it's a joke, lip service. And basically impossible to prove you didn't get hired on discriminatory grounds.
I agree, it should be left out. Why you took time off is your own private business, a concept modern society doesn't seem to comprehend. If you are physically fit right now, are qualified and pass the checks they require (such as sometimes criminal history is needed) then your life is none of their concern.

Alexithymia - 147 points.


Joined: 2 Mar 2015
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,695

26 May 2016, 10:36 am

Several years ago I used to be a hiring manager.

I agree, lie about the gaps in employment. This is actually expected.

You could say you started an educational program that didn't work out. You can also say that you were laid off and you spent that time looking for a new job. If the gap is only around a month or two, that latter would be appropriate.

If it's a long gap, say, six months or more, you may have to say that you were recovering from an illness and you are now fully recovered. They cannot ask you about this, so you have to immediately follow with, "But I've since recovered and am doing well." If you feel confident in your ability to fib, you can think about a past time that you actually were sick or hurt yourself and use that. For example, years ago I fell and hurt my ankle. If I, personally, ever had to manufacture an illness, I would say that I fell and hurt my ankle. That way if I was ever asked about it, I would have real memories of my ankle injury to recall and talk about.


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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
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Posts: 72,492
Location: Queens, NYC

26 May 2016, 10:39 am

Just say you were taking care of a sick relative. And have your story ready at the interview.


Joined: 11 Aug 2015
Posts: 5,032

26 May 2016, 12:01 pm

SocOfAutism's and kraftiekortie's answers are sound. Basically, you want to manufacture a cover story that lets you glide smoothly around this hurdle.

In the U.S., certain questions are illegal and you are not required by law to answer them. But employers may ask you anyway. The only way through those interviews and questionnaires is to have an answer prepared.

In addition to the above suggestions, you could also state you were training yourself online in a particular area - nowadays, that is totally believable, just make sure you mention an area you do have some skill so if they lob you a follow-up question.

If you chat a lot, you could say you were educating yourself about social media!

Other things you could say include helping a relative get a house ready to put on the market ... helping out with a dying older relative ... or practicing up for a competition. (but have details available)



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Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,620

26 May 2016, 12:59 pm

I agree, make up an alibi, and make it as bullet-proof as you can.