Currently Employed-questions on applying for new job

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corysold
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Currently Employed-questions on applying for new job

Post by corysold » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:45 am

I've been employed as an HVAC technician for about 8 months, it is a union apprenticeship. I like the work, but the schedule with my current company hasn't been great for our family. Without going into much detail, I don't know when I'll be home on any given day, which makes after school care and weeknight scheduling difficult with 6 kids. I'd like to eventually move companies, which isn't an option currently, or...

I'd like to apply for a Public Works job in my local city. Main benefits are a much more stable work period and a 3 minute commute vs. 1 hour plus currently.

That aside, I'd like some advice on a few questions for the application.

First, as usual, there is the "May we contact your currently employer to as to your qualification and character". I'd rather my current employer not know at this point I'm looking for new jobs. It's a very slow time, eventually someone will likely be laid off, I'd prefer I didn't give them any incentive to make that me. Is it OK to answer "No" for this question? I assume this is somewhat typical, but don't know for sure.

Secondly, I've applied for jobs with this city before. Through the grapevine, I've heard that I never got to the interview stage as my work history was as a paper carrier/stay at home dad for the last 12, and the HR head didn't like that I didn't have a steady work history. I disagree that waking up every day for 12 years doesn't provide a steady work history, but that is here nor there.

My question is, should I explain why I am looking for a new job after just 8 months? I think the reasons I have, shorter commute, more stable work period, more stable seasonal income are good ones, but I don't know if that matters. Should I explain in my cover letter why I am pursuing this job at this point? Is that a red flag in any way?

Jags4186
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Re: Currently Employed-questions on applying for new job

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:51 am

corysold wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:45 am
I've been employed as an HVAC technician for about 8 months, it is a union apprenticeship. I like the work, but the schedule with my current company hasn't been great for our family. Without going into much detail, I don't know when I'll be home on any given day, which makes after school care and weeknight scheduling difficult with 6 kids. I'd like to eventually move companies, which isn't an option currently, or...

I'd like to apply for a Public Works job in my local city. Main benefits are a much more stable work period and a 3 minute commute vs. 1 hour plus currently.

That aside, I'd like some advice on a few questions for the application.

First, as usual, there is the "May we contact your currently employer to as to your qualification and character". I'd rather my current employer not know at this point I'm looking for new jobs. It's a very slow time, eventually someone will likely be laid off, I'd prefer I didn't give them any incentive to make that me. Is it OK to answer "No" for this question? I assume this is somewhat typical, but don't know for sure.

Secondly, I've applied for jobs with this city before. Through the grapevine, I've heard that I never got to the interview stage as my work history was as a paper carrier/stay at home dad for the last 12, and the HR head didn't like that I didn't have a steady work history. I disagree that waking up every day for 12 years doesn't provide a steady work history, but that is here nor there.

My question is, should I explain why I am looking for a new job after just 8 months? I think the reasons I have, shorter commute, more stable work period, more stable seasonal income are good ones, but I don't know if that matters. Should I explain in my cover letter why I am pursuing this job at this point? Is that a red flag in any way?
1 is easy. Ask that they do not contact your current employer.

2 is also easy. You answered it earlier in your post. It’s very slow and someone is going to be laid off. And since you’re last in (only 8 months there) it’s likely you’ll be first out and you’re trying to find a more stable gig. That’s a perfectly reasonable explanation to why you’re looking.

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corysold
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Re: Currently Employed-questions on applying for new job

Post by corysold » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:54 am

Thanks. To further my second question, it isn't so much whether I have a valid reason, but since they were concerned about my work history before, I never made it to the interview process. Should I be putting that reasoning in the cover letter, resume, etc. somehow to alleviate those same issues and hopefully get to an interview, where I could obviously explain my reasoning better.

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yangtui
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Re: Currently Employed-questions on applying for new job

Post by yangtui » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:00 pm

I would do everything you can (without lying) in your cover letter and resume to present an image that will make you attractive to the hiring manager. Everything you have posted so far sounds reasonable in terms of why you are seeking a new job. If the question comes up I would personally feel very comfortable telling them why.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Currently Employed-questions on applying for new job

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:10 pm

corysold wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:54 am
Thanks. To further my second question, it isn't so much whether I have a valid reason, but since they were concerned about my work history before, I never made it to the interview process. Should I be putting that reasoning in the cover letter, resume, etc. somehow to alleviate those same issues and hopefully get to an interview, where I could obviously explain my reasoning better.
Do you have any "friends" at the unit you are applying to? Maybe they can assist in getting your application to the right person and vouch for your character and work ethic?
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

oilrig
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Re: Currently Employed-questions on applying for new job

Post by oilrig » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:28 pm

Regardless of what you do, not having any work experience for the past 12 years + wanting to leave your job after 8 months is going to be a potential red flag for any employer. You need to work on fixing up your resume to explain the past 12 years. Were you doing any side jobs, volunteering, contract jobs, business, anything at all related to HVAC? If so, then put that down.

Also, you need to try and network your way in. Chances are the HR person will disqualify your resume again if she sees it come in. Find the hiring manager or supervisors on Linkedin and contact them that way.

Topic Author
corysold
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Re: Currently Employed-questions on applying for new job

Post by corysold » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:34 pm

oilrig wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:28 pm
Regardless of what you do, not having any work experience for the past 12 years + wanting to leave your job after 8 months is going to be a potential red flag for any employer. You need to work on fixing up your resume to explain the past 12 years. Were you doing any side jobs, volunteering, contract jobs, business, anything at all related to HVAC? If so, then put that down.

Also, you need to try and network your way in. Chances are the HR person will disqualify your resume again if she sees it come in. Find the hiring manager or supervisors on Linkedin and contact them that way.
Thanks. The issue is, it isn't that I don't have any work history for the last 12 years, it's that the work I did doesn't seem to count in the eyes of the HR head.

I do have a good friend who works for the city currently. That's how I found out why I wasn't getting interviews. But he's also told me not to put him as a reference as the HR head doesn't like hiring people with references in the city. Seems totally backwards to me, but it is what it is.

I've thought about sending my application and resume directly to the head of Public Works, but I'm not sure if that would help or hurt.

But I've applied for at least the last 10 jobs that have come open over the last 3-4 years (though none since I started my current job), so it might be time to try something new to bypass the gatekeeper in HR who's stopped me to this point.

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