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Advice for being Denied Access To A CV

Sakura Sunset

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Hi everyone


  This is my first post in this community, I'm sorry if it's not well formatted.  I was hoping somebody who might have found themselves in a similar situation could give me some advice on an unusual situation I find myself in.


I escaped my home country due to a psychotic ex and my anti trans family to live with my current spouse, who is wonderful, my family and ex are awful people but hide it, they were to the point that when the ex in question pulled a lethal weapon on me in a psychotic rage (borderline personality disorder,they refused meds and couldnt be sectioned without their consent in my original country)  and I yelled for help, instead of recieving any I was yelled at to shut up because they were watching tv downstairs, nobody checked on me, nobody called the police, they sat and watched tv, listening to me struggle with an assailant with a weapon and every time I would yell for help they would tell me to shut up.  I'm pretty sure they wanted me to die secretly, it would have covered all the stuff they did up nicely, but that's not why im here, I just want you to understand what level of evil I'm dealing with.


  So, I don't have a cv.  I left my work related stuff and all my non essentials when I left my home country, my original plan was not to be a resident in this country, i was visiting my fiance when I became one so I dont have acess to any of my paperwork, besides a birth certificate.  My CV was lost, my online cv backup was mysteriously deleted from the location it was securely stored.  I have a medical condition that interferes significantly with my memory, I have literally no hope of recalling employers or dates for my cv and I'm old enough a blank cv wouldnt suffice.  In the very very strictly limited both in information and words conversations I have had with my relatives since I left my home country they claim to have an extant copy of my CV, but wont give it to me, instead trying to use it to get information from me I'm unwilling to give.


Just what the heck am i supposed to do for my cv?  I had glowing references from my employers, and a long list of qualifications, now i have a multiple year gap in employment due to immigration, more years from medical malpractice and I cant recall the information for my former employers or my qualifications official titles and liscensing bodies.


Its not legal for me to work yet, but the end of that stint is finally in sight.  I need a CV.  I can't have my old one(I'm not taking that risk, I fear for my safety) and how do I explain not knowing my former employers, employment terms or any of that information I had neatly stored away in my home country, now held hostage by my family?


I can write a new CV sure, but I have nothing to put for my qualifications, employers, all the additional courses i took to increase my options, the written letters of reccomendation...


Is there a trick other survivors of parental or domestic abuse do in this situation?  I'm just so lost.


Sorry for the wall of text.


Note: I really dont want to dig up old memories or be identified, I wont be answering questions about my family or ex, I would really appreciate just sticking to what my options are and not making this complex if possible. 

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  • Admin

Just for the help of others who will read this, CV is "Curriculum Vitae" often referred to as a Resume in the western areas. 


Here in the U.S. a Resume contains claims of experience and job suitability for specific jobs.  I was a hiring manager for a State Agency for many years and had to read CV/Resumes by the foot of paper stacked on my desk every time we filled a position.  The things I was looking for were not every single little detail of the person's life, but rather a summary of what they had done.  Some positions DID require College and Trade School transcripts to see if specific classes called for in the Job Description had been met, but we did not care all that much for what the grade had been since the courses alone would eliminate on the job training which all of our jobs needed some specific new training.  For entry level jobs, there were of course standard skill exams that just showed you could use basic tools involved in the work place.  If the job required education Transcripts, those were requested by the candidate to be sent directly to my agency and mostly when we had reviewed them, we turned them back to the candidate.  Not as big an issue as some people believed was happening.  Your CV/Resume can be adequately re-constructed and will do fine.

Not knowing where you are, I cannot make a direct referral, but your local LGBTQ center is going to know about employment issues faced by their clients in the U.S. job market which includes work records and history.  There are two such special programs near me, including one that @Carolyn Mariewas instrumental in organizing and promoting.  I am hoping she will now see this and also step in to it. 


Big thing, thing is that while you situation is stressful and uncertain just now, it is far far from hopeless.  Do some therapeutic breathing and give us a chance.

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  • Admin

Hello, Sakura.  I am sorry for the situation you find yourself in, but there are resources out there in most states to help.  The programs that Vicky mentioned are specific to the Los Angeles area, so I'm not sure they would help.


Many states or counties have what the Federal government calls American Job Centers.  That was one of the programs I helped administer.  Other states might call them something slightly different, but if you go to the Department of Labor site you can get more information, Here.  Those folks are trained to assist with all kinds of difficult issues, and by law, they are mandated to be LGBT-friendly. 


As @VickySGVmentioned, many local LGBT centers, like the one in Los Angeles, have job assistance programs.  The one in L.A. is very robust and effective.


I also suggest that you contact your prior employers for duplicate letters of recommendation and other documentation, if you can do so safely.  The employment gaps are NOT going to be an issue since you have a perfectly valid and understandable reason for them.


I wish you luck, hon.




Carolyn Marie

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There is some really helpful information to unpackage there.

I think I'm going to try building my cv again from scratch and see how much information I have, then look into what resources are available in my area (if any).


Thank you both so much.  

May I follow up with a few more questions, if you don't mind?


Do you believe it would be plausible to start a fresh cv citing that I have prior employment history within x line of work, that I'm not able to reveal due to a former abuser?  Obviously not an approach I want to use, but a significant chunk of my work history and certifications are out of my reach.


What would be the best way to go about explaining a seemingly late start in employment history if I went to an employer over here on a trial or volunteer basis to get experience to start my cv fresh, deliberately omiting my prior employment history and qualifications?


(sorry this seems a little vague but part of my former employment is very identifying, despite not being able to recall the employer well)

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  • Admin

IDK, Sakura.  I never liked it when I was on interview boards if an applicant gave too much personal info.  You'd be amazed at the stuff people would admit ("cop") to without needing to do so.


I think a good approach is to provide whatever info you do have, verbally if you have to, and tell them you're trying to get documentation, but that there are personal reasons it may be difficult.  Give them whatever you can give them, like the names of at least a couple of prior employers.  If your memory is such that you can't do that, I'm not sure how many employers are going to accept that an applicant simply can't recall their work history, without medical proof.  Again, U.S. laws prohibit them from asking about your medical history.


I am not expert enough on these issues that offer better advice than that.  You need to consult with employment experts, who may have better solutions.


Carolyn Marie

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  • Admin
1 hour ago, Sakura Sunset said:

Do you believe it would be plausible to start a fresh cv citing that I have prior employment history within x line of work,


First question back to you: "Is it you or the CV trying to get work? "  If it is the CV, there could be a problem there.  If it is YOU trying to get the work then, don't overthink the matter and go ahead with what you can do.  @Carolyn Marieis absolutely correct about Resume's with too much personal information that gave me, as a hiring manager, the idea that there was so much in the person's head about their home life, that they could not give the job I wanted to fill enough space in their life for them to be effective and employable.  Tell me what you can do, not why you can't do the job I have because you cannot divulge skills due to something else in your life which is how I will think with too much unnecessary information.   I fully agree with Carolyn on the Employment Counseling  and possibly some deeper counseling about your abuse.  People qualified to do that counseling MUST be confidential about it, and cannot discuss it with your employers or your abusers.  It sounds to me that you still need to get the personal issues resolved before you would be really comfortable in a job. 

For a new Resume, think of the job to be done and adapt honest facts to drive you into the job no matter whether you can prove them with paper.  In addition to the Resume, you are going to get an interview where questions about your skills are asked in person and how you answer them will fill in missing gaps in the written record.  If the experience was over 7 years ago I am not really interested in it or how you got it.  The exception would be if you are going back to a skill you learned in a youth volunteer position, but that may be to personal and may turn you away from certain careers, and in that case irrelevant, but a bit quicker to re-learn.   


I am coming from a U. S. culture and Job Market, and this may be an issue here since your former culture may have been a bit different and may be getting in your way.  Employment counseling will cover that terrible trap.  Best of Luck.


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Not sure how much help there will be in your area.  Since you list your location as "Religious Hell" I'm guessing probably somewhere that may not be the most friendly. 


I live in a conservative area in the rural southern USA.  About as religious as it gets.  If you don't live in a larger city (and where I live, we define that as 30,000 people or more) then I'd look for the one nearest to you.  There will be an office called "Labor Department" or "Division of Workforce Services."  Something like that, but to my knowledge every state will have one, with multiple offices in each state.  They are paid by the public to help people in all kinds of situations, including yours. 


Offices like that offer multiple kinds of services, including building a resume, locating lost former employers, and counseling to help you adjust.  They do a lot of work with people who have immigrated for work visas, refugee/asylum, etc.  It is by no means the only solution, but it is a GREAT starting point. 


One thing to note - lacking a CV may not really be a problem.  In the city near where I live, most employers don't really consider foreign employment experience to be "valid."  We're pretty provincial here.  You're basically starting from zero....and in your case that could help you if finding previous employment documents fails. 


I don't know about your area, but in many places in the South there are a lot of job openings.  Good paying stuff - they'll practically take anybody who can read and write English and has a pulse.  My sister barely worked until recently.  She lived at home and attempted to write short stories for magazines (without making money.)  Now she works as a secretary, and got the job with only personal references and no resume. 

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Thank you all so much.  I feel quite refreshed hearing a lot of this, I'm probably going to take a little of all of it and apply it.

I'm probably going to go for a basic job, then try and earn some US relevant qualifications to expand my options further down the road.


Honestly, since getting away from my family I feel like for the first time in my life I actually have a tiny measure of control in my own life.  It's exciting, I actually feel like I have a chance to make my own path as me, without being forced to dress and act a certain way.  


I have three relevant long term employers and several shorter contracts, I recall all the long term employers but not the dates, however almost none of the smaller contracts.  In addition despite knowing my three major employers my father is an upper level manager for one of them, I was hired multiple times by them on the merits of my actions but if I contact them, he will find out, most likely on the same day even though I've only ever worked with or under him once, its one of those industries where everyone knows everyone and everybody talks.


One of my other major employers is less risky, I got one of my sisters friends a job there however so I need to try and avoid calling where she is stationed.  


I can explain a little about my memory.  I grew up somewhere really rough, they don't like lgbtq+ anything and its full of mobsters, I have had multiple concussions from being assaulted, also from being forced to play rugby and several other full contact sports through my adulthood because my family didnt think I should be into girly things, then more from an addiction to extreme sports I used to do due to a secret deathwish at the time, in addition I have a lot of trauma associated with my childhood and early adulthood from... stuff, and have been prescribed and taken medication that is known to cause Alzheimers/Dementia (before that risk was known), and have a seperate medical condition that can also cause several issues with memory loss.


  I function as a logical adult but my memories are jumbled and disorganized, I forget random words, dates, names, instructions etc.  All easily rectifiable in a work environment, you just need to take notes, not so hot when your trying to remember who hired you for a three month private contract more than ten years ago or the titles, grades and liscensing bodies of the 7-8 side qualifications at around A level your college required you to take as you were doing other courses just to get the units.  I did have measures to avoid all of this, but never underestimate what malice will make people do.


You seem to have a really kind and welcoming community and I hope I can contribute back to repay all the kindness you have shown.


Thank you all for your kind words and support



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@Sakura Sunset In the US, many job applications have a box that allows you to tell them you don't want an employer contacted.  Also, due to time constraints most basic jobs won't even bother to make contact or check references.  Time is money...


Also, IIRC it is forbidden for a prospective employer to ask a previous employer about reasons for termination.  Not that that prevents it entirely, but it does reduce the effect that your father could have on your future employment.


Resumes also tend to be pretty short for basic jobs. So if you can remember your major contracts, just forget about the small stuff. Again, time is money and the majority of prospective employers for basic jobs simply won't care.  That changes if you go into a specialty field where you have licenses and government permissions, I'm not sure if that would apply in your field of work or not.

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