Skip to comments.A resume for a refugee?
Posted on 06/24/2012 1:11:54 PM PDT by dangus
A very remarkable woman I know recently lost her job at a hospital, discriminated against because she was NOT a Muslim. Ironically, she became a refugee in America to escape Islamicist oppression; she was a Philippino trapped into servitude who came to work for an astonishingly high-ranking Muslim who took her to America... where she fled.
Now she wants help on a resume, where she has listed her former employee. I'm afraid that without knowing her and her story, her claims of who she has worked for sound a little delusional.
I was thinking that an "Accomplishments" section could sorta tell her story. She could list "Granted political asylum," "Obtained U.S. Citizenship," and "Learned Four Languages" and list the four. Then once an employer has already seen "political asylum," it might seem so shocking to see that yes, she worked for a big shot.
So, some things are universal ~ and I have read thousands of resumes over the last half century ~ a number of them from POWs, ours and theirs, refugees, and defectors.
There are things you think you maybe can't cover. A Vietnamese lady in our building asked for help ~ she'd spent about 10 years in a Communist re-education camp. She'd been honest in her resume and said she'd been in prison in Viet Nam.
This is back when people had jobs ~ but she wasn't getting any nibbles. I encouraged her to rewrite it with - "unemployed" - and not say prison. She wasn't in the US at the time and both the university who'd given her a full scholarship and the State Department who'd gotten her free knew where she was.
She got nibbles after that.
This young woman was in slavery ~ but that's going to strike folks as rather jarring and offputting even if they hate slavery. They need more explanation, but in person, later, from her directly ~ nothing like interviewing people about things like prison, slavery, and, worst of all, child monk in Thailand.
I"d tell her she can write she was simply a "domestic employee". Discussion can come later. Again, state department knows who she is ~ through ICE ~ as do the courts. She's a victim. She came here to do honest work. Her employers were faithless scum and didn't pay her. No one holds that against her ~ it is not a shameful thing in America to be freed from slavery. It is shameful to impose slavery on someone else.
What a change America has seen over the centuries, but that's a big one.
There might be the exceptional employer out there who wouldn't hire her, but that'd be on account of her race, not her former condition of servitude.
Bet my secretary got involved in this one. They usually do followup.
Consider her resume a non-experienced worker resume.
She’ll have a better chance of landing a job based on her accomplishments than try to explain that she escaped slavery.
Yes, DEFINITELY put the political asylum status as it explains more than anything to potential employers.
What kind of jobs is she trying to get?
Employers take a 2 second look to see if she has qualifications/experience they are looking for. I wouldn’t put extraneous things on the resume — she can tell her story in the interview, if she gets there.
With the very limited information, I would start with:
Describe what she can do, has done, that qualifies her for the job she is seeking, no need to mention any names in this section. This needs to grab a potential employer’s attention. This is not where you would mention political refugee status, etc. That may raise more flags than positive reaction.
Then she can follow with her job history:
-— Hospital, ....
Year x to year y ... position, Philippines, or whereever.
She doesn’t need to mention names — she can do that in the interview.
After her job history, she can add a section:
— Speaks : x, y. z. w (4 languages)
— and whatever else that she has done that may not be specifically relevant to the job she is seeking, but presents her as a talented,responsible person.
AND then at the end:
US permanent resident, or have work visa, or whatever.
And at the very end:
References upon request.
Usually they will only ask AFTER the interview, where she has the chance to discuss and explain things.
The purpose of a resume is NOT “to get a job”, it is TO GET AN INTERVIEW — you need to say enough to get their interest, no need to write your whole life’s story.
Good luck to your friend.
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