Just keep it simple:
2020: off work due to a health issue which is now resolved
2018 - 2019: Senior Widget Wrangler, Acme Corporation
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2016 - 2018: Widget Wrangler, Acme Corporation
<description of widget wrangler role>
Nobody should ever be asking for details of the health issue, but if someone does ...
Phillip Kendall’s answer is the correct, here is why.
Unfortunately you have a tricky trade-off. On one hand, you are not required to explain anything and the company can't really ask (in the US). On the other hand the company is not required to hire you and if there is anything in your resume or the interview they don't like, they will just move on to the ...
Jane should be able to answer your questions since:
Jane & Joe have the same role as well as seniority
Your questions are rather general ones than specific to the position
Jane agreed to communicate and is keen on answering your questions
..so you should go with that.
First rule: don't insult HR.
Jane is offering to help. She's fully able to answer all of the questions you need answered now. You've already admitted that any questions she might not be able to answer would be reasonable to ask at the interview, and the answers she's able to give are sufficient to tell you if it's worth taking the interview or not.
How rare is it for an opportunity to show up (outside of London, say Singapore, or New Zealand) that can pay comparable to what jobs in the USA pay?
I think one factor contributing here is what you can do with the money you get. In other countries compared to the US, you get less money, but you have better protection systems, whether it's healthcare, ...
I think the best way to explain it is as you did here. They see one thing "all these jobs are short term" but you actually have three things.
all the jobs up to X are co-op work terms, they are always 4 months long (yes, the interviewer probably knows how co-op works, but it's ok to quickly remind them of that and of your graduation date.)
after I ...
How do I justify this anomaly in my answers report to the company X?
It doesn't appear that this was an anomaly. Rather, it was intentional. If others were actually able to provide answers, then you don't justify anything. You either provide your (untested) answer, or you don't.
If you provide an untested answer, you may or may not get the job. If you ...
Cover letter is not the place for this. Everything in your application should be positive.
I also don't want to be 'complaining' about my previous employer to someone who I've never even met
I wouldn't even do this in an interview if I were you.
I don't think "fair" enters into it. You get to make the decision and you don't need to be fair about it. You could turn the whole thing down because you stepped in a dog turd on the way to the interview and feel it was a failure on their part not to clean it up.
A better question is: is it wise?
If most of your cons are based on the recruiter, ...
Be open about what happened. That builds trust. You don't have to be it every time but if you find an offer interesting, tell them what happened. I interpret your question as it wasn't something "shameful" (being hospitalised for a year after a car accident due to DUI would, in my eyes, be shameful because it would signal really bad judgement - but ...
This is a STAR format interview question:
It's generally 5 questions, 2 managers, and every question in the format:
Situation - Task - Action - Result
The Situation - Task are the questions they ask you.
The Action - Result is where you come in with examples, preferably unique and 99% of the time, not completely true (People Skills...).
It basically tests ...
I didn't mention it during the interview that I was actually applying for a different position.
Why not? You should have done this right there, so you don't waste your time in an interview for a position you don't want.
Guess that this is something you should keep in mind for future interviews.
Would it be wise explain the situation in my follow-up email ...
The simple answer to this is that you won't find a job outside of New York / Silicon Valley for which the the headline compensation figure is equivalent. That applies even to large chunks of America - you're not going to find a job in (say) rural Minnesota which pays as much as one in San Francisco.
But... it isn't necessarily the headline compensation ...
They are assuming you are incompetent and getting fired or constantly leaving jobs for some reason. The real reason is that the jobs were never intended to be permanent or you got laid off.
Should I include in my resume they were contracts so it doesn't look like I was fired after a month?
Yes. Make it explicit that the work period was short in duration ...
A close friend of mine had to stop working for a few years because of health issues. When everything was resolved and she started looking for a job, she didn't update her resume. Instead, she explained the gap during interviews by saying "I had to stop working because of health issues, but now I'm completely healthy and ready to work again".
Could this hurt my chances of getting hired?
Of course it could, though there is no way for us to tell if it will.
For right or for wrong, there's a saying that goes "You are known by the company you keep."
You need to decide ahead of time if the kinds of employers you are seeking would find this content objectionable or not. If so, you might ...
Easy: "I'm a company that really needs a really good graphic designer – if I can find one."
Okay, sales(wo)man, "there's your prospect." You know that you've got what they're [desperately ...] looking for. In fact, you know that you're better than everyone else they might be considering!
Your objective is simply: "to convince them ...
Not necessarily complete, but you want to:
Convey contact details.
Show that you can write a formal letter without fucking up formalities (which you will do implicitly by writing it).
If you had prior communication, mention it: "thank you for our wonderful conversation when we met at xyz.". Same if you have a contact within the company who has ...
You don't need a degree to be a software developer. These days degrees are becoming somewhat meaningless in IT.
The issues you describe are common in larger organizations - finding budget for software developers is difficult and so they're often over-committed to 120-140%.
They do this intentionally. If you complete 120% of the work you should do in a 40 ...
You definitely want to paint a picture of someone who wants a long term job. And also that in many cases you have just had bad luck. There may also be some performance related stuff that you want to address. Breaking it down into a few strategies...
Highlight relevant experience, summarize less relevant experience:
If the job opportunity isn't in retail, ...
Personally I wouldn't even include it on the resume. I would just put in the work you did and just the time you did it in. Don't explain "gaps" between those time frames.
You're right to assume people will be curious, but you have to also understand that when you're being vague and lacking any sort of clarity, people will assume the worst possible ...
This is a situational interview question. They typically want you to answer as a specific instance that it happened to you. Situation, actions, outcome.
Typically, if you answered it the way you did, very general, most interviewers would say "can you give me a specific example."
And either you pull something out of your head from a true past ...
You should make sure to check with your friend if they're okay with using their name in your message. If it's okay, briefly mention it at the start of the email like this.
Dear [HR Person Name],
[Friend] provided me with your contact details, and I'm writing you to inquire about an internship at [Company Name].
The usefulness of this differs depending ...
I would just say that manager doesn't exist at the company any more, got laid off, etc. Or even just say i'm not comfortable doing that as it's been so long, or whatever.
The details don't matter so much as the general idea that "i can't give you that".
To me the idea of a recruiter not being able to get a reference 4 years ago, holding up a job ...
Deal with Jane.
My gut tells me I should ask the important questions to Joe, considering they may be an opener to create a connection that could help me land the position
I'm sorry to break it to you, but your desire to ask someone else simply isn't relevant here.
Here's how I'd characterize what has transpired so far:
You contacted the company and asked ...
Even though Jane is not the one responsibile for the position, she still works with Joe and her impression of and interaction with you may be relayed to Joe anyway, and may even make you stand out as a candidate by expressing enough interest to reach out.
She's willing to answer the questions you want answered, she seems positive about the interaction, and ...
It is never going to be faster than if you applied now. So go ahead and apply now. The worst that happens is that you get experience with interviewing, which is not such a bad thing.
You should look into whether you can take the test without a pending visa application. IELTS test are generally considered valid for 2 years.
Companies may not be willing to ...
Send them immediately. It's clear your English is fine.
If someone wants to hire you, and it even comes up, and you finally go through all the weeks of bureaucracy towards a visa ... if you don't have the score by then you'll simply be saying to (someone), oh I'm doing that test on Friday. It's a non-issue, just go ahead.