Explaining Employment Gaps

When job searching or interviewing, many people may be under the false impression that gaps between jobs on a resume are something of a deal-breaker. It isn’t so much the gap as it is how a potential candidate describes the reasons behind the gap that may negatively affect the chances of snagging a job.

Reasons behind employment gaps are, in many cases, universally shared. They can typically be explained to a hiring manager in a matter of moments as most of them have likely heard them before. These may include being laid off due to reasons like the economy, a new CEO decided to start fresh with a new team, or the company was acquired. These examples reinforce that you don’t necessarily need to go into detail unless the hiring manager asks.

In regards to detail, keep in mind that although honesty is important, you also want to keep the reasons positive. Since the hiring manager is just getting to know you, you don’t want to unintentionally reveal that a mistake led to an acrimonious split. Concentrate on the knowledge you gleaned and how this will apply to the position or a future job.

This update is by Jobs for More. We assist individuals in seeking employment within the government contractor company workforce by helping them find the perfect job market match. We believe in connecting businesses with the workers they need to achieve success. For more information about Jobs for More, jobs for veterans, or employer compliance, please contact us.

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The Latest Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Updates

As of May 1, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) released a temporary policy adjustment surrounding Type I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification with respect to identification records. Provided that after COVID-19 closures and limitations the possibility to renew state driver’s licenses, ID cards and other appropriate identification papers may not be available, the following regulations apply for all other papers expiring on or after March 1, 2020.

For example, unless the issuing authority may not immediately renew the expired document, the employer can recognize the document and view it as a legitimate receipt for an appropriate document for the purposes of Form I-9. The employee must, however, send a new, valid, unexpired document within 90 days of the termination of this temporary regulation. Similarly, if the issuing authority automatically extends the expired document, the employer may recognize the document and treat it as a valid, unexpired document for the purposes of Form I-9.

Finally, E-Verify employers should devise an E-Verify case using the employee’s expired List B document number within three days of the date they are hired.

This update is by Jobs for More. We assist individuals in seeking employment within the government contractor company workforce by helping them find the perfect job market match. We believe in connecting businesses with the workers they need to achieve success. For more information about Jobs for More, jobs for veterans, or employer compliance, please contact us.

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Employer Compliance and Workplace Reopening

Select businesses are slowly resuming operations in certain cities, but the employer compliance landscape has significantly changed in just a matter of months. For employers thinking about reopening under the existing circumstances, there are some things worth knowing before proceeding.

If your business is one considered to be non-essential, a phased opening might be a good idea. This approach ensures employers can stick to rules of social distancing. While a gradual reopening is useful, the decision as to which employees return should not affect protected classes.

When the time does come to recall employees, they should receive advance notice, as much as possible. Employers may wish to evaluate the possibility of requiring employees to acknowledge in writing that they intend to resume work. Employers may also need to take into account workers that do not call or show up.

Employers should proceed with the understanding that their workers may have fears regarding COVID-19 and may find that to be an obstacle. This could mean that some employees may decide not to return to work due to the concern of contracting the virus. Employers may decide to take these concerns into account when making their decisions.

This update is by Jobs for More. We assist individuals in seeking employment within the government contractor company workforce by helping them find the perfect job market match. We believe in connecting businesses with the workers they need to achieve success. For more information about Jobs for More, jobs for veterans, or employer compliance, please contact us.

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Returning to the Workplace

As states move to gradually re-open, employers may also need to figure how they go about welcoming back their employees and what rules to implement. For different companies and related businesses in different places, these new policies and procedures will look different. And, as in any step of the pandemic, just when a sensible set of rules and procedures is in place, employers may need to adjust on the basis of factors such as new government guidelines.

Most, if not all states currently have laws requiring the closure of businesses not deemed to be essential. Each state will have its own requirements as to how it decides when non-essential business operations can resume.

When planning for reopening, companies may wish to perform a risk evaluation for workers and those who may enter the workplace. This assessment will concentrate on the likelihood of regular or near interaction with other individuals, and to what extent. This will vary considerably among each business.

Employers may have to devise a toolkit customized to their business that allows for tweaks as circumstances change, analysis their risks and working on mitigation strategies as the business works on a return-to-work plan.

This update is by Jobs for More. We assist individuals in seeking employment within the government contractor company workforce by helping them find the perfect job market match. We believe in connecting businesses with the workers they need to achieve success. For more information about Jobs for More, jobs for veterans, or employer compliance, please contact us.

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Searching for Jobs in the Age of COVID-19

As businesses remain closed and social distancing continues to be encouraged, finding employment may require different approaches than in the past. If you make a few changes to your overall job search plan, there are potential openings for taking.

Businesses that are considered non-essential have been forced to close their doors. With so many office buildings shut down for the time being, it may be good to concentrate on finding remote work opportunities. In particular, devise a plan for yourself in case you land an interview for a remote job. Make preparations for the possibility of a virtual interview and have a plan to explore how a healthy work-from-home schedule can be handled. If you have previous experience operating remotely, make it a point to mention this on your resume.

Your professional network is particularly important right now. If you haven’t recently signed into your LinkedIn account, now is the time to explore the power of online networking. Besides browsing the platform’s available work, make sure you engage with your friends, post articles, and keep your profile looking spotless. Your LinkedIn profile may grab the attention of a recruiter and become a determining factor in whether you’re chosen to fill a position.

If you’re in a position where you can do so, now is a good time to broaden your skills and learn something new. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be able to find complimentary or discounted courses.

This update is by Jobs for More. We assist individuals in seeking employment within the government contractor company workforce by helping them find the perfect job market match. We believe in connecting businesses with the workers they need to achieve success. For more information about Jobs for More, jobs for veterans, or employer compliance, please contact us.

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Acing Your Video Interview

As a result of COVID-19, job interviews have moved online, with services such as Zoom becoming extremely popular. Interviews function a little differently through video versus an in-person interview. A few guidelines may help you land the job.

Although it’s not in person, dress like you would for a face-to-face interview. Your attire can affect your demeanor and, therefore, make you appear more professional even if the person on the other end is only seeing you from the waist up.

Make sure to practice proper etiquette. You’ve probably run into a scenario where there is a delay between what you say and when the person responds. If you aren’t careful, this may unintentionally come across as though you’re interrupting the interviewer. Allow a few seconds to pass before you respond to their question.

Have a pen and paper handy, you may need to take notes. While it would make sense to simply type up anything you need to jot down, this may work against you as it could be perceived as though you’re concentrating on something else. Writing down notes shows you’re paying attention and it will also help you look more professional.

This update is by Jobs for More. We assist individuals in seeking employment within the government contractor company workforce by helping them find the perfect job market match. We believe in connecting businesses with the workers they need to achieve success. For more information about Jobs for More, jobs for veterans, or employer compliance, please contact us.

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Deciphering the Recent Form I-9 Changes

With the Form I-9 changes in response to COVID-19, employers may find there are some unclear aspects as they adjust to the existing circumstances. For starters, employers are still expected to electronically review and complete original documents within three business days once operations return to normal.

Even with these changes aimed at promoting social distancing, there may still be unclear aspects. The rule states if workers are physically present at a workplace, examination of the documents is still needed in-person. What is the number of workers needed to be present to cause the in-person rule? Does the whole worksite need to be shuttered for remote completion of I-9 eligibility? As an example, if all of the human resources staff plus the new recruit is operating remotely but there is still a skeleton staff at the office, is document review necessary in person?

The rule states that if a particular employee is subject to COVID-19 quarantine or lockout, the employer may take advantage of that employee’s relaxed rule, but that decision relies on a U.S. Homeland Security Department investigation, which is done case-by-case. A federal, city or county shelter-in-place order will probably warrant the decision but what documentation would be necessary?

This update is by Jobs for More. We assist individuals in seeking employment within the government contractor company workforce by helping them find the perfect job market match. We believe in connecting businesses with the workers they need to achieve success. For more information about Jobs for More, jobs for veterans, or employer compliance, please contact us.

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Form I-9 Compliance May Not Apply to Everyone

Previously we discussed some of the changes recently implemented by the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, namely the revisions made to Form I-9 compliance. With these changes, Form I-9 can be approved remotely versus the typical in-person.

While the changes do allow remote inspection of necessary identification documents required of new hires, it’s worth noting that the relaxed compliance extends only to remotely operated employers and workplaces. If workers are physically present at a workplace, inspection in person always needs to take place within three business days of hiring. With that in mind, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (which oversees Form I-9 enforcement) will examine compliance attempts by employers operating physical locations on a case-by-case basis, taking into account whether quarantine or lockout procedures have impeded the ability of the employer to comply with the provision for an in-person inspection.

Employers who received a departmental Form I-9 inspection notice during March 2020 were given an automatic 60-day extension to become compliant. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will decide whether further extension will be needed by the end of that time. Form I-9 enforcement laws and regulations and other immigration policies may continue to evolve rapidly in the next few weeks and months.

To read more, visit https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/alternative-form-i-9-compliance-65840/.

This update is by Jobs for More. We assist individuals in seeking employment within the government contractor company workforce by helping them find the perfect job market match. We believe in connecting businesses with the workers they need to achieve success. For more information about Jobs for More, jobs for veterans, or employer compliance, please contact us.

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Employer Compliance in the Age of COVID-19

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently updated its guidance regarding employers’ compliance requirements regarding the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act and their relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The revised EEOC documents primarily adhere to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. In a quickly emerging public health emergency, this CDC guidance may change. The EEOC guidelines are in response to the confirmation of the CDC and other public health agencies that the COVID-19 outbreak meets the requirement of the ADA for being a “direct threat”.

Employers may wish to consistently stay on top of updates to understand potential changes to their compliance obligations. As for the EEOC guidelines applying to employers covered under the ADA, these would include employers with a minimum of fifteen employees, including labor organizations, federal sector employees, and private employers, to name a few.

This update is by Jobs for More. We assist individuals in seeking employment within the government contractor company workforce by helping them find the perfect job market match. We believe in connecting businesses with the workers they need to achieve success. For more information about Jobs for More, jobs for veterans, or employer compliance, please contact us.

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DHS Is Allowing Flexibility Relating to I-9 Remote Employee Hiring

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would defer the requirements of physical preference linked to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) associated with hiring and re-verifying employees.

Prior to the announcement, DHS policy allowed employer representatives to perform the I-9 review process in person, reviewing the original documentation from an employee in their presence. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of US employees are now performing their job duties as remote employees. DHS will allow employers with workers taking physical proximity precautions to remotely inspect the Form I-9, Section 2 Identity and Job Eligibility Documents using methods like video connections, email, and fax, at least temporarily.

The temporary changes do come with a couple of caveats. For one, employers must use COVID-19 as the reason for the inspection delay and they are still required to inspect the Section 2 documents remote remotely no more than three business days following the hire. Furthermore, once regular operations start again, all workers who have completed the Form I-9 via remote verification are required to report to their employer for identification and job eligibility documents in person within three business days.

To read more, visit https://www.natlawreview.com/article/us-department-homeland-security-to-permit-flexibility-relating-to-i-9-compliance.

This update is by Jobs for More. We assist individuals in seeking employment within the government contractor company workforce by helping them find the perfect job market match. We believe in connecting businesses with the workers they need to achieve success. For more information about Jobs for More, jobs for veterans, or employer compliance, please contact us.

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