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The “Permanent Personnel Record” fantasy

The “Permanent Personnel Record” Fantasy

We have the illusion that there exists a big “permanent record” that employers can access to learn about us. Google-type searches can reveal a LOT of information about us — There is not much privacy anymore — But for job search reasons, the info provided by your last former managers will probably carry the day.

Stop thinking of “your file” like there is a central file — There isn’t. Abandon the thought that there exists a single permanent record — It is much more complex than that: There might be several records that need to be cleaned up. But most likely, the most recent record is going to be the most important, especially if you worked there a long time.

Here is what really happens:

  • You leave some employer, and if they are stupid, then they talk about you openly — otherwise they only give name, rank, and serial number, which is called a “neutral reference” and is the safest reference to give.
  • There is no central depository that holds your “permanent record”. — Your record is built employer-by-employer.
  • Your “record” at the last employer can influence whether you get a new job, and you may need help in finessing how to explain what happened that resulted in you being unemployed — If you don’t handle the explanation well at a job interview, then you will look like a liar and won’t get hired — Get advice — I do a good job of providing such advice, according to the hiring managers that I have assisted — So don’t hesitate to call me for such general advice — I have developed a lot of confidence in my approach.
  • You really can finesse the explanation for the termination, and get hired, but it may take an expert to pull out the right explanation for why you don’t work there anymore. Call me for help if you are in a tight spot.
  • I can shut the employer up, if they are saying bad things about you — That has the effect of closing your record there.

Article written by | Tim Willoughby

Timslaw.com Missouri Employment Law

Maintained by Attorney Phil Willoughby
Founded by Tim Willoughby, Esq. (1959-2013)

Phil is a Missouri employment lawyer who is licensed to practice in Kansas and Missouri, and primarily takes cases in Saint Louis and Kansas City. He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association and Kansas Bar Association. Additionally, he has practiced in the United States Federal Courts of Missouri in St. Louis and Kansas City. He has also practiced in the Kansas Federal District Court in Kansas City, Kansas.

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