Resume Question

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Resume Question

Postby cardsfan04 » Sun May 15, 2011 7:35 am

I used online poker as a sole means of income from March 2009 through November 2010. It wasn't that I couldn't find a job. I actually quit a job to pursue this. It went really well for awhile, but I didn't make that much in 2010, so I found a job.

Anyway, I'm curious how you guys would approach that on a resume. I'm going to law school in 2012, and I think I'm going to submit my resume to the prosecutor's office to try to get an internship of some sort until I start. A big part of my "social network" is still poker players, who are clearly biased about this. But, I figure there is a big enough disconnect with the poker world here to get a truer sampling of opinions. If you were an employer would you be more turned off by an 18-month gap or by and 18-month period spent playing poker for a living or would it be a non-factor?

fwiw, I've heard every criticism of this dozens of times, so don't be afraid to offend me. You won't.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby abc789987 » Sun May 15, 2011 8:14 am

I'm not sure but I don't see anything wrong with putting something like "self employed". Then explain a little bit about they skills you need to play poker. Analyzing statistical situations blah blah blah. Now sure what type of job you going for, but if it's math, engineering type job those skill are nice to have and who knows the person reading your resume might also be a poker fan. So I wouldn't feel bad about it admitting it to people.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby WaukeeBlues » Sun May 15, 2011 10:49 am

My opinion:

I would leave it off entirely. Law school deans, etc (I'm a 2L myself) view this stuff different than you or I do. I had a buddy in undergrad kinda like you- he made a KILLING playing online poker. Frankly I told him he couldn't NOT do it. And some of these people you'll be interviewing with will understand it but a lot of them won't since it's a more or less recent phenomenon. When I dabbled for a while- my parents thought it was stupid, waste of time, juvenile, etc even though I was doing pretty okay. It's risky putting it on there because here's how it could come across (right or wrong, perception is everything): Had a job, you quit a job to gamble (albeit "professionally" or whatever label you want to put on it), meaning to take big risks, which is even more reinforced by the fact you weren't doing both at the same time but quit your steady job to take the risky one. They would argue you lack stability.

Personally I would leave it off entirely. You put "self employed" or something they're really going to want to know about that because that sounds like something really innovative and interesting. They're envisioning you working out of your garage or starting your own side business or something and then when you say "I played online poker" they're going to go "oh."

Especially in today's market, an 8 month gap in employment is NOT that big a deal and probably fairly common. They may not even notice it. If they really press you about what you did during that time just say you held a series of odd jobs to get by. You're not lying. And if they push you more on it then tell the truth but caveat it with "I left it off because I know how it could be perceived" etc and just tell your story as you normally would. You don't have to be ashamed of it or anything, I just think it's risky to advertise when a lot of people don't understand it and gives people wrong impressions.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby DaDitka » Mon May 16, 2011 6:59 am

WaukeeBlues wrote:My opinion:

I would leave it off entirely. Law school deans, etc (I'm a 2L myself) view this stuff different than you or I do. I had a buddy in undergrad kinda like you- he made a KILLING playing online poker. Frankly I told him he couldn't NOT do it. And some of these people you'll be interviewing with will understand it but a lot of them won't since it's a more or less recent phenomenon. When I dabbled for a while- my parents thought it was stupid, waste of time, juvenile, etc even though I was doing pretty okay. It's risky putting it on there because here's how it could come across (right or wrong, perception is everything): Had a job, you quit a job to gamble (albeit "professionally" or whatever label you want to put on it), meaning to take big risks, which is even more reinforced by the fact you weren't doing both at the same time but quit your steady job to take the risky one. They would argue you lack stability.

Personally I would leave it off entirely. You put "self employed" or something they're really going to want to know about that because that sounds like something really innovative and interesting. They're envisioning you working out of your garage or starting your own side business or something and then when you say "I played online poker" they're going to go "oh."

Especially in today's market, an 8 month gap in employment is NOT that big a deal and probably fairly common. They may not even notice it. If they really press you about what you did during that time just say you held a series of odd jobs to get by. You're not lying. And if they push you more on it then tell the truth but caveat it with "I left it off because I know how it could be perceived" etc and just tell your story as you normally would. You don't have to be ashamed of it or anything, I just think it's risky to advertise when a lot of people don't understand it and gives people wrong impressions.


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Re: Resume Question

Postby abc789987 » Mon May 16, 2011 7:08 am

I still think it depends on what type of job he is going for. But I guess I'm out numbered here...
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Re: Resume Question

Postby cardsfan04 » Mon May 16, 2011 11:06 am

WaukeeBlues wrote:My opinion:

I would leave it off entirely. Law school deans, etc (I'm a 2L myself) view this stuff different than you or I do. I had a buddy in undergrad kinda like you- he made a KILLING playing online poker. Frankly I told him he couldn't NOT do it. And some of these people you'll be interviewing with will understand it but a lot of them won't since it's a more or less recent phenomenon. When I dabbled for a while- my parents thought it was stupid, waste of time, juvenile, etc even though I was doing pretty okay. It's risky putting it on there because here's how it could come across (right or wrong, perception is everything): Had a job, you quit a job to gamble (albeit "professionally" or whatever label you want to put on it), meaning to take big risks, which is even more reinforced by the fact you weren't doing both at the same time but quit your steady job to take the risky one. They would argue you lack stability.

Personally I would leave it off entirely. You put "self employed" or something they're really going to want to know about that because that sounds like something really innovative and interesting. They're envisioning you working out of your garage or starting your own side business or something and then when you say "I played online poker" they're going to go "oh."

Especially in today's market, an 8 month gap in employment is NOT that big a deal and probably fairly common. They may not even notice it. If they really press you about what you did during that time just say you held a series of odd jobs to get by. You're not lying. And if they push you more on it then tell the truth but caveat it with "I left it off because I know how it could be perceived" etc and just tell your story as you normally would. You don't have to be ashamed of it or anything, I just think it's risky to advertise when a lot of people don't understand it and gives people wrong impressions.


That's my biggest fear. Once I say it, I can't "unsay it." And, somebody from an older, more conservative generation might see it and turn their nose up at it.

However, I've been leaning the opposite direction for a few reasons:

1. If they see an 18-20 month gap (March 1, 2009-November 16, 2010 I think), I'm worried they will draw their own negative conclusions. If it were just 6-8 months, I think that would be more easily shaken off as part of the job market being down.

2. I didn't do well in undergrad, primarily for two reasons: poker and partying. My priorities were way out of whack. A big part of my personal statement (which is only a rough draft right now) talks about how I've matured since college and have "re-focused" on what I originally intended to do. But, it's hard to explain my bad GPA without mentioning poker unless I lie, which opens a whole new can of worms that makes me nervous. I could just skate around the issue, but I would think a more genuine, sincere statement would have a better impact. At the same time, if they see bad grades (prob 2.7ish) AND an extended period in a "taboo" industry they might not care what I have to say.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby cardsfan04 » Mon May 16, 2011 2:42 pm

btw, I hope that doesn't come off as me saying "you're wrong" because I very much do not intend it like that. I very much appreciate the opinions. I'm just torn on it.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby abc789987 » Mon May 16, 2011 5:16 pm

I'm starting to lean towards the leaving it off. I just asked one of my friends who pretty much paid he way through college if he put anything about it on his and he said no. He also pretty much had a 4.0 average or pretty close...

If you get an interview with someone and they happen to have The Poker Bible on their shelf, then you can bring it up...
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Re: Resume Question

Postby Portland Blues » Mon May 16, 2011 6:26 pm

How old are you? The reason I ask is, I would have no problem with the gap if you're under 23 or so. If you were 30 and had the gap I'd wonder where you were for those 18 months.

Note - I used to be a hiring manager.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby cardsfan04 » Tue May 17, 2011 10:44 am

I'm 26. I graduated when I was 23, had a job within a week of graduation until right before I turned 24, which is when the gap started.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby Guppy » Tue May 17, 2011 12:12 pm

I would not put it on there.

If they ask, just say that you were unable to find full time employment during that time.

The largest gap I have on my resume is a year because I had mono. I was able to get a few part time jobs after 4 months but to get back in the field I am in took me a year because I did not have the strength to work a full day.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby Portland Blues » Tue May 17, 2011 12:54 pm

Guppy wrote:I would not put it on there.

If they ask, just say that you were unable to find full time employment during that time.



That's what I would do also. It's pretty realistic that people have had a tough time finding a full-time, living wage job the last couple of years.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby WaukeeBlues » Tue May 17, 2011 6:32 pm

Yea my bad I thought it was 8 and not 18. Misread. Still though, that's not THAT bad. It's not the better part of a decade or anything...
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Re: Resume Question

Postby abc789987 » Wed May 18, 2011 4:54 pm

Guppy wrote:I would not put it on there.

If they ask, just say that you were unable to find full time employment during that time.

The largest gap I have on my resume is a year because I had mono. I was able to get a few part time jobs after 4 months but to get back in the field I am in took me a year because I did not have the strength to work a full day.

I thought I had mono one summer, turned out I was just really bored.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby Guppy » Thu May 19, 2011 10:07 am

abc789987 wrote:
Guppy wrote:I would not put it on there.

If they ask, just say that you were unable to find full time employment during that time.

The largest gap I have on my resume is a year because I had mono. I was able to get a few part time jobs after 4 months but to get back in the field I am in took me a year because I did not have the strength to work a full day.

I thought I had mono one summer, turned out I was just really bored.


I thought I had the flu since I had just got the flu shot. I realized it was not the flu when I had problems breathing.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby cardsfan04 » Sat May 21, 2011 6:50 pm

Seems more or less unanimous, so you guys are probably right. Thanks for the input.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby cprice12 » Sat May 21, 2011 11:41 pm

I wouldn't give someone a reason to not call you in for an interview.
I doubt putting "professional poker player" on your resume would help you get a job in the law field...in my opinion it would only hurt your chances.
Sure, the hiring manager MAY be a huge poker fan which COULD help your chances in getting the job...but that's like being the chip leader and calling an all-in bet with an inside straight draw after the turn.

Or...
You could always submit a second, fake, but equally impressive resume under a different name and address. Use a google voice number and a newly created email address for the contact. Only on this resume, put that you were a professional poker player.
See if you get contacted. :grin:
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Re: Resume Question

Postby goon attack » Tue May 24, 2011 6:59 pm

Just make some shit up. You're becoming a lawyer so get used to it.
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Re: Resume Question

Postby ViPeRx007 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:50 pm

goon attack wrote:Just make some shit up. You're becoming a lawyer so get used to it.


:lol:
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