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Personal History Statement Advice (I know, another one...)


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  • Personal History Statement Advice (I know, another one...)

    I apologize. I can only imagine how many times you good folks see these types of questions... But thank you for the time.

    Backstory: About 2 years back, I applied to a local department for a civilian position, an intern-type, with no prior knowledge of the application process. Did the interview, filled out a PHS and bam, before I knew it, I was in a full-fledged background investigation. Investigator was a great guy and everyone I encountered at the department treated me great, so no hard feelings when I received the "background investigation complete" followed by the "you are on the eligibility list, thank you but no thank you" letter. I then applied for another civilian-capacity intern position at a different nearby department, turned in a PHS and got beat out by someone else, again remaining on the eligibility list.

    Fast forward to now, couple years have passed, completed my AA, and I am beginning to turn in applications for sworn positions and getting those initiations for tests coming up. I am facing a few nightly stresses which I would appreciate some insight on:

    1: I didn't save the previous PHS forms I filled out for the civilian positions (I know, #1 mistake... back then I didn't know about Officer.com! haha), however, what I do know for a fact is I overshared with no basis out of fear of being DQ'd on grounds of being seen as a liar. An example would be, "have you ever driven without a license?" My teen years are a nebulous time (as I am now close to 30) and back then I wasn't on top of all the proper documentation, so out of suspicion I wrote "yes" with no proof. Turns out my dad had actually been insuring me during that time till the age of 18. This example is just one of many I wrote down.

    Now, as a fully formed adult, I actually went to each court, police and sheriff department in my area to get the final answers, and it turns out all my suspicions are unfounded and baseless, and I essentially have no record.

    My question is: How do I fix this reverse form of lying? When I receive my new PHS, do I stick to repeating myself even though I now know that these suspicions are unfounded and essentially untrue just to keep my forms consistent to the past (despite them being untrue) or do I put my foot down and write on the back, "did a check and it turns out the things I listed on previous PHS's were unverified, and after checking up with A, B and C, I now know these factors are true to my knowledge."


    2: One thing I do have on my record is a license suspension. *gasp* I know, sounds bad. Problem is, that this was a voluntary weening off of medication suspension while doctors put me on an observation period. Why did I ween myself off of medication? To be a better fit in a career in law enforcement without the hindrance of taking seizure medication. I never had epilepsy, I had a seizure as a young man once, and doctors hastily put me on medication, however, I proved that to be unnecessary as now I am off the medication, have a reinstated license and clean bill of health.

    The issue comes into play once again from my previous over-shared PHS with the departments applied to in the past, one thing I remember putting was vague statements such as "medical surrender of driver's license due to weening of seizure medication. Seizure issue resolved and now able to drive". Even though that is the truth, I feel as though writing seizure in a PHS is oversharing as I should leave it to the medical examiner to discuss these matters and verify my fitness for duty. (or maybe it was the right thing to write) Also have my doctor's note to verify these issues.

    Again, same question as #1, how do I go forward with a better explained form of description without being seen as a liar? I hope my questions make sense, I just don't want to be locked into what I wrote in the past just because I wrote it in the past purely out of speculation, as now, after adult-ing and getting to the bottom of these matters, there is a better explanation and I'd like that to be reflected in my PHS's. Any insight, advice would help! This is my first post after gaining much insight from this site as a watcher/reader.

    Thanks again for any insight.
    Last edited by opposingforce; 03-09-2017, 03:37 AM.

  • #2
    It's not as difficult as you think. You do what you did here. You answer the question truthfully and then you explain it in detail. Attach additional paperwork to the personal history statement with further explanation. Often times there will be an area on the history statement for you to do this very thing.

    If you're questioned about an earlier background packet regarding different answers tell the the truth. Whatever that is. You don't have to be stressed about anything if you're just honest. That's what they're looking for.

    The peeps doing the backgrounds are good at sniffing out BS, reading people and have the gift of common sense. You tell the truth and let them do their job.


    • #3
      You are overthinking................................If I read your story correctly YOU PASSED the background TWICE before and were simply not selected.

      Do your best and ANSWER with COMPLETE TRUTH any questions asked.
      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS


      • #4
        I can see WHY the OP is worried...
        Now go home and get your shine box!


        • #5
          Thank you guys for the time and patience in addressing this issue. I really appreciate the help and honesty!


          • #6
            The question here is were you disqualified or were you not selected? There is a big difference between the two. Remember, if there is one vacancy and 10 people apply and make it to the list, nine are not going to be selected. There is no dishonor is that mathematical certainty.

            If your name is still on the eligible list you are in honorable standing. It simply means there weren't enough vacancies to hire everyone. If future agencies ask, you can honestly say you are "on the list and waiting." That is a good outcome.

            Just for future reference, applicants are usually given a score based in the combined results of the written and oral exams they take for the position they are seeking. (Sometimes it is just an oral.) They are then hired in the order of their scores (highest first, next highest second, etc.) Some agencies have the ability to fill a position from anyone in the top three highest scores, or top five, or top 10 (depending on civil service rules. Whoever is not picked remains on the list and must be considered based on the order of their scores for the next vacancy. This continues until the list is exhausted or expires.

            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


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