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Is it unethical to help hubby with job applications?

My husband is a smart guy, but he has trouble expressing himself through writing. Our problem is this - the company he works for offers periodic advancement opportunities, but to apply he must complete online applications that require him to write several paragraphs about himself and experience. He has trouble doing this, and I have offered to help him after he was turned down for several positions. He says that is unethical, I say it isn't, because the jobs he is applying for don't require composition writing like that. Any thoughts?

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:40 PM on Jan. 18, 2009 in Money & Work

Answers (17)
  • What if he were to write it out first. then you look it over. That way its all his thoughts. but you can help him figure out how to express them a little better. Key word being help.

    Answer by southenrmunchkn at 3:43 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • I have to agree with southernmunchkn. My husband is the same way. He is very articulate when you speak to him, but he has trouble putting it down on paper. I have helped him several times with different things that required these skills. As long as he puts his thoughts down first and you help with the wording--but don't change what he wants to say--I don't see a problem with it. The problems start if you start dictating what he should or shouldn't say. Good luck.

    Answer by Lacey1012 at 3:46 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • Is the purpose of the application to get a sample of the applicant's writing abilitiy? Or is it to get information about the applicant's background and experience? If they are looking specifically at writing ability, it would be unethical to help. If not, there is absolutely wrong with you helping with the writing -- as long as the information is factual, you're good.

    Answer by at 3:50 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • I help my hubby with stuff like that all the time. I have him sit with me and tell me what he wants to say and then I put it in a more wordy version. I dont see any harm in it if its not something you have to do on a regular occasion...

    Answer by Justice828 at 3:52 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • I help my husband all the time. I am college educated and trained to write letters, resumes etc. I see nothing wrong with it. People pay others to help them and it isnt unethical. You use the skills you have to get ahead. Your husband getting ahead affects your life too. Help him.

    Answer by gemgem at 3:57 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • There is nothing unethical about it. As long as you are taking his original thoughts and just polishing them up a bit into written word what you are doing is fine.

    Answer by Magpie75 at 3:58 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • I agree with everyone else: as long as you are taking his own words and just making it more smooth, more polished, etc., nothing unethical about it. Now, if you were answering the questions completely for him (What would I say if I were him?), that I think is kind of iffy, b/c you could easily exaggerate his skills, etc. b/c you love him and see the best in him.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 4:02 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • Your just helping them understand him, which is the whole point. Honestly if it didn't harm anyone I would be a little unethical if it helped with the mortgage.

    Answer by Farrahann at 4:05 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • I help my husband and even helped modify his resume.

    Answer by babycakes254 at 4:25 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • (OP here)... Thanks, guys! Now I feel a little less like a neurotic, controlling type-A and more like a concerned wife... I will talk to hubby and see what he says. (and to answer previous questions, I was only offering to "polish", not write the entire thing...)

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:28 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

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