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Does it make sense to join a technical/scientific professional society that requires you to print out a PDF, fill it out in ink, sign it, and mail it back in with a check? (asking for a friend)

You THINK it's been done? It could come back to haunt you. Degree Required? Seriously? Let me tell you this. I was laid off for 13 months. In that time I worked for about 8 months at JPL in Pasadena. As a contract employee. When I got a callback I had to fill out another app and I was in a hurry so just put down “JPL” and the duration, what department, etc. 6 months after I’d been back (and promoted) I was called to explain why I'd lied on the app. “JPL has no record of you having been an employee and we now have a problem.” More correctly, I have the problem. I explained only what I could offer as an explanation. Which, thankfully, t bought. And you do not want to find yourself in that position, trust. So, thinking that not much has changed, letting them know up front is probably the wisest way to go. You may not have anything to worry about. Best of luck to you!

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And for those of you who are still in the industry, know that the next time you're told about a job opening — there will be no lying or not taking it if you've been on strike — just be prepared.