Job Seeker Question

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Bwis53
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Job Seeker Question

Postby Bwis53 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:12 am

What is it, that prospective employers or their HR look at when checking out a prospective employee? I’m 57, average looking, know Office Word, Excel, 36 WPM, and have lots of customer service experience. I know how to write a good resume and cover letter. Currently, I’m temping. Other than that, it seems like I can’t get arrested. Something seems very strange. I did get fired from a gift shop for being late two times, (then they shut down, six months later.) Unemployment took my side. My suspicion is bad reference, or out and out age discrimination. I can’t get any professionals to call my references to find out if I’m getting a bad one. I’m seriously thinking of devising my own sleuthing system to find out, what’s going on. Forons, I appreciate your advice.

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Postby Violet_Skye » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:29 am

Welcome to the club. I'm 10+ years younger than you, have never been fired, have much customer service and computer experience, type 50-60 wpm, and I can't get arrested, either. It's depressing to say the least and I'm looking forward to reading the replies to this...is it the economy or what? A friend offered to pose as a fake prospective employer to see what the deal is, and I'm almost ready to take him up on it.

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Postby Bwis53 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:35 am

The interesting thing is, when I'm talking to a client about sewing, they treat me great! It's just that I haven't hit the mark yet, where I can ditch the Title 5 job I'm in, because I haven't hit the $1000. mark to do that.

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Postby Violet_Skye » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:44 am

What's a Title 5 job? Interestingly, my above-mentioned friend is in San Diego and is also unable to get arrested, though well qualified and younger than either of us...it's not good.

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Postby Bwis53 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:04 am

http://www.aaaowp.org/

Problem is, it's only minimum wage, with maximum 25 hours per week, while working, training and taking classes.

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Postby uwstudent » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:09 pm

Like ole Bill said: It's the economy stupid.
You're not the only one. I'm hearing complaints from the yung ones too about not finding a job.
A few helpful hints: Don't mention anything on your resume or interview that would indicate your age. Also, your appearance, unfortunately is a factor. Lose the stache or sideburns from the '70's. A good haircut, new frames for the glasses, lose a few pounds if possible, and a new outfit (no power ties from the 80's please).
Don't EVER mention being fired. Even tho it happens a lot more than people think apparently it's still a no-no to mention and automatically brings up a red flag. If possible leave it off the resume entirely so no questions come up.
You're not alone. I get the feeling people are counting down the days till ole Bushy leaves so maybe somebody will do something. (that bernard banke fello at the fed doesn't do much for me either)

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Postby O.J. » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:31 pm

uwstudent wrote:Like ole Bill said: It's the economy stupid.
You're not the only one. I'm hearing complaints from the yung ones too about not finding a job.
A few helpful hints: Don't mention anything on your resume or interview that would indicate your age. Also, your appearance, unfortunately is a factor. Lose the stache or sideburns from the '70's. A good haircut, new frames for the glasses, lose a few pounds if possible, and a new outfit (no power ties from the 80's please).
Don't EVER mention being fired. Even tho it happens a lot more than people think apparently it's still a no-no to mention and automatically brings up a red flag. If possible leave it off the resume entirely so no questions come up.
You're not alone. I get the feeling people are counting down the days till ole Bushy leaves so maybe somebody will do something. (that bernard banke fello at the fed doesn't do much for me either)


What do you think Bernard Banke(I believe he prefers to be called Ben Bernanke) should do to ease your pain?

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Postby Bwis53 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:36 pm

Oh, honey I'm doing all that stuff. Ofcourse I never mention being fired, although some applications will ask, and say ommissions and lying are grounds. I've gotten a few interviews, but as soon as they see I'm not some young hoty, I could drop dead. You should see some of those computerized tests many places require. They want you to say, you're loyal to the company over everything else and they can have your first born. Office Depot is one of them. In short, they want: I owe my soul to the company store, oh, and then they can still put your ass out on the sidewalk in a minute.

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Postby O.J. » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:45 pm

If you really want the job, just tell them what they want to hear. Nothing wrong with a few white lies and/or embellishments. As a related note, I just gave a reference for a good friend of mine(he got the job). Did the interviewer actually think that I would say the guy was a shitty worker? Not sure if I understand the effectiveness of getting a character reference from someone's best friend.

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Postby fennel » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:57 pm

I really depends on what kind of job you're looking for. Something in the trades or in the service sector will require a very different approach than would jobs in the professions. (Such labels are vague and debatable, but so it goes.) And between various professions the approach may need to be different. In my field, the cover letter is critical. If it's not interesting and well written, the resume can't save you. Next, of course, comes the resume. I won't comment on that beyond to say that including an Objective statement is considered meaningless and even annoying. That's what the cover letter is for.

But I don't doubt there are plenty of organizations that overlook the cover letter altogether.

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Postby medbh » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:00 pm

Bwis53 wrote:You should see some of those computerized tests many places require. They want you to say, you're loyal to the company over everything else and they can have your first born. Office Depot is one of them.


I applied at Kohls for a season job and had to take some personality-type test. I started taking the test, but once I got into the questions I told them to forget about it, I didn't want to work for them after all. The questions were very invasive and some of them seemed to have no relevance to the job.

The thing that was most irritating is that the questions were so obvious. Something like "It's ok to steal from your employer if you pay them back." What kind of a fool what answer yes?! Maybe it was actually intended as a intelligence test, because some questions were so clearly right or wrong you'd have to be a moron to answer them any other way.

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Postby Bwis53 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:26 pm

It's crap like that, among other things, that made my son go into business with his dad, (instead of using his computer engineering degree) and then buy him out. I've got that copy about corporations, I picked off the stand at Willy Coop. Been too busy to read it yet.

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Postby Pogoagogo » Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:08 pm

Character references are for shit. I still don't know why the hell some companies still do that.

I've worked in HR for a long time now, and I'm only concerned with references from supervisors.

Maybe it's the industry I'm in, but I really don't care about age at all. I'm more interested in skills, soft skills, experience, and a fairly positive history.

I actually like hiring older folks. But then again, I think it's important to have a diverse work-force.

I'm assuming you've got the basics covered, right? Decent resume, it doesn't show lots of jumping around from job to job? When you interview, you show up wearing a suit? Early? Depending on what you do for a living, I'd exclude anything from your resume that's more than 10 years old. Don't list dates for education.

btw, came across this site today. It made me chuckle.

whyididnthireyou.blogspot.com

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Postby Velveeta » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:19 pm

I interview younger people a lot and I can spot a bad attitude within the first 2 minutes. When I sense someone feels that a) the world is against them or b)any challenges or disappointments they have had were someone else's fault, I immediately rule them out. I hear 20-somethings say the dumbest things. Things like "I didn't do well in that class because I really fought with my professor. He had favorites in the class". Or "I didn't like that job because I really didn't get along with my boss. I just didn't agree with the way s/he did things." People, even if you think that, don't say it. Read an interview book! That's what we all did. (Or now, just look that stuff up on the web).

So even if you are feeling down about the whole process, it's IS important to concentrate on thinking positive, not because of any metaphysical power of positive thinking, but because negatively always comes across to the person interviewing you.

And I think you have to frame this differently. If there are 10 applicants for a job, there may be 3 that could have been hired (nothing is wrong with them), but maybe one person really stood out as superior. It doesn't hurt to ask the person who interviewed you to identify the deciding factor in their selection when you don't get a job. They may lie to you if it's something they could be sued for, but it never hurts to ask.

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Postby fennel » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:46 pm

Pogoagogo wrote:I've worked in HR for a long time now, and I'm only concerned with references from supervisors.

That's interesting to hear. What I see asked for most often is that one's references be professional references but should not include (or include no more than one) supervisor. Interesting. I'd think one would want them fairly evenly split.

And we'd never have anyone from HR check references. That would be up to the supervisor.


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