Why are resumes still requested in Word format, rather than in PDF formats?

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MorningGlory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

69 months ago

I'm just wondering about this, because I have had bad experiences where someone would request my resume in Word format, and then literally 'steal' my layout. I went on an interview, got the job, then saw that my resume was saved on their desktop. Wondering why my personal information was saved on a computer that was easily available to other employees, I opened it - one of the other assistants replaced my name and jobs with her information!

When I asked her about it, she said, 'Oh, how embarassing - I just loved your layout and format'. I won't get into why the HR department was so unprofessional about the lack of privacy, but that's another story for another day.

And aren't FREE versions of PDF/Adobe readers available for download all over the internet??

It concerns me that employers are so closed-minded with new software these days.

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

69 months ago

A lot of people in the business world are still very wary of new programs. Adobe Acrobat has been around for 10-20 years now and it is surprising that more offices haven't adopted it for resumes acceptances. In your office's case, try bringing the issue up with who ever handles the computers/tech side of the office, and maybe s/he can go about installing the program on everyone's computer. Offer to help people learn the program (which is easy!) to try to get them to get over their fears.

I will say that I've noticed that many tech/design/etc firms are more program friendly and do want resumes in pdf format. I think non-creative focused business still have a long way to go. :)

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

69 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Look at it this way. You could submit a .pdf version of your resume. Someone could print it and still steal your layout.

Your feelings are understandable, but you can't do much about it. Resume layouts aren't copyrighted.

You should be more concerned that employers are closed-minded about training candidates on their software.

Actually, if it were in PDF format the person could not alter the format (i.e.: put their name in place of yours) unless they had the professional version of Acrobat and had also left the document unlocked. PDF makes it harder for people to take your name out, put their name in and distribute your resume as though it were their own.

My employer trained me on their software, but only because it is proprietary. I couldn't go an take a class in their software or buy it off the shelf. If there is a way for you to obtain training in the software that a company is requiring you to use, then you need to get that training out of the way before you submit your resume. Because why should a company waste their time training you on software that you could buy and practice on at home when they could hire someone with the same skills as you who already knows the program? You have to stay competitive and not expect to be trained on job - many companies are not doing that anymore.

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

69 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I guess I wasn't clear. My point is one can copy the format by printing the document and typing it from scratch. Or else one could scan the document. I guess I wasn't clear, again. I did not list the particular software on my resume. The airline called me anyway. The airline wouldn't have called me if it wasn't interested in my background. And, here again, the airline could have had its technical writer sooner if it had given me a chance. It chose to wait. Its problem; not mine.

Right, your wording was a little fuzzy.

It might be more your problem if you are looking for a job immediately in that field, though. If you are not interested in becoming a technical writer in any capacity then you are absolutely correct in saying that it is not your problem that they were unwilling to train on the job. However, if you are interested in this field...then that's another story all together! :)

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

69 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I had enough quals for them to call me, including aviation experience; ergo, they must have thought I was qualified for the job. It's as simple as that. Period. ;->

Um, I'm not trying to insult you. Period. I was merely pointing out that some professions require specialized software knowledge. It's good advice, in my own humble opinion, to brush up on as much industry specific/specialized software as possible when going into a job. For example, I'm looking to jump into a profession myself. I want to get into graphic design, so while I am getting the art and software knowledge I need for that field, I am working at a different job. No need to get huffy. It's just something that some people have to do before getting into another field. Clearly you're above that. Good luck in your job hunting.

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

69 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: You would have a point if I didn't have basic computer experience and/or common word processor experience, such as Word or WP. I had technical experience and writing background sufficient to rate a phone call. Software can be learned if one is given the chance. Just companies don't want to provide such chances. And that's my point.

Good luck with your plans.

I realized that and agreed with you, actually, no one will train you on non-proprietary software. I lean toward the side of the company on that one. Why should they have to pay you to learn the same software that many applicants already know?

My point was that in order to stay competitive in a field where you might need to learn new software suites you have to go out on your own and take classes to learn them. Some places don't use windows office software as their writing tools. Many use Adobe tools. Like instead of using MS Publisher you use something like Adobe InDesign. Stuff like that. If you're unwilling to learn then you're just going to end up getting a lot of no's until you find the agency that does just use windows. It puts you at a disadvantage. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just trying to be honest.

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dovey in Saint Louis, Missouri

69 months ago

MorningGlory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: I'm just wondering about this, because I have had bad experiences where someone would request my resume in Word format, and then literally 'steal' my layout. I went on an interview, got the job, then saw that my resume was saved on their desktop. Wondering why my personal information was saved on a computer that was easily available to other employees, I opened it - one of the other assistants replaced my name and jobs with her information!

When I asked her about it, she said, 'Oh, how embarassing - I just loved your layout and format'. I won't get into why the HR department was so unprofessional about the lack of privacy, but that's another story for another day.

And aren't FREE versions of PDF/Adobe readers available for download all over the internet??

It concerns me that employers are so closed-minded with new software these days.

I'm wondering if you "protect" your document and save it as "read-only" if that would be helpful?

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

69 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Actually, my wife's former law firm trained all new-hires on its software during their first few days, whether or not they knew it already. The firm also conducted periodic in-service training for updated software.

Like I said above, if it is proprietary software (meaning, software that the company owns exclusively or created themselves) then it is not uncommon to receive on the job training. If it a common product, that can be learned on one's own or learned in a class at a college, then they likely won't train you in job for it.

In your wife's case they may have needed to do massive hiring right away and were willing to train. However, and I will stress this, that is not so usual anymore. Most of the companies I have worked with prefer not to train you, because 1.) it takes you away from the job the hired you for and 2.) even after you learned the new software you're still not an "expert" at it.

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

69 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I understand your point, but I don't think you understand mine. It's not an unwillingness to learn; it's an unwillingness to train when the company could. And, here again, that airline apparently kept looking for several more weeks before it found its technical writer, It could have given me a chance and had its writer sooner. Its problem.

I stand by my comments.

Once again, good luck with your plans.

The thing is that you cost the company money coming in if they have to train you. When they do that they are basically paying you to learn software that you could learn on your own time? It's a waste of their time and money. Also, when people are posting jobs online they are often doing so with a window of time in which to fill it. They probably had no problem what so ever having people who already work there cover the extra work load until they found the applicant that they did end up hiring.

The work place is changing. If you don't want to believe that and hold on to the hope that a company is going to hire you then pay you to learn off the shelf software then that is actually going to end up being a detriment to you finding a job. The companies, I assure you, could care less. If this is a job you're interested in then learn the programs on your own, if you can. If you're just putting obstacles in front of yourself (i.e.: they won't train me on the job) instead of getting down to business and filling in the gaps in your resume and experience then..start looking into other professions.

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MoonPi

68 months ago

By going into Word's Tools>Options>Security, you can click a box to prevent modifications to your resume. I'm sorry your layout was used by someone too lazy or incompetent to make their own.

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MorningGlory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

68 months ago

Thank you all for your comments. I do understand that resumes, in any format, can be copied; this can not be prevented. This is something that is out of my control. I was just wondering why most employers still request word docs over pdf's - still doesn't make any sense to me. I just like the integrity of my resume being kept the way I created it.

But thank you all.

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

68 months ago

Actually, some resume formats can be rather complex if I may play the devil's advocate. People in creative fields usually add their own touches to their resumes to capture the feeling of their site or portfolio. There are exceptions to the rule, Displaced.

I would be bothered if someone had my resume up and was entering their own information in on top of it. Which is what was happening if you care to read the original post. It's an invasion of privacy. If she liked it so much she could have asked Morning Glory to help her re-create it.

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MoonPi

68 months ago

I would expect that your co-worker having any resume on her desktop, would eventually draw attention. It is tacky to take someone else's formatting, tacky to update your resume on company time, and a warning to you that she is not above claiming your work as her own.

Take it as a red flag.

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

68 months ago

Actually Displaced, I was giving advice based upon my personal experience in the work force and with layout editing. Not all resume layouts are created equally, and not all of us download free ones from Microsoft or use the ones that came with Word. Some of us take the extra time to make sure that the document looks clean, sharp and original. I've had good luck with the resume that I designed so far, and I would be bothered if I found it on someone's desktop with their information added in. It's frustrating to see something that you've put a lot of time into taken without even asking.

Also, in your future responses please refer to the disclaimer at the bottom of the page "Be Reasonable! Be Polite!". Your response to me was rude and uncalled for. I understand that you do not agree with my responses, and I don't expect you to. But do not stoop to implying that I am stupid to make your point.

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

68 months ago

You are putting negativity into my statements. I meant no offense with them and I'm sorry you took them that way. Online communication is prone to misunderstanding, and that is what is happening here.

Please calm down and try not to take everything so personally. I really meant no harm.

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

68 months ago

I didn't consider them to be tart. I think you just might be holding a grudge against me because I didn't agree with your statements.

Just so you know, I have worked hard to get through college. I took college courses in high school. I worked hard in the career I was in and have even won awards within my field because of my hard work before making the decision to switch. I may be young, but that does not mean that my contributions are any less valid. I have grown up with computers and have worked in technologically savvy fields. I like to think that I know a little something about certain software packages.

Also, if you wish to ignore the way the work force is changing, then that is your choice. But like I said above there is no reason to be rude to me and/or degrade me simply because you disagree with what I have said here. You have done nothing but take what I have said as a personal attack when they were not meant to be as such, then turn around and call my statements "tart" when I try to give you some insight as to how I meant them exactly.

And in all seriousness, no rudeness meant, I think you may want to work on your anger issues. I can't help my age or position in life. All I wanted to do here was share some of what I have learned. The world is not against you and neither is the younger generation. Try to find some happiness in life.

Good day sir, and good luck on your job hunt.

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

68 months ago

You have brought nothing but negativity to this thread, honestly. I try to help and you get defensive because I bring in fresh ideas. Then you go on tangents about how "rude" I am. I stand by my comment - you are a very angry individual who obviously has a chip on their shoulder. With all due respect, perhaps this attitude of yours and the victim game you're playing is what is keeping you from getting started in a new career. I've noticed here that you are frustrated over the lack of on the job training for basic/intermediate software programs, and I've noticed on another thread that you're upset about ageism.

If I may put the two together - perhaps it isn't your age but your unwillingness to learn new software that is keeping you from employment right now? I work with many people over 50-60 and they are always having to learn new programs.

Instead of getting mad at me, perhaps you need to look inside and change a little. Holding grudges and refusing to change isn't going to do you any favors in life. Especially when you're in need of a job.

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Lore in Stone Mountain, Georgia

68 months ago

Actually, I work in a building with people of all ages. All of the companies I have worked with in the past had no problem hiring "older" (I'll use your term here) people. I'm sorry, but I just don't see it because the fields I have worked in don't subscribe to it. Sorry. Maybe it's just the state (Florida) that I live in.

I felt that it was on topic because I was pointing out that you seemed to have a lot of rage. I feel that your anger is twisting your responses to me and to other users here.

I did read your previous comments. You would be more then happy to learn new software so long as the hiring company would train you on them. That was the whole point of our previous discussion - I said that many companies don't offer on the job training anymore and you seemed to feel (based on your wife's experience in a law firm) that they still do and definitely should if they want you on board. **You will likely not get trained on the job, so you may want to enroll in a course at a community college to get ahead of the curve** I honestly think that your mentality regarding training is holding you back. I only say that to /help/, and not to insult. I've been doing that from the start and you took it as an insult.

My comments are not unfounded. You are stubborn and it is holding you back. The difference here is that I put in the extra effort to learn programs on my own time and get hired. You're waiting until a company is willing to train you and...well..I'm sure you see where that is going.

But you don't want to take my word for it. That's fine. I think the results speak for themselves, though. (And yes, this time I did intend to be snarky. Your "pity me" attitude is getting old. I don't feel sorry for you and if you're still looking for a job then it is your own fault. You're clearly a smart individual who is letting roadblocks get in the way of getting a new job. That's just sad.)

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Lore in Stone Mountain, Georgia

68 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I understand your point, but I don't think you understand mine. It's not an unwillingness to learn; it's an unwillingness to train when the company could. And, here again, that airline apparently kept looking for several more weeks before it found its technical writer, It could have given me a chance and had its writer sooner. Its problem.
[QUOTE]

Case in point. You lost out on a job because you were not familiar with the software. If this is software that you could have taken a class on, then you lost out on what could have been a fantastic opprotunity. If that had been me and I was seriously interested in getting into technical writing then I would have done whatever I could to learn the software on my own before applying to the next place.

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: In the aviation business, there is a basic pilot resume format. The format sets forth information in a particular order. With few variations, professional pilots follow that format. They follow it because pilot recruiters expect to see information presented in that format. Pilots share resumes all the time. No one squawks if a pilot borrows another pilot's format. [QUOTE]

You have obviously neither worked in the creative field nor known anyone in a creative field. While many job applicants choose to keep their resumes simple or even choose to use a downloaded template, many choose to personalize their resumes. Many of my friends have customized their resumes to fit into their websites and portfolios. Many have used their own logos (copyrighted items) on their resumes. I'm just trying to bring in a different perspective, which you have disregarded again and again.

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Lore in Stone Mountain, Georgia

68 months ago

You've put the snark into my words the entire time, and frankly that is your damage. I'm sure if I agreed with you the entire time you would have thought that I was perfectly nice. I guess you're not used to dealing with people who don't agree with you.

And you know the software for your current industry. Great. I know the software for my previous industry too. I decided to leave it and realized that I was going to have to learn a whole lot (and by that I mean 8+) or programs to have a better shot in the work force. I don't expect to go in and have my new employers train me on the Adobe Creative Suite. Good luck getting that dream job in a new field with absolutely no training in it. Hahaha!

And Displaced, maybe you're dispaced for a reason. Your nasty nasty attitude is keeping you from getting hired. You seem like an unhappy and bitter individual who takes even well meaning advice as an insult. What a sad life you must live. I take back what I said before - I feel sorry for you.

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Lore in Stone Mountain, Georgia

68 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Not true, Lore. I worked in radio for nineteen years. Radio is a creative field, full of creative people. I understand creative people.

Here again, did you not read my response to MorningGlory that I understood her feelings? You can page up to read them again.

Copyrighted items are one thing. I agree with you there. In that situation, you are absolutely correct. But, until now, you weren't that specific - fuzzy, as it were. But, in and of themselves, resume FORMATS are not copyrighted. That is my point.

Radio and graphic design don't have much in common. Sorry. I don't think you understand a graphic artist. I just happen to know a lot of them, and I have seen many of their resumes.

Templates are not copyrighted, you are right. I brought that up because, hypothetically, if someone where to use your resume with your personal logo on it and went on to distribute it that way then they would be violating a copyright law. If they took the logo out, then they would not. Regardless, it is still crappy that someone would do such a thing without asking. That much, at least, we can agree on.

My other point in all this is that not everyone uses a template and that if it was something you designed (not threw some clip art into or downloaded from the microsoft site) then you would be upset. I was pointing out that not all resumes are the typical cookie cutter crap that you might see in aviation or radio. An example: www.stephengates.com/Blog/2007/05/creative-visual-resume.html

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Lore in Stone Mountain, Georgia

68 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: For the final time, Lore, the airline called me about the job. It saw something in my background that was appealing or it would not have called.

You'll learn as you get older, Lore, that it sometimes pays to apply for jobs for which one is mostly qualified. You never know. Companies will sometimes call candidates who may not meet every qualification but most of them. They will at least bring them in to see if they have potential. Doesn't happen much anymore - after all, the workplace is changing, you know - but it happens from time to time. I would agree they won't bring in candidates who don't meet essential qualifications, such as, e.g., basic computer competency.

Here's a little story for you. At one point I really wanted to work at a university. If I worked at a university, then my tuition would be either partially or fully covered and they would work with my class schedule. So I go to my local state's website and look around and start applying at entry to mid level positions. Positions I was qualified for. I got called in three times, and was really excited each time! And every time they went with another applicant. After the third time this happened I asked a friend of mine who used to do work study at the university I had been applying to. She told me that they usually have some one all ready in mind (usually a work study student) for the position before posting it, but they're required to bring in other applicants for interview. I was that other applicant, every time.

Maybe they had another candidate in mind. Maybe your resume did speak to them. But at the end of the day you lacked something they were looking for just like I did with the college jobs. I lacked previous employment in the office and you lacked software knowledge. In my case I couldn't really fix it..but you can. That's why your stance on training boggles my mind.

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Lore in Stone Mountain, Georgia

68 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Once more, Lore, whatever you think. But as far as nastiness and snarkiness is concerned, don't throw stones if you live in a glass house. And try to tone down the argumentativeness. Creative people must learn to get along with the more mundane.

I don't live in a glass house. I wasn't being snarky (unless stated). And I wasn't implying that creative people are somehow better then the (as you said) "mundane". You're putting words in my mouth. Okay? So now you know that what you interpreted from my words was wrong. How about we move /forward/ with this conversation? Learn the new interpretation and move on.

Also, if I am coming off as argumentive it is because you are pushing that button. Try to stop accusing me of things that I did not do and I'll try to be less "argumentive". Kay?

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Lore in Stone Mountain, Georgia

68 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: That's fine, if you'd like, Lore. But age and experiences teaches one how to stay calm most of the time and not let the button be pushed. Just some food for thought as you get ready go to lunch.

But..I haven't seen you stay calm during this discussion.

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Lore in Stone Mountain, Georgia

68 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I know an extremely well credentialed, experienced and successful resume writer who would resent that comment, Lore. She specializes in aviation resumes but writes them for all other industries.

You really should relax and/or tone down the "rhetoric," Lore.

We're not talking writing, we're talking layout. Bit of a difference. You should try to learn the "difference", Displaced.

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Lore in Stone Mountain, Georgia

68 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: See, Lore, there you go again. Being argumentative. Think about it. Enjoy your lunch hour.

And there you go Displaced, playing the victim and accusing instead of working with me.

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Done being nice to Displaced in Stone Mountain, Georgia

68 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: ??? "Working with me"?

Grow up, Lore.

How about you just retire? I mean, obviously trying to get a job isn't working for you while my immature self is happily employed. Hmm...maybe you're doing something wrong you wank.

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Done being nice to Displaced in Stone Mountain, Georgia

68 months ago

Oh and Displaced, do you really find your own comments so helpful? Are you finding them..enlightening? Are you learning how to be a better internet troll by reading them?

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Susan in Colorado Springs, Colorado

63 months ago

Companies probably don't request .pdf files because they are huge compared to Word, WordPefect, etc. If you are having problems with folks stealing your formatting in Word documents, then "protect" the document. In versions before 2007, look under Tools. If you are using 2007, go to Review, and there is a huge icon simply called, Protect Document.

MorningGlory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: I'm just wondering about this, because I have had bad experiences where someone would request my resume in Word format, and then literally 'steal' my layout. I went on an interview, got the job, then saw that my resume was saved on their desktop. Wondering why my personal information was saved on a computer that was easily available to other employees, I opened it - one of the other assistants replaced my name and jobs with her information!

When I asked her about it, she said, 'Oh, how embarassing - I just loved your layout and format'. I won't get into why the HR department was so unprofessional about the lack of privacy, but that's another story for another day.

And aren't FREE versions of PDF/Adobe readers available for download all over the internet??

It concerns me that employers are so closed-minded with new software these days.

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Excellent idea. Just the same, one can do little about individuals who will simply print the document and scan or just type it from scratch. If someone is determined enough to steal a format, they will.

Wow, you know just about everything!

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

How can someone who knows everything still be out of work?

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

The recession? No can't say that I have. Is that a band that you youngin's are listening to?

Age discrimination? Rare. Not unheard of but rare. I've seen plenty of older people get jobs without problem. But then they're qualified and have a good disposition. And networking skills.

Change your industry. Never too late to go back to school.

Bad luck? Don't buy it.

BTW - Duuuuuuuuuuuh. ;)

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Whatever you think. Clearly, you also know everything. That said, you are naive in the extreme by stating that age discrimination in employment is rare.

Haha!!! Tell that to the sixty year old woman in the cube behind me who got called out of retirement because she was so knowledgeable in her field. Tell that to my mother in law who started out as a secretary in the military (while in her mid-50s) and has since gotten not one but THREE promotions.

I have more faith in people then you do, I guess. I believe that with hard work you can do anything you want to age aside.

Age discrimination sounds like something people who can't get jobs outside of their field (you left the legal profession did you not? did you go back to school? network within your new field?) say. Sorry!

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Further to age discrimination, just consider that companies believe older candidates automatically want higher pay simply because of their longevity in the workforce. Also, healthcare premiums increase with age. Companies neither want to pay higher pay nor higher healthcare premiums.

Just some food for thought for you.

(corrected)

I'm diabetic. Tell me about discrimination. Boo hoo.

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said:
The reason why her company recalled that 60-year-old was recalled was probably because she was knowledgeable. Let's see if a different company would hire her.

It was during my first (and only) administrative assistant job. It..really was just ridiculous. They didn't know I was diabetic when I was hired, but once I settled in I notified my manager of the fact that I will need to, on occasion, take off an hour or so early for a doctors appointment. As, due to my disease I am in at least the endocrinologist's office every three months. Between that and catching various colds and flus from my co-workers who had children and the inability to wash their hands I had to take some days off. All within what they allowed me to have per my contract. But, during my six month review I was written up for "excessive" absences (despite the fact that I had hardly touched the days that were alotted to me!). So, they provided it but they also held it against me. And once it was found out that I made the insurance premium go up (small company) a bit I became less then welcome at that particular job. So, yes, the ADA can protect you to an extent. But what they did seemed so vague that I didn't feel that I could go forward with anything. So, once I was married and on my husband's insurance I quit and found employment not too soon afterward.

As to the woman I work with..she is knowledgable in her field. If this company were to let her go one of our competitors would snap her up in no time, if she wanted. In fact she was working with one of the competitors before she retired.

That's the thing - if you want to be able to secure a job no matter what age you are you have to specialize. She is an expert in what she does and people are willing to pay her for that regardless of age. You have to 'fire proof' your career and, sadly, the only way to do that these days is to really become an expert in your job title.

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said:
The reason why her company recalled that 60-year-old was recalled was probably because she was knowledgeable. Let's see if a different company would hire her.

Oh, and my mother-in-law (as I mentioned) was well into her 50s when she was hired as an administrative assistant. But she has been doing it within different companies for years and has a pleasent personality. :) She has progressed within her job very well.

I'm sure that age discrimination exists to an extent. But most businesses really do appreciate knowledge rather then pretty young things.

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: They really don't appreciate knowledge. They'd rather have pretty young thangs in their tight skirts and 10-inch heels. They cost less and to some guys, look better than older women or, as with myself (though getting fit), middle-aged men.

Actually, given that most young things have college degrees these days the pay different probably isn't that big. I still think you're wrong about the admin age thing - I've seen plenty of wise old things behind the desk. Or..you know..keep pulling the age card and be unemployed. Whatever works for you.

Also, a lot of the companies I have applied with in the past asked for you to state your salary requirements with your resume - if you are concerned with employers thinking you want more because of your age make then first move and tell them what you're asking for. If you are truly asking for more then most employers are willing to pay, then you might want to reconsider your pay scale if you are dead set on getting into a particular field (not sure if you want to be an admin. ass or what..).

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Were they new hires or tenured employees?

I stand by my remarks about age discrimination. I've experienced it in two industries.

In my mother in law's case she was a new hire in her mid-50s, yet still got plenty of promotions even though she wasn't a saucy young thing. The 60-something woman in my office was tenured, but it was the experience gained that made her so vaulable. But thats the problem with being an administrative assistant - there aren't really any defined skills that you can study up on that would necessarily make you fire proof or worth dragging out of retirement. It comes down to how much the bosses like you. Moving on.

I will say this, from what I have noticed most people in search of a secretary seem to actually want a mommy and not someone who is at all an equal. This is what made me hate the position - I like working on my own work, at my own pace while keeping my own deadlines in mind. I don't like having to say to a man twice my age that "such and such bid is due in five days, is free cell really the best use of your time?" or "Have you thought about calling the suppliers for their quotes? No? How about I just go ahead and do the whole bid and put your name on it? Ok then". I didn't give birth to them, they know what they need to get done just as well as I do - I thought my time would be better spent doing the little assisting things that were actually part of my job description. :-p

So, maybe they just want you to appear as a father figure? As in someone who will pick up their messes, etc. Have you tried that route? In all seriousness, it may work.

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I know about picking up messes. I was a paralegal for more than eleven years. A paralegal's job, in part, is to pick up attorneys' messes.

I'll explain it again. It's primarily about money. Employers think older workers believe they're entitled to more money simply because of longevity in the workforce. Employers feel older workers are more expensive because they will up their healthcare premiums.

Other reasons for age discrimination include fear. Younger (than older workers') supervisors fear older workers know more than they do. Because they fear older workers know more than they do, supervisors fear they will show them up and/or will resist supervision. Putting it another way, older workers are seasoned and are less likely to put up with their nonsense. They fear older workers will take their jobs.

Employers think older workers are not willing to learn new things, which is patently untrue. Finally, so many younger people simply have a bad attitude about older people.

I guess I just haven't seen it. Perhaps in the legal profession this abounds, but in sales and marketing I really haven't seen that to be the case. The people I have witnessed usually want someone who is able to do their job and could care less about visual appeal. But, perhaps lawyers are different. I can't say that I have ever worked with one.

Again, I would urge you to mention salary within your resume. If they know right off the bat that you are not looking for more due to age then perhaps you would be able to get your foot in the door.

This is coming from someone, by the way, who swore up and down that the reason why she couldn't find a job immediately after college was because she was "too young" and because there were too many other grads in the town looking for jobs at the same time. At this point I can say that it was absoultely an excuse. I just wasn't searching smart enough.

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I would agree. Sales is results oriented. The only thing that matters is making the sale. It doesn't matter who makes the sale. While I realize that compensation systems vary, sales remains commission oriented. You either sell or you're not paid.

Actually, in the cases I have dealt with they received a generous salary on top of the commission. I was privy to their pay scale. Heh.

I'm not too fond of the salary being asked for off the bat either, but if you are finding that to be a major hinderance to getting a job then something has to be done about it. I've offered up a few suggestions, but to no avail. I'm sure you'll come up with something though. I also think, though, that they do want a lot of as little as they can get away with paying. But most industries are like that these days. They have the upper hand - jobs are scarce right now.

And right - the ol' Catch-22. For my generation of college graduate it was common knowledge that in order to get ahead you needed to 1.) kiss butt and network between classes and even during and, 2.) get an internship. Most employers expect you to have been working during your summer months or after school.

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

61 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: No internships during my generation, but you bet I worked summers and during an Xmas vacation. I dismantled scrap metal in the summer. I worked in a radio station. And I don't kiss anyone's butt. I don't mean to sound sanctimonious, but I am honest and straightforward. No job is worth compromising my integrity. Faust, you know.

Unfortunately, as many new graduates quickly find out, without knowing someone already in the field (specifically within the company) you wish to apply yourself to in advance, you have a hard time getting in. I got the job I'm in now because I know someone within the company. That is also how my husband got his new job.

I worked part time at an office supply store to help pay for college. But none of the places I had applied to cared. Luckily I signed up with a temp agency and was placed with a company whose director had common sense to know that not everyone can intern during college.

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Um in Atlanta, Georgia

60 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I got my first commercial radio job by walking in and being persistent. I didn't know anyone there - nary a soul. I worked there two summers and one winter vacation. The station hired me for full time, more or less, a month after I came home from college.

Except for two, brief part-time jobs, knowing people never helped me. I have obtained all my jobs on my own by (figuratively) walking through the front door and (figuratively) asking for them. In fact, the one time I tried using a connection fizzled or, more likely, hurt me.

I really wish it still worked like that. You know, since I started in on the job market in 2004 I have not brought one resume in to a location I was interested in working for? Not one! They all request that you email it in to the HR staff. They, at least where I am, turn you away if you try to walk in. The receptionist has become the bouncer.

But, again, I was in a different field (and am looking to make a leap into yet another that is going to request resumes and portfolios to be submitted online -I've checked!).

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Staffing Guru in Somewhere out there, California

60 months ago

MorningGlory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: I'm just wondering about this, because I have had bad experiences where someone would request my resume in Word format, and then literally 'steal' my layout. I went on an interview, got the job, then saw that my resume was saved on their desktop. Wondering why my personal information was saved on a computer that was easily available to other employees, I opened it - one of the other assistants replaced my name and jobs with her information!

When I asked her about it, she said, 'Oh, how embarassing - I just loved your layout and format'. I won't get into why the HR department was so unprofessional about the lack of privacy, but that's another story for another day.

And aren't FREE versions of PDF/Adobe readers available for download all over the internet??

It concerns me that employers are so closed-minded with new software these days.

I agree that having a random HR manager saving your information is at the very least suspect.

On the other hand when a recruiting source like a head-hunter or a Staffing Agency requests your resume in word format it is typically because they would like to take off the personal information.

This protects your anonymity (especially if you are employed) and also to protect the service from having the candidate poached by the company (happens SO MUCH IT IS NOT FUNNY).

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Staffing Guru in Somewhere out there, California

60 months ago

dovey in Saint Louis, Missouri said: I'm wondering if you "protect" your document and save it as "read-only" if that would be helpful?

If you protect a document all they have to do is "save as" and rename it and it is editable.

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Moonpie

60 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: They really don't appreciate knowledge. They'd rather have pretty young thangs in their tight skirts and 10-inch heels. They cost less and to some guys, look better than older women or, as with myself (though getting fit), middle-aged men.

I just got laid off today after "cross-training" a brainless young woman who is staying. Not the first time it's happened to me, and each time makes it harder to get another job. This one was only 50 cents over minimum to start. I made more money 30 years ago!

Now I'll have to explain why I'm worth more than that while looking for another job!

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Moonpie

60 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: ...and deal with age discrimination.

Sorry to hear the news. You didn't say if that individual was your replacement and you weren't told about it beforehand. If so, how humiliating it is to be thrust in that position. Good luck with your job search.

I was told that the company was growing and that in our department everyone would be cross-trained in case anyone was out sick. I had to do everything from database administration to sales quotes to scrubbing floors. The other woman in the dept was "trailer trash" who used the word "Them" for every pronoun!. The words in between were more like sailor's. The newest one was a step up, able to make complete sentences without using the F word, but would come out with things like"I didn't know a frankfurter was a hot dog! When did that happen?" Brain dead, but cute with a big store-bought bra size. I was the oldest person in the office by at least five years, with the majority of workers in their 20s.

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Staffing Guru in Somewhere out there, California

60 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Sounds to me you were fed a line. In any event, just as we have discussed, above, about companies wanting sweet (?) (and cheap) young things instead of older, competent, professionals.

Once again, best of luck with your job search.

Age, race, and sexual discrimination is a real factor in todays job market. In the basic clerical roles males are the most commonly discriminated against class. It drives me absolutely crazy to hear things like this happen in the work place. Pseudo-sophisticated companies who claim equality and then act this way are a joke...

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felfitz2 in Houston, Texas

60 months ago

Susan in Colorado Springs, Colorado said: Companies probably don't request .pdf files because they are huge compared to Word, WordPefect, etc. If you are having problems with folks stealing your formatting in Word documents, then "protect" the document. In versions before 2007, look under Tools. If you are using 2007, go to Review, and there is a huge icon simply called, Protect Document.

Most resumes are scanned into a database for and not actually read until they pull up enough keywords. Word in Aerial or Times New Roman is preferred. Some software can convert PDF into text words but it is still very unreliable in recognizing the text and numbers. If they're any good at what they do, they won't need to steal your format. Otherwise, may have a hard time living up to the job expectations. Good luck on your job search!

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Eva Roberts in Santa Ana, California

59 months ago

Perhaps not all PC users have Adobe Acrobat for pdf formatted resumes. I try not to assume anything.

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Eva Roberts in Santa Ana, California

59 months ago

This is a suggestion to the question: "Why are resumes saved in Word format and not PDF (Adobe Acrobat)?

Perhaps not all PC users have Adobe Acrobat for pdf formatted resumes. I try not to assume anything.

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