What more can I do to stand out above the rest?

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Grace in Bakersfield, California

75 months ago

I have been on several 2nd or 3rd interviews that look promising, being in the "top 3 or 5" and then end up not being the one they hire. I have a 12 yr. history with my previous employer and I have a fairly rounded resume with good references. I was in residential construction when the bottom fell out. How can I make myself stand out above the rest. I am 50 years old and am wondering if this has much to do with things. Is it a matter of odds...eventually they will turn my way?

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ddpete in Olathe, Kansas

75 months ago

I feel your pain! I guess the first thing that comes to mind is, do you feel comfortable calling the hiring manager (or HR manager) and being honest with them, asking why you weren't selected after making it through 2 or 3 interviews? Tell them you really want to get back to work and need to know why you are getting all these interviews and no job offer. They may or may not answer, but you have nothing to lose by asking. I plan to do the same if my next two interviews, both second rounds, don't pan out.

Another thing is, salary expectation. Are you giving them a range, or are you saying "Negotiable"? There are a number of ways to answer that question.

In my case, when I have told them what I made on my last job, that is a big road block. Nobody is going to hire me at the salary I was making previously. I tell them salary is negotiable, that I understand at this point in my career I have been near the top of the salary range for Admin Assistants and expect to take a cut in pay. I tell them I've been unemployed for a month and a half and I'm anxious to get back to work. I think it helps to be eager and enthusiastic.

I have recently interviewed for jobs that are anywhere from 10% to 25% cut in pay from my previous salary. Hopefully I can land somewhere in the middle but to be honest, I know I will just have to accept that and adjust my lifestyle. If I keep waiting for someone to match my salary I will be unemployed for a long, long time.

Finally, I have started telling potential employers that I would be willing to work temp-to-hire for a period of time if that would help me get my foot in the door. Maybe they are afraid that us "old" gals can't keep up. I'd like the opportunity to prove them wrong!

Best of luck to you. Don't give up. Be confident but also be flexible in your expectations. Sorry to be so long-winded but hope this post is of some help to you. Keep us posted on your progress, there are a lot of us in the same boat!

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admin in Bay Area, California

75 months ago

I am in the same boat as I metioned in a couple of other post. I went on one interview a few weeks ago and one said "well your the last person were interviewing. We saved the best for the last." Then another 2nd interview they said I was the last one they were interviewing and said "you have more experience than any of the others we've interviewed".

I didnt get the jobs as you can see or I wouldnt be on these post for help.

You metioned to follow-up and find out why not selected. I tried by email after leaving a phone message and never got a response from either companies. Maybe I didn't say it right or what, who knows.

How exactly would be the right wording to ask why I wasn't selected? Any help would be appreciated.

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ddpete in Olathe, Kansas

75 months ago

Well it is hard to get feedback if you can't get anyone on the phone. I guess you try a few times and if unsuccessful you just have to let it go.

I found the following suggestions at www.job-interview.net/Bank/QIntSituationsAfter.htm

How long after the interview before I call to see if I have been hired? What do I say or ask?

Usually, at the end of the interview the candidate asks what the next steps will be. When will they make a decision? Getting a time frame helps. Sending a thank you letter after the interview also is an opportunity to restate your candidacy and remind them of this time frame. "As you said you would be making a decision next week, I will telephone you to determine my status."

If you are in the dark about when they are deciding, call the person you met with:

1. Thank them (again) for the interview.

2. Ask for status on the hiring process; has a decision been made?

3. If they have chosen and it was not you, you can ask for some feedback or suggestions.
Did they hire someone with more experience?
Was there something you could have done better in your interview or in resume preparation?
Was there another factor that affected their choice?

4. You can restate your interest in the organization and ask to be considered if any other related jobs open up.

One final thought. The importance of sending a prompt (within 24 hours) thank you note cannot be emphasized enough. A sincere hand-written note on professional note paper or note card will always make a good impression.

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admin in Bay Area, California

75 months ago

This is great! Thank you. This is the questions I needed to know after the interview and being rejected. Just wanted to make sure I wasnt asking something them I shouldn't be asking. Just cant figure out why they can't respond to me. It's just so rude.

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Patricia in Ottawa, Ontario

75 months ago

admin in Bay Area, California said: I am in the same boat as I metioned in a couple of other post. I went on one interview a few weeks ago and one said "well your the last person were interviewing. We saved the best for the last." Then another 2nd interview they said I was the last one they were interviewing and said "you have more experience than any of the others we've interviewed".

I didnt get the jobs as you can see or I wouldnt be on these post for help.

You metioned to follow-up and find out why not selected. I tried by email after leaving a phone message and never got a response from either companies. Maybe I didn't say it right or what, who knows.

How exactly would be the right wording to ask why I wasn't selected? Any help would be appreciated.

I don't know about the States, but in Canada no HR person would touch that question with a ten-foot pole. They could get in trouble if they said it was because they wanted to hire someone younger or if they said they thought the other person would fit in better. They couldn't say they would prefer to hire someone of their race or faith background either.

It would be nice to know 'why', but I doubt they will tell you no matter how you ask.

As previously mentioned, sending a thank you note is an excellent way to keep your name on the radar.

A suggestion would be to call and say you appreciated the opportunity to interview at their company and that you would like to be considered for any future position that might come up in your field. They may tell you however that each position needs to be applied for again because they can't keep track of all the resumes they receive and have no way of going back and checking the old resumes. But by calling back you might keep your name in the forefront of the HR person's mind and they just may call you back if something comes up.

Patricia

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ddpete in Olathe, Kansas

75 months ago

Through my recruing agency, I have received feedback on each of the interviews they sent me on.

One commented that it was clear I wasn't "over" a bad situation that occurred on my last job.

Another commented she didn't want to consider me further because of my relationship with my previous employer. (Terminated-Personality Conflict)

One commented that my last salary was so far over what they were willing to pay, they wouldn't consider me further.

I think it goes without saying that there are SOME employers who discriminate due to age, race, color, etc. and they certainly aren't going to tell you that. There are others who really WILL give you feedback so that you can tailor your interview answers to eliminate the issues that employers are wary of. All you can do is call and ask.

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Linda S. in Portland, Oregon

45 months ago

I know we are in really BAD job market right now (the worst since the Great Depression) but I do feel for a lot of us it's an age issue. Not being young enough. What do we have to do? Go out and get a facelift? If we're not working, who can afford that?

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Nacon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

45 months ago

Linda S. in Portland, Oregon said: I know we are in really BAD job market right now (the worst since the Great Depression) but I do feel for a lot of us it's an age issue. Not being young enough. What do we have to do? Go out and get a facelift? If we're not working, who can afford that?

I too feel age is a major issue searching for employment. Most ad's read 1 to 5 years experience or a college degree; a lot of jobs posted are from agencies with the interviewer in their 20's early 30's. I'm retirement age but despirately need to work atleast 5 more years. The problem is finding that employer to look at my job history, my abilities not my birthdate.

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Catalina Q in Beaverton, Oregon

45 months ago

Linda S. in Portland, Oregon said: I know we are in really BAD job market right now (the worst since the Great Depression) but I do feel for a lot of us it's an age issue. Not being young enough. What do we have to do? Go out and get a facelift? If we're not working, who can afford that?

Linda, I am a pharmacy technician and I have 20 yrs experience. There are many positions listed for what I do and they are not calling me when I apply. I am more than qualified. And if they do hire me its on-call or pt time. I strongly believe it is a age issue and that is against the law. But something you can't prove.

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Linda S. in Portland, Oregon

45 months ago

And from a customer's point of view, I couldn't care LESS how old the person is behind the counter when I go to pick up a Rx. In fact, I'd rather see an older person because to me, that means that person is EXPERIENCED and knows what he/she is doing! I wish employers would look at the positives of hiring older workers and there are MANY! I was thinking that all of us who are over 50 should start patronizing older workers who have jobs, i.e. go to the cash register in a grocery where the older worker is, or make a point to ask or comment to business owners why they don't have more older workers, or compliment them if you SEE older workers, etc. This is just some of the ideas I have. Also, Catalina Q, the Walgreens in my neighborhood seems to employ a fair amount of older workers. I can't speak for the pharmacy, but in the store I see them, and one of the pharmacists is well over 60 (and a very nice, decent man, I might add) It's the Walgreens on Bethany Blvd.

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lpsharron in Livonia, Michigan

38 months ago

I am beginning to wonder if its the age thing or the unemployed thing, i get the calls, feel I do well and do the follow up and nothing. I do not get it.
If there are any HR people out there that can shed some light it would be appreciated.
I called a co, today to check in as i have the knowledge, experience, etc and nothing, Very frustrating and wears on the self esteem thing.

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Blondie in Burbank, California

36 months ago

Grace in Bakersfield, California said: I have been on several 2nd or 3rd interviews that look promising, being in the "top 3 or 5" and then end up not being the one they hire. I have a 12 yr. history with my previous employer and I have a fairly rounded resume with good references. I was in residential construction when the bottom fell out. How can I make myself stand out above the rest. I am 50 years old and am wondering if this has much to do with things. Is it a matter of odds...eventually they will turn my way?

I am totally with you. I have had 7 interviews in the last few weeks, even a couple follow up phone conversations, and haven't been offered anything. I'm starting to worry that I'm too old or not "hip" enough. Maybe something I need to change about my appearance? It's frustrating.

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catlover in Corpus Christi, Texas

36 months ago

Grace in Bakersfield, California said: I have been on several 2nd or 3rd interviews that look promising, being in the "top 3 or 5" and then end up not being the one they hire. I have a 12 yr. history with my previous employer and I have a fairly rounded resume with good references. I was in residential construction when the bottom fell out. How can I make myself stand out above the rest. I am 50 years old and am wondering if this has much to do with things. Is it a matter of odds...eventually they will turn my way?

I wanted to comment on all the posts on this thread about the age. I am 56 and have some of the best skills around. My problem has been I have had to move around alot the last 8 years due to my husband's job. I have had really good paying jobs in the past that I loved and could have retired from that company. However, he took a job in a small town and there are so few opportunities here for me. I am making about half of what I use to make. I've had enough and started applying and sending my resume out. I've had 2 interviews where the pay was pretty good but I wasn't selected. I do feel it is age. However, what employers do not realize is that 5 years is about typical for a secretary or administrative person to stay somewhere and I've got about 12 years before I plan to retire. I'm not a vindictive person BUT I hope the people that reject me have to go thru it themselves as they get older.

There is no easy answer. Even if it wasn't age -- the selection process is so subjective. You may be too confident and someone doesn't like that; you may be too quiet and someone doesn't like that. You just never know.

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jojo in Forest Hills, New York

36 months ago

I think its a matter of age too. Ive gone on several interviews - one with Con Ed. The interviewer was talking and I was taking notes. He screamed at me stating "what are you writing down and when I told him I was taking notes he said I was too formal and that we dont do that here. Then I went on another one and Im still on hold for that one but i was able to get out of the head hunter that sent me was that there was a younger girl who wanted 75,000 because she had two bachelors degrees, I have no degree and was asking for 60,000 - and I have 18 years of experience - mean while she was fresh out of college. So they probably are going to pick her. This is really frustrating. My husband says for me to go get a security job -where?

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E Dobs in Bridgewater, New Jersey

36 months ago

Well get this, I just heard on the news the other day that many companies are discriminating against Unemployed people! How does this even make any sense at all??? So many lay offs these days w/so many people losing jobs no fault of their own - but then to get penalized for being unemployed when they start looking for a job - what kind of world do we live in? So it sounds like employers in many cases are more apt to hire someone who is already employed over someone who is not? - OK I'm sure age is a huge factor that no company is ever willing to admit to, but then to add this into the mix too - I just can't begin to understand it.

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lrm in Randallstown, Maryland

36 months ago

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lrm in Randallstown, Maryland

36 months ago

My brothers and sisters, our delimma is caused by several factors: age, degree, background check and salary. Some employers see us as either a costly health insurance risk or threat to their own position. younger employees costs an employer significantly lower health insurance premium costs. In their eyes, older employees are more prone to be off work due to health related issues. also, younger employees give the company a "fresh" look to the public. While I will also contend that a seasoned experienced worker who has proven they can do the job is more reliable than a just out of college person with a degree. however, computerized recruitment tools either eliminate resumes with no degrees or flags them so that the recruiter than remove them from the responses, which are in the hundred of resumes. requiring a degree in many cases is simply an elimination tool. criminal backgrounds check are very prevalent these days whereas 15 years ago many companies didn't do them unless one worked aroung kids, or distressed populations in a clinical setting. Now almost all employers do the background check. in my case i was arrested several times in my early 20's for walking the streets smoking a joint (as most people did in those times) and my criminal records states I was arrested for controlled dangerous substances. a prospective employer would assume i dealt in crack of heroin or something in large quantities. that alone eliminates me from consideration of many jobs. i tried to have them expunged but since i was found guilty on the last charge, I cannot get any of them expunged - so in essence I am "blacklisted" by default, even though I am a devout Christian and Deacon in my church for the past 15 years, married successfully for 20 - raised 3 adult kids, none of whom has broken the law except for a few minor traffic violations. my salary from my last position is high and employers can hire someone younger with a degree for less money than hiring me without one.

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lrm in Randallstown, Maryland

36 months ago

I've very positive telephone interviews whereas even the interviewer sounded excited about my qualifications and attitude. however, i didn't even get a followup return call from them. i've hand delivered resumes in person to get a symbolic foot in the door and was very professionally attired and well received. however, no one called or schedule me for an interview. when i did get an in person interview i wowed the interviewers, convinced them i could "hit the ground running" and produce immediate results. however, they selected another candidate they felt was more qualified. i've been unemployed for 18 months due to pursuing online professional in human resources courses and did not active search for a job for the first 12 months. however, employers see the longer you're out of work they feel you skills are rusty. i test and my scores are always above the national average on ms office and i type 70 wpm when the national average is 39. i went on an interview today and there was a younger man with a shirt/tie/slacks sorta unkempt looking no jacket, i'm sure less qualfied but i bet he'll get the job because the employer thinks i'll only hang around for a short while until i get a job that paying what I'm really worth. this sucks!!!

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