Question for headhunters

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PK in Williston Park, New York

24 months ago

How much weight do candidates' work history carry versus education, cover letter, and how they do in interview, generally speaking?

I have a weak job history, but bachelors with good grades, trying to work a variety of short term office jobs, and I'm trying to get an idea how much work I could expect from signing with at least a few agencies. The early feeling I get after emailing a couple resumes isn't promising.

Ask if you want clarification. Thanks in advance.

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Hello in Santa Monica, California

24 months ago

It's obviously all relative.

Education is important, in the fact you have it. But will you stand out? You haven't told us what type of school you went to - a 4.0 from Harvard is quite different from a 2.8 at your local state school branch. Did you major in something that has a hard skillset that will directly translate to a job, such as Computer Engineering, or something like Philosophy that doesn't.

No one expects recent graduates to have a great job history, but did you have internships? Were you involved in any activities or associations? Volunteer work? Awards? And any part-time unrelated job should really just be an afterthought, to show you worked (ex: pizza guy or retail clerk), if you need space filler. You don't need a list of job functions you performed at the Gap.

We can give you more advice if you are more specific.

Also, I think the overall impression of your resume is more important than your cover letter (a formality unless you have something really brilliant to say, or to demonstrate complete incompetence if you mess it up), but the interview is most important. You need a solid resume to get the interview, but the interview round is for all the people who had appealing resumes.

But none of the above is really important for dealing with agencies. They will change your resume around, talk you up to the company they are trying to place you at, and coach you to say the right things. Don't email if you want to work with agencies. Just start cold calling and saying you are looking for entry level office work, asking for their direct email, then send them your resume.

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PK in New Hyde Park, New York

24 months ago

My GPA was 3.5, most of the credits through an online college (accredited) and a community college, and a minority number of credits through three other schools. I have an AA in liberal arts and BS in business administration.

I'm in late 20s. The last formal job I had was at 19. I had a few other jobs before that. The longest one was 6 months, a couple others were ~1 month, one was two weeks at 15+ hours a day, one was a few nights over a span of months. I walked off the three former instances. Since 20, I've worked part time for a relative in exchange for room and board. I'm probably going to put down that I placed highly in a charity run... requires discipline to get that fit and I'm scratching for anything here, heh.

The approach I want to take in regard to cover letters and interviews, partly based on what I've read, is that I want to be accountable for past mistakes, I understand their (agency) reputation's at stake and that I'm go in aiming to be friendly and hard-working. I'm -very- adverse to lying about my job history, because I usually hate lying for one, and I don't think it'll be believed. I figure that I'm going to be thought of as a loser either way, so I might as well be an honest one.

The past ~7 years I completed most of my schooling, but didn't pick up work other than the very part time work I do now mostly out fear that anything I do will be as bad as some of my past jobs, and embarrassment (on top of other reasons). Just thinking about doing something to help my career situation was pretty anxiety-inducing, until I've learned some psychological strategies rather recently.

Is there anything I can do to increase the chances of headhunters suggesting me to clients, in light of all that? Perhaps more importantly, how does this profile look for employability? Even if it's the case where headhunters probably wouldn't want to touch me, I'd like to know so that I can try other routes.

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

Try as many other routes as possible is my advise. Do it all, everything. And headhunters suck too. They call all excited they have a job for you and then nothing. zip. thats it.

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

Been there done that. They want an application on line. Even the retail jobs wont speak to you unless its done on line.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

Alice3 in New York said: Been there done that. They want an application on line. Even the retail jobs wont speak to you unless its done on line.

The career seminars say this isn't true. Jobs are created every day that are never advertised and are given out to friends and family. I know this to be true because I have gotten jobs this way in the past.

Its just when you don't know anybody, that it looks like everything is online.

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

And how might one go about find a career seminar?

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PK in New Hyde Park, New York

24 months ago

FYI, I'm looking at agencies first because I want to try out a number of jobs related to certain long-term goals.

Alice3, Googling might help?

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Joe Gagill in Loch Sheldrake, New York

24 months ago

guest in San Mateo, California said: Want a job.

Pound the pavement.

Best of Luck.

When you use the phrase "pound the pavement" that tells me your in your 60's or your a govt/public employee who hasn't searched for a job in awhile.

Am I good or am I good?

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Joe Gagill in Loch Sheldrake, New York

24 months ago

You would have better luck finding a 65 yr old hooker by pounding the pavement than getting a job by pounding the pavement.

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Hello in Santa Monica, California

24 months ago

I would make your education and achievements first, and forget the lack of job history. Play your resume up to make you appear as a recent graduate, which is 100% true. No one who views your resume needs to know if you are 22 or 28, until they check your i.d. when you fill out your W2 after being hired.

So, concentrate on highlighting the best things from the past 4-5 years. If you want to write "Personal Assistant to Mr./Ms. Name of Relative" as your work experience, that is probably fine, with bullets as any related experience for example if you fixed the computer, auto maintenance, helped with family accounting, assistant child-rearing or care-taking for pets or seniors could be a valuable depending on the job you are targeting, then maybe a final bullet that says "Assisted in all general household chores". No one needs to know you did laundry or unloaded the dishwasher.

I wouldn't say you worked a month 8 years ago. That type of stuff is in the past and it's irrelevant to your job hunt.

Try to target the larger temp agencies. They can have you do skills assessments for Microsoft Word/Excel and your typing speed and accuracy. Play up relevant business courses that you took. (Google how recent grads list "Relevant Coursework" as a subheading).

Also, decide what your top three or so career path goals are. Temp agents will have an easier time assisting you if you are flexible, but not too indecisive. Tell them you are interested in temp-, temp-to-perm or permanent. You are also at the point where picking up an additional low skill level job like in a retail store couldn't hurt and volunteering a couple times a month for a charity organization / museum, etc to show you are still adding filler to your resume while you job hunt or even applying for a fall internship.

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Hello in Santa Monica, California

24 months ago

guest in San Mateo, California said: Don't waste your time with temp agencies and their idiotic skill tests.

A 3-6 month temp job or two in a professional setting could really beef up a resume for someone who lacks professional experience. Temping is definitely not for everyone, especially people with a high skill level and strong experience, but I think it is a good option for recent grads who would be otherwise overlooked.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

24 months ago

Hello in Santa Monica, California said: I would make your education and achievements first, and forget the lack of job history. Play your resume up to make you appear as a recent graduate, which is 100% true. No one who views your resume needs to know if you are 22 or 28, until they check your i.d. when you fill out your W2 after being hired.

So, concentrate on highlighting the best things from the past 4-5 years. If you want to write "Personal Assistant to Mr./Ms. Name of Relative" as your work experience, that is probably fine, with bullets as any related experience for example if you fixed the computer, auto maintenance, helped with family accounting, assistant child-rearing or care-taking for pets or seniors could be a valuable depending on the job you are targeting, then maybe a final bullet that says "Assisted in all general household chores". No one needs to know you did laundry or unloaded the dishwasher.

I wouldn't say you worked a month 8 years ago. That type of stuff is in the past and it's irrelevant to your job hunt.

Try to target the larger temp agencies. They can have you do skills assessments for Microsoft Word/Excel and your typing speed and accuracy. Play up relevant business courses that you took. (Google how recent grads list "Relevant Coursework" as a subheading).

You bring ALOT to these forums.

(Informative, true professionalism, and in your posts you don't look down, thru your writings, on other posters.)

I cannot believe I said that about a Recruiter.

Thank you again.

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Jeff in Denver, Colorado

24 months ago

A job seeker's take:
Work history is by FAR the most important. Interviewing well is also somewhat important (a big problem for me), but if your work history doesn't match their requirements you won't get an interview regardless of what qualities you have. I doubt that cover letters have a whole lot of impact unless they are poorly written or contain errors. Education is not a consideration at all unless it's your first job after graduation (I essentially have 2 Master's degrees and a 3.9 overall GPA, and here I am).

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PK in New Hyde Park, New York

24 months ago

Are headhunters going to insist that I lie about my work history to clients? The most important question I still have is how attractive or not I probably look to headhunters to push to clients.

I've seen comments here and elsewhere about headhunters making false promises about jobs; as in more misleading than, "there's an employer interested in interviewing you"? More details?

@Hello thanks for the detailed post (do you need to quote someone on this site for them to get a notice e-mail?). I don't know if I'm going to hide my age. Everything else you said I like.

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Jeff in Denver, Colorado

24 months ago

PK in New Hyde Park, New York said: Are headhunters going to insist that I lie about my work history to clients? The most important question I still have is how attractive or not I probably look to headhunters to push to clients.

I've seen comments here and elsewhere about headhunters making false promises about jobs; as in more misleading than, "there's an employer interested in interviewing you"? More details?

@Hello thanks for the detailed post (do you need to quote someone on this site for them to get a notice e-mail?). I don't know if I'm going to hide my age. Everything else you said I like.

Many headhunters are evaluated on how many resumes they get submitted to clients. Therefore, they try to come up with any angle they can to have a justification for submitting your resume. I'd say that between 80 and 90 percent of the time I'm contacted by a headhunter, I know that there is a 0 percent chance that the employer will even offer me an interview for that position. If the employer is looking for X years of experience with A, B, C, D, and E and I have X/2 years of experience with A and no experience with or training in B, C, D, and E, my resume will be filed in a piece of furniture that doesn't have any drawers.

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martinb2112 in Houston, Texas

24 months ago

Why does Harvard get so many chops and props. The current president is from Harvard and all the principals and managers at Enron were hired because they had high marks and MBAs from Harvard!!!!

Forgive the diatribe. Back in the late '70s there wasn't any money available for my kind to go to college.

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Jeff in Denver, Colorado

24 months ago

There really is no difference in how to land a job whether you are going through a headhunter or applying directly to the employer. The person who gets hired is generally the person who is easiest to hire. It is easy to go through resumes and find the person whose skill list most closely matches some set of requirements. It is difficult to determine through an hour or 2 of interviews what a person's aptitude and skill level are. Therefore, the person with the best resume will usually get the job. What determines which is the best resume is work history.

I've applied for around 600 jobs. Exactly one potential employer has asked for a sample of my work. One gave me a series of basic aptitude exams (including the Wonderlic test). Two gave me brief (completely useless) programming tests. The rest based their decision entirely on work history and possibly job interview performance (for the handful that actually granted me an interview). Not a single one cared about what my college GPA was, or even what classes I took that relate to the job.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

guest in San Mateo, California said: Uh No.

The headhunter charges a fee for contingency placements which is usually 25 to 33 percent of the annual salary. If I get my resume to the prospective employer without the headhunter's fee attached to it then my chances for employment go up.

And that recruiter is going to do everything in their power to make sure that ain't gonna happen.

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Hello in Santa Monica, California

24 months ago

Umm... Some posters don't understand how recruiting works, and why working with a temp agent is one of PK's best options.

I've only done internal recruiting, and usually 2 or 3 qualified applicants per job out of dozens, if not hundreds of resumes. The purpose of internal recruiters is to not to read the resumes and set up interviews. It can be, but more candidates have to be found than are hired by applying.

A lot of generalized contractor roles go to temp agencies. The agency isn't adding on a fee. They bill the company at a higher rate, and the temp agency is paying you out of that. Some positions are exclusively offered through agencies, and some agencies have exclusive contracts with large companies. PK needs to bolster his resume, and he is seeking opportunities to work but also to beef it up. This is why temping is a good option for him. Also, they don't get paid by submitting resumes. They get bonuses based on how much profits they bring in for the company. Companies also do this so they don't owe the employee anything.

I call the sharky externals who work on commission-driven placements "headhunters'. The more niche or higher level the job, the more difficult it is to find a qualified candidate (seriously). It is worth the commission b/c internals wouldn't get all their other work done if they spent months on one difficult role. There are some jobs that are so difficult to find qualified people for, it is best to let 5 or 6 recruiters find the best. Only one gets the commission, and it is often worth it for the company. These types of recruiters are only worth working with in certain job categories.

Working w/ temp or external recruiters works, but only for specific jobseekers. People get disgruntled with temping, but that is b/c they are overqualified. PK has no "office" jobs and temping could secure him some.

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

Dont the temp agency's now have to pay for their employees health insurance? Or are they demanding that the employee pay for it on their own? The temp agencys are now so changed and different its unbelievable. It used to be you could make an appt with them go in and fill out 100 pc of paper, take all kinds of tests and the whole thing takeing at least 4 hrs of your time. NOW they will not see you unless you do a "profile" on their website, apply and then they call and make an appt for you to come in. The first thing they ask when you call is do you have an appt, otherwise they will not see you. Mind you this could take as much as 3 weeks to happen.

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

They even ask if anyone else has contacted you (if they even call) They also wont tell you the name of the Co. Thats so you dont go an anppy without them. All in all you jump thru the hoops and then nothing.........

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

24 months ago

Good information, but...

Hello in Santa Monica, California said: I call the sharky externals who work on commission-driven placements "headhunters'. The more niche or higher level the job, the more difficult it is to find a qualified candidate (seriously).
I find that hard to believe, given the legions of available quality people whose reason for not working is the shrinkage in actual jobs.

Niche or higher-level jobs existed before the Great Recession and during periods of low unemployment, yet somehow employers filled them. So why is now any different? I would submit that these days employers are unreasonably picky. Also they pre-reject older candidates and candidates with lengthy unemployed periods. Of course, age discrimination has always existed.

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

Asking flat out for your birthday was NEVER allowed. IT IS NOW. PLUS your social.

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

YOU (guest) have already stated youself that pounding the pavement DOES NOT WORK and you wouldnt do it again. Yet you insist on saying it again and again and again.

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

Odviously NOT.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

24 months ago

Alice3 in New York said: Asking flat out for your birthday was NEVER allowed. IT IS NOW. PLUS your social.
From a technical legal standpoint, employers can ask any question. They cannot use the information gleaned from the question to discriminate.

That said, I personally have not seen any forms that ask for birthday in several years. But that doesn't mean I'll give it to 'em. I also won't give them my Social until I'm hired.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

24 months ago

@ "guest":

www.esrcheck.com/articles/crime_and_employment_application.php

One need only provide a Social for background checks directly connected to job duties, e.g., cashier, bank teller, insurance agent, etc.

And, once again, "guest," what is your line of business?

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

Quote from "guest" Sorry.

I have NO problem finding people.

NONE AT ALL.
Regarding recruiters. Plus all the bashing on IT people..... emmmm.

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

Why dont you simply answer the question that has been asked a dozen times? What line of work are you in???????

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

guest in San Mateo, California said: Incorrect.

California employers can't ask about arrest records.

Another reason why California's economy is in the toilet. When I saw company after company renting U-Hauls and leaving, I rented a U-Haul myself. Buh bye.

Still miss the weather.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

24 months ago

@ "guest":

I wrote, above, about providing Socials for background checks directly connected to certain jobs.

Once again, your line of business or work, please?

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

24 months ago

Hello in Santa Monica, California said:

The purpose of internal recruiters is to not to read the resumes and set up interviews .

Can you explain this better???

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

Alice3 in New York said: Why dont you simply answer the question that has been asked a dozen times? What line of work are you in???????

Unemployed Troll. At 42, he lives with his mother. LOL!

People who have jobs don't spend a lot of time here. Back when you had that good job, did you?

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

Notice he still has not answ the quest?????

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

guest in San Mateo, California said: Asking about criminal convictions is fair game. Asking about arrests is not ??

At least in theory "You are innocent until proven guilty". Not everybody who is arrested is guilty of a crime.

I agree. Even Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer had jobs. - an old HR joke. Heh!

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

Sears wants your social.

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

Tell us something we dont already know. What line of work are you in??????

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

24 months ago

Alice3 in New York said: Sears wants your social.
I would ask why. If I'm not satisfied with the response, I guess I won't be selling Craftsmen tools or Kenmore diswashers.

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Alice3 in New York

24 months ago

Its also part of the "log in" process (Sears) They have alot of nerve they really do. Especially its a very low paying job. Only applied to try to get some money coming in. There were a few more that wanted the social as well. They get your age when they ask what yr did you graduate which is also BS on there. Years ago there was a big ta do about that but now its right on there. No social you cant move on with the application.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

guest in San Mateo, California said: Reality check.

They were CONVICTED of a crime.

And still had jobs too!

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

guest in San Mateo, California said: How do you know ??

The sad thing is that more and more people are moving back with their parents so it is really not something to joke about.

I am in marketing and everybody is trying to market to "The Losers". Sorry, multi-gens. This list consists of 3 or more adults with the same last name, living at the same physical address. Big business now. That "list" numbers in the millions now.

Billy is on that list. He is 42 and lives down the street from me, with his mom and dad and his 18 year old daughter. Are you Billy? Can you come out and play? Ask your mom. LOL!

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

24 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said:

People who have jobs don't spend a lot of time here. Back when you had that good job, did you?

Right, where's Nick now.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York said: Right, where's Nick now.

Back among the living. I wish him well.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

24 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Billy is on that list. He is 42 and lives down the street from me, with his mom and dad and his 18 year old daughter. Are you Billy? Can you come out and play? Ask your mom. LOL!

I'm sure there are many 42 year old girls still at home. Not sure what one would call them.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York said: I'm sure there are many 42 year old girls still at home. Not sure what one would call them.

A disappointment.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

guest in San Mateo, California said: The problem of course is that the "losers" are not likely to be in a position to buy anything.

Momma and Daddy buy a lot of "family packs".

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

guest in San Mateo, California said: The problem of course is that the "losers" are not likely to be in a position to buy anything.

Some of our biggest markets are home builders, all looking to make money from multi-generatinal homes. Gonna be big.

Mom still wants a sewing room and right now you are in it. Heh!

www.builderonline.com/design/as-multigenerational-households-rise-builders-accommodate.aspx

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PK in New Hyde Park, New York

24 months ago

Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: A job seeker's take:
Work history is by FAR the most important. Interviewing well is also somewhat important (a big problem for me), but if your work history doesn't match their requirements you won't get an interview regardless of what qualities you have. I doubt that cover letters have a whole lot of impact unless they are poorly written or contain errors. Education is not a consideration at all unless it's your first job after graduation (I essentially have 2 Master's degrees and a 3.9 overall GPA, and here I am).

I'm looking for entry level stuff and it kind of is my first job after graduation, depending on how you want to look at things. The interview and cover letter should be allies to me so I could give the employer reason to think I'm not as bad as my job history implies; I want them to see what I can be, not what written history suggests. I have anxiety issues, but I'm working on getting over them.

To some other guys, I'll nicely ask you not to hijack my thread? How about you can complain about something job-hunting related IF you also give useful advice :-)

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PK in New Hyde Park, New York

24 months ago

martinb2112 in Houston, Texas said: Why does Harvard get so many chops and props. The current president is from Harvard and all the principals and managers at Enron were hired because they had high marks and MBAs from Harvard!!!!

Forgive the diatribe. Back in the late '70s there wasn't any money available for my kind to go to college .


Based on what I've read, what you do in college is more important than where you went to most employers.

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