Goal Question During An Interview

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Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky

66 months ago

Kareny@comcast.net in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: I think that reply was the best one, too. I am new to this group. I'm actually a Paralegal that can't find work in the Philadelphia personal injury field. I also have a BS in Marketing Management, but when I went to school, they didn't have the internet. It seems I can't find anything with my marketing degree because all the jobs have something to do with search engine optimization, CRM, email traffic. So now I am trying to apply for an Administrative Assistant job. I'm not even sure exactly what is expected of an administrative or Executive Assistant so anyone who can give me advice how to better make travel arrangements besides looking for flights on the internet or calling a travel agency, please respond. Anybody have any ideas what else I can go into. Oh, and how much do Admin. or Executive Assistants make?

Be sure you have excellent skills in excel, word, powerpoint, etc. Those skills are expected for an AA in just about any company. Salaries are different depending where you live and work experience. I was an AA in Wilmington, DE, about 10 years ago and made $38,000 after 2 years. Try applying for AA positions within a sales/marketing department. Event planners, PR and advertising agencies are greatful to have an AA with a marketing background. Your legal background would be perfect for a law office, legal department, or even real estate. Be honest when you are trying something new in your AA job. If you tell the company travel agent you have never made arrangements before, or are unfamiliar with setting up a profile or using the company software, they are more than happy to assist. Just have a "can do" attitude with your boss and take on new tasks with a smile. You'll do just fine! Good luck!!

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Sue in Vancouver, Washington

66 months ago

Thank you, Sharie, for asking the question---read replies with interest and learned a few things. I came from an 11 year job with in-house computer programs, know some MS Office, but I need to know much more and am teaching myself. I try to find the positive in that by telling potential employers that I can learn in-house systems (as well as knowing Word, Excel...).

Religion DOES have a place here---I am praying that you all find your niche soon. :)

"Find what you love to do and you'll never work a day in your life."

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Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky

66 months ago

Sue in Vancouver, Washington said: Thank you, Sharie, for asking the question---read replies with interest and learned a few things. I came from an 11 year job with in-house computer programs, know some MS Office, but I need to know much more and am teaching myself. I try to find the positive in that by telling potential employers that I can learn in-house systems (as well as knowing Word, Excel...).

Religion DOES have a place here---I am praying that you all find your niche soon. :)

"Find what you love to do and you'll never work a day in your life."

Thank you for your encouragement! I am praying an alternative job will open up if an AA position does not. Something is out there and someone will want me - "old" or not!! I am not control ...

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Comment-asaurus in Atlanta, Georgia

66 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: ....but nearly all volunteer work involves people skills. Unless one is applying to work in a lighthouse, nearly all jobs require people skills. So what better way to promote to an employer one's good people skills than by listing all volunteer work.

Also, let's assume one won an award for volunteerism in an area unrelated to the applied-for job. According to your reasoning, one should not list that award and associated volunteer experience. From everything I've read, employers like achievers. One would short oneself of an impressive resume credential by leaving it off simply because it is unrelated to the applied-for job.

Honestly, most HR people deal with many resumes during the course of a day (when they are in the middle of hiring) and would likely skim over any volunteer information as it is just more resume fodder. Your job experience is more important to them. If you want to stress people skills (or what ever skills you feel you gained by the volunteer experience) mention the volunteer experience during the actual interiew.

I don't quite get why your example..would be relevent to your resume. If you win an award for volunteering it is only worth putting on the resume if what you were doing while you were volunteering directly related to the job you applying for. Yes, employers like achievers but generally they want those people to achieve in their field. Otherwise what use would a volunteer award be to them? At the end of the day this is about what you can do for them, not about how wonderful and kind you are.

Also, if you have held jobs in the past then you would have gained people skills through them. So, your point is moot. Saying that you gained people skills through volunteering would make them wonder why you couldn't have gained and applied those skills to the jobs you had actually gotten paid to do.

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Comment-asaurus in Atlanta, Georgia

66 months ago

Sue in Vancouver, Washington said: Thank you, Sharie, for asking the question---read replies with interest and learned a few things. I came from an 11 year job with in-house computer programs, know some MS Office, but I need to know much more and am teaching myself. I try to find the positive in that by telling potential employers that I can learn in-house systems (as well as knowing Word, Excel...).

Religion DOES have a place here---I am praying that you all find your niche soon. :)

"Find what you love to do and you'll never work a day in your life."

That is the best way to do it! Learn all you can and then mention that you are very comfortable with computers. :) If they have software that only they use (as in, programs you can't train in because the company bought the rights to use it in their business or created it themselves) then they'd feel more comfortable with someone who is very experienced with computers then with someone who isn't.

Good luck!

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Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky

66 months ago

I was talking more about the corporate travel people who will assist you. Most large companies use an exclusive agency so they are more apt to help you. Airlines are another story, although my husband travels 90% of the time and he seldom deals with anyone rude, but he usually flies SouthWest!!

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Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky

66 months ago

You are missing the original point. This "Mommy" had nothing to put on her resume but her name, address, phone # and education! So, what do you do? Listing your last job (15 years ago) and recent volunteer work will at least fill up the page. HR Managers will look at it because that is all their is! Any other ideas?

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Comment-asaurus in Atlanta, Georgia

66 months ago

Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky said: You are missing the original point. This "Mommy" had nothing to put on her resume but her name, address, phone # and education! So, what do you do? Listing your last job (15 years ago) and recent volunteer work will at least fill up the page. HR Managers will look at it because that is all their is! Any other ideas?

Are you talking to me?

If you are, then the mom situation is unique. I was talking in generalities. If you are an average worker who has held jobs without a large gap in employment then the volunteer information, unless directly related to the job, is not necessary on the resume and would be better suited to additional information given during an interview. In the case of the mother who hadn't been working in a typical office type setting in many years then the volunteer information was very good to use.

So calm down! Everything is okay! I promise! :)

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Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky

66 months ago

Yes, I agree that in general, you don't put down volunteer work because it just clogs up the resume. All is calm ...

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Comment-asaurus in Atlanta, Georgia

66 months ago

Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky said: Yes, I agree that in general, you don't put down volunteer work because it just clogs up the resume. All is calm ...

Hee, good then. I'm glad we agree! The only time I've used anything related to the volunteer work that I have done was in a face-to-face interview. I brought in some printed examples of email blasts that I had helped design and impliment for a Leukemia group. They had requested printed examples, though.

There always exceptions to the rule, of course. :)

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Comment-asaurus in Atlanta, Georgia

66 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: For all of these reasons one should list volunteerism on resumes and job apps. At least offer the HR coneheads a chance to review it instead of potentially shorting yourself of valuable background that can win you more consideration.

Well, ultimately I think it depends upon what your experience was. "People skills" can be gotten anywhere these day, even if you do work in a cube (like I do). I could take my very dry programming job and find ways that I have to collaborate with people while at work and while it may be via email or by phone it still counts. If you are going in for an event planning job and your volunteer experience is only "reading stories at children's hour at the library" then I would say leave it off. Because those things don't really relate to each other.

I have an Aunt who is in HR with a fairly large company and she has told me time and time again that they do tend to skim these resumes in order to save time. Perhaps smaller companies are different, I don't know. I'm just basing this on my own experience to show that there is no real right or wrong answer to this.

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Comment-asaurus in Atlanta, Georgia

66 months ago

@ Displaced -

You seem to like to argue. No offense..but are you quite sure you want to leave the legal field? Seriously, it seems like something that would be suited to you. Maybe going further into it, becoming a lawyer, would be something you would like? When I was trying to figure out what to 'be when I grew up' (or, change professions) my husband asked me what I would want to do all day if we were rich enough not to work. I said that I would love to draw and design things and thus..I'm working toward a degree in graphic design. It's going to be slow going, given time and money, but in the end I'll be doing something that I love. :) You seem to revel in the debate, maybe you could find something that would utilize that in the work place? Just a thought.

Sorry, in my own humble opinion, there is no right answer. I have a lot of back stories I could share in regards to this but I am sure you would only pick them apart in your quest to knock people down. I appreciate your advice, but you are coming across as kind of rude. It's hard (for me at least) to really take your advice to heart because I just can't get past the little biting remarks.

Guys, at the end of the day it is up to you. Take a bit of advice from all of the comments that are here and decide what is best for you and the situation you are in. That's the best advice I could possibly offer.

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Comment-asaurus in Atlanta, Georgia

66 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: You completely miss the point. Use your common sense. Reading stories to kids at the library involves people skills. One has to relate to the kids. Also, again, community involvement. By volunteering at the library you are giving of your time to others. Also, again, you are exhibiting you are a well rounded person. QUOTE]

If you are going to pick apart my example then at least look at all of it! :) I had said that if you were going in for a job as an /event planner/ then the "reading books to kids" thing would be irrlevent on its own.

However, if you had planned an event to get kids interested in books and then read to them during the event and even after ward...then sure! Use it! Otherwise it will just be something on the bottom of your resume that HR people will see and go "Oh, how sweet. Okay, not enough work experience - next resume!".

Heck, I won an award in my field from a large and very well known group. I put it at the bottom of my resume when I applied for the job that I currently have. And you know what? Nary a manager here knew that I had even had experience in the marketing field! I was hired based on my computer skills and education. Again, this is just one example. :)

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Comment-asaurus in Atlanta, Georgia

66 months ago

@ Displaced: You are certainly on the defense. I realize that a being a paralegal is not a stepping stone toward being a lawyer. Don't assume I know nothing of the field, as you know nothing about me or my background. I really did offer you advice based on what I have seen of you and your discussions here. Like I said, you seem to revel in these discussions and that is in no way a bad thing. I just thought you might be happier working towards a career field that might coincide with your outside of work hobbies. You had mentioned interviewing for a job in writing instructional manuals, or something along those lines earlier in this thread and that somehow didn't seem quite right for you. Not that I know you, of course. No need to take offense. I really was trying to pass along advice - the same advice that has brought a lot of happiness into my own life - in the hopes that you'd...I dunno..cheer up a little? Heck, be a food critic. Write manuals. What ever works! :)

I'm sorry, but MY common sense says that there is no correct answer to the "listing volunteer information or not" question. Don't assume that just because YOU feel that it is right, that it is always right for everyone. I don't assume that I'm right, regardless of how I may have come off in this thread. Take it all in with a grain of salt, you know? Who ever comes to this thread looking for advice on this matter will see different opinions and will be able to judge for him and/or her self. That is all that matters.

You can carry on discussions without the vinegar you know. :) Your combative style is off putting to me, though I can't speak for all. Like I said, your opinions are valid, I accept them and I have even learned a little from them! If your goal is to make people see things your way then I don't imagine you ever will if continue to subtly insult them while your bring your own points to the table. I do apologize if I did any of that myself. If I feel cornered then I do attack back a litt

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Comment-asaurus in Orlando, Florida

66 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Moi?

Here again, please try to understand and realize the difference between defense v. advocacy of opinions and honest - and I mean, honest - discussion. This has been honest discussion - to which you have apparently taken offense.

By virtue of your rebuttals, clearly you're an argumentative sort.

I never said writing instructional manuals "didn't seem right" for me. Moreover, I had prior experience writing aviation training materials and teaching aviation students in airplanes, on ground trainers, in small groups and in the classroom.

I did write the airline wasn't willing to show me its software, though I was willing to learn it and would have loved to learn it. Please quote me accurately if you are going to quote me at all. ;->

I do know. Once more, zealous advocacy pursuant to honest discussion.

Thanks for posting.

I know you never said that writing manuals didn't seem right. I said that about you. That was my opinion, given what I have seen of your comments/opinions on this board.

Please, do read my posts more carefully. I think you are looking for trouble in some of these. Online forum discussions do tend to get acerbic, but that wasn't my intention here. If you are TRULY looking for "honest discussion" then make well sure that you are certain of what the original poster was even saying. Follow your own advice, eh?

And here, YOU said of ME "I think you have trouble accepting logical reasoning and common sense, and disagreement with your ideas. "

That is rude. Sorry. Maybe it isn't rude where you come from, but where I come from it isn't polite to insinuate that someone hasn't any common sense. Go back and read what you've said to myself and other posters - it appears that if one isn't in total agreement with you then they are slow, lacking in common sense, or something of that ilk. You wouldn't like it if someone did that to you, now would you?

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Comment-asaurus in Orlando, Florida

66 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I really wouldn't care. Take a look at the Terms of Service and Forum Rules statement, below. The statement says one is reponsible for one's own comments. That means one must accept responsibility for the possibility one's comments may be disagreed with and/or rebutted. I accept that responsibility and welcome all responses and/or rebuttals.

I stand by my comments. Accept them or reject them at your will.

I like your advice and I like your quick wit. I just think its a shame that you feel the need to subtly belittle those that you are trying to interact with, is all. Oh well. Sounds like you're set in your ways. Good luck with that, and happy hunting! I hope you find a career that suites you.

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Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky

66 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Your last sentence could be construed as belittlement of me. Whatever. But please read my posts carefully. You'll see I've taken issue with your comments and other posters' comments. I can do that as part of discussion, as you can and have with my comments. Discussion make these fora valuable and interesting. But I have not belittled you or other posters personally.

In other words, e.g., I haven't said that you, Comment-asaurus, lack common sense. I have opined that you should consider applying common sense to some of your ideas. You may see some things from a different perspective. As an aspiring graphics designer and artistic person, you of all people should have and appreciate perspective.

In that regard, I hope you realize your artistic abilities are a gift. Treasure them. Use them well. I'm sure you will. I mean it sincerely and without any belittling or rancor you may perceive.

@ Displace and Comment-asaurus; Again, this entire "volunteer" discussion came from the mom who asked if it was ok. to list it on her resume. As another "mom," who returned to work after 9 years, I said it would be perfectly fine, in my opinion, because I actually landed my job in Marketing at a large Philadelphia corporation by having extensive volunteerism and a few PT jobs. They hired me "because of your volunteer skills over the past 5 years we think you can easily do this job. If you can put up with all those PTA moms and keep the teaching staff happy, then you can handle our sales force!!" That is exactly what the VP of Sales & Marketing told me. She was impressed I tried volunteered my precious time outside the home while raising my family with a traveling husband who was home weekends. To her, it showed spunk. So, let's not get too far off the subject. You both have excellent skills and talents to offer. We are all unique and we should remember to respect that. Can we discuss a new topic??

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Sue in Vancouver, Washington

66 months ago

Per the last post---IMO, any "experience", even volunteering, should be of some interest to a prospective employer. My feeling was, as I read these threads, would you really want to work for someone who did not value or have interest in such things....it's a part of who you are and what you have to offer. Especially since many jobs INCLUDE volunteering for duties outside of the job description, and may have an impact on your future with the company.

Even if TPTB cannot think outside of the box, in presenting a resume, WE all have to think outside of the box, and make our experience fit into what we think would give that little "step-up" in our resume or face-to-face to make us someone TBTB would take extra interest in.

I like the line from "Funny Girl", when Fannie Bryce was attempting to roller skate on stage in a musical number. The stage manager said, after her awful performance, "I thought you said you knew how to roller skate!" She replied: "I didn't know I couldn't!"

You can't get inside TPTB's heads, (thank God!)--you just have to be yourself and hope that something will click with the right employer--like one who has a soul.

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Nancy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

66 months ago

Cheryl A. Price in Tell City, Indiana said: Many, many times. Here in Evansville the entire clerical field is so competitive I've been looking for a full-time job for over a year and working temp jobs just to pay the bills. Now even the temp jobs are running out. I'm listed with 5 temporary agencies. None of them have any work for me and at the end of the month I'll be losing my apartment with nowhere to go. I'm darn good at what I do, I love the work for its variety, and I don't even mind picking up the dry-cleaning and walking the dog. I even make great coffee. I've been on a few interviews, never make it to the second one and I'm so frustrated with not being hired. All I need is for someone in the area to give me a chance!
(I left my last position not because of the job or job performance; but because my husband had an affair with my boss. Try using that in an interview!)

Cheryl
I see this posting was sent in many months ago and I'm hoping you've found a job, or if not, that you're finding something good in your newfound freedom. I believe that forever how long this economy takes, right now there's lots of top notch talent collecting unemployment these days. The only thing I'd like to caution you on is how much it sounds like you do tend to give. I would never want or think that a nice person ever stops being nice, but I hope that you are able to find your boundaries and then deliver a well thought out message that conveys this. All in all, I'm happy you're away from your former jerk of a husband and former loser of boss. Keep your dignity, stay nice, but please, worry less about doing so much for others, particularly in managing handling their personal responsibilities. It's their dog, their clothes, and they need to be a team player and make coffee too. Think of in a way as your helping them by not providing them with enough time to sleep with whom ever.

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Sue in Vancouver, Washington

66 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Absolutely. Well stated. Thanks for posting. But what is TPTB?

The Powers That Be ;-)

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Nancy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

66 months ago

KRISTINA HOPE in La Grange, Illinois said: I suggest if you think your "little ugly tumor bumps" are holding you back, I would invest in a good dermatologist.

I'm reading down these comments and I come across your comment to someone who made a comment about themself. I suggest you change your last name to Hopeless. It would fit better. Ever think of talking to a shrink about your lack of personality?

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justvisitingMN in Minneapolis, Minnesota

63 months ago

Admin Assist in Newark, New Jersey said: I am 56 years old, and considering relocating to another state. I have been employed at my current job for 25 years, and kind of nervous about relocating and finding a new job. I've been told by several people that I shouldn't have any problems finding another job, however that's easier said than done, after reading others comments and responses. The reason I'm contemplating the move is that housing and taxes are so high in this area, whether you're buying or renting.

Stay where you are! Everything is expensive everywhere and at your age (I am the same age) it is very tough. The kids out of college have more energy and that is what they see.

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Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky

63 months ago

I moved south from NJ! Completely understand wanting to move to a lower cost area. We came down here 8 yrs. ago and I'll never go back. I read an article a long time ago that simply stated, why spend hard-earned money in a "high rent" area when you can get more for your money elsewhere and SAVE that money for retirement! Regarding the job market: I am 58 and it is TOUGH out there as an unemployed AA. However, I am not in a big city and I would seriously recommend you look online at Nashville, TN. The fastest growing southern city next to Atlanta. Lots of new assisted living & retirement homes going in--they are the ones who will hire our age group!! In fact, there are several jobs I could have now (1 hr. commute stops me). We are thinking about moving nearer the city. There are many hospitals and universities as well to look into. I'd do job and cost of living searches and then plan a "field trip" to the city of your choice. Sadly, we are now cosidered OLD although we can hit the floor running. We are not afraid to make a decision if necessary but the younger ones do have the edge - especially with education. Just try to update your resume to appear younger and be sure the grey hair is under control. Pick a milder climate to enjoy more of life. Good luck!

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chicsrock@hotmail.com in El Paso, Texas

62 months ago

Hi I have a case study exam tomorrow for a Administrative Assistant position. Has anyone taken this type of exam or does this sound like a senerios exam in the work place?

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Hasana in Philipsburg, Netherlands Antilles

59 months ago

Good morning. Cheerfulness, it would appear, is a matter which depends fully as much on the state of things within, as on the state of things without and around us.
I am from Emirates and also am speaking English, tell me right I wrote the following sentence: "Most companies agree that two workshops believe to make in the subprime."

Thank you very much :-). Hasana.

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usahihi

58 months ago

Hasana, I am sorry but the last part of the sentence that reads "believe to make in the subprime" is wrong and does not seem to relate to the first part of the sentence. It does not make any sense when you read it.

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Noevirgal in Everett, Washington

58 months ago

What a fabulous question to be asked? What are your goals for the next five years?

Many highly successful people did not reach the epitome of their careers until their latter years. Read the bio of Grandma Moses. She was in her 70s and 80s when she became world famous. Read about Moses! He was 80 when he led a group of 600,000+ across a desert on a trip that lasted forty years!

The problem with age is --when you are young, you think you are too young to be taken serious and when you are a bit older, you think you are too old. This is just a lie to get us to accept mediocrity--that nasty average syndrome!

Where would you want to be in five years? Have you found your passion? Ask yourself, "If I had 30 days unlimited income, and no obligations what great contribution would I make to my community, my nation, the world?

Don't just settle for any old job! Stretch yourself to be your personal best. This weekend marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year--so imagine it is a new year (which it is) and you could be 10 times more courageous this year. What would you do? Where would it take you? Just think of courage as risk taking--how could you take 10x the risks--and lead a way more exciting life?

If you are just being an admin because that is what you have done for 10 years, maybe it is time to hire a job and career transition coach and take some assessments to help you discover the passion/giftedness that you have been hiding!

You are one of a kind--a gifted individual with talents that only you can develop to transform your world. Discover them, nurture them, and use them.

BTW, I am older than you--and I have just begun to use my giftedness in ways I could never have imagined even five years ago!

Blessings on you!!!

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Jas in Houston, Texas

39 months ago

Wow, this is very helpful. I am also 61 with a wealth of experience as an Executive Assistant. I have always been contacted as I am told that my resume is very impressive so I have been on several interviews. Some I have had second rounds, others I have done over the phone, then off to face-t-face, followed up with as second face-to-face, but never got an offer. I started to believe that it had to do with my age as well.

Has anyone ever filled an online application and had to fill out "when did you graduate from high school?" You know that it's illegal to ask an applicant's age, so this is their way of getting around directly asking that question, but finding out how old candidates are. If you answer that question and it is programmed so that in order to submit the application that question MUST be answered they can then calculate your age. That I think, is also illegal and a staffing agency recently told me that we should probably report it.

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zelda lopez in Toronto, Ontario

39 months ago

Hi, it is really very hard to find a job at our age. Even if you don't answer that question of graduating in high school and if you are lucky to be called for first and second interview but then how are you gonna hide your sagging skin:( When you go home they will call you back and tell you that they have elected to hire the second in line to you (because she is a lot younger-if you care to ask them what happened)

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Madeleine in Darien, Illinois

32 months ago

KRISTINA HOPE in La Grange, Illinois said: I am the owner of a staffing firm and I do not have people come in if there is not a job available. Unfortunately, when I am telling candidates that I don't have anything right now it is because they probably were not dressed professionally, or did not have the personality the company desired. Good candidates are always placed. I would take a better look at yourself and make some changes. Also, do not have a resume that is more than one page and goes back more than 10 years.

Kristina are you still in business? I worker with you and you had placed me in the past.

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Mary Smith in Baltimore, Maryland

27 months ago

Hey Ms. why don't you try being honest with people!!!!!

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Anne O NyMous in Somewhere in, California

8 months ago

Bridgette in Lewisville, Texas said: I had a great interview and was asked that question, where do you want to be 5 years from now. It was asked by a younger woman, probably in her late 20's, I am 60. I've been an EA to CEO 's for years, and had asked my assistants and people I hired the same question. But now at my age, it sounded so ridiculous. My quick retort I kept to myself, although I almost burst out laughing. Mentally, I thought, LIVING.

When I was younger, the answer was, "working and thriving with your company."

Thanks for the answer. I never know what to say, I ended up an EA because I didn't like advertising. I'm not 50 yet either but I see a lot of companies wanting 20somethings as well. I ended up having to take a gopher job and believe-you-me I resent it a lot more than I did 15-20 years ago. I didn't go to college to become a maid and I think maids make more.

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