Job Seeker

The résumé, the interview, the competition…. let’s face it, sometimes looking for a job stinks.  Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place when it comes to sound advice. When job offers are  scarce, yet household bills are not, you need a resource that will tell it like it is, and get you back in the working world…. right away.

Here, you will find a variety of questions and answers that address common (and not so common) situations from people like you – people who are looking for work and need advice on how to get hired.  From interview tips to morale boosters, you will find a wealth of information.

If you have a specific question that has not already been posted, please feel free to submit your comments directly on our site.  The more interaction, the more Anita can “clue” you in!

1,240 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sabrina
    Jul 22, 2015 @ 10:05:25

    Hi, I am a almost 25 year old mother of 3 children. I am recently separated from my husband due to abuse problems. We were together 3 years and in that time I had four jobs that lasted no longer than two months. He would make me quit. I am trying so hard to get my life financially stable for my children. My children go to day care with the help of government services. How am I suppose to find an employer who will work with my schedule of the day care when most of them ask you to have a flexible schedule. I have had 4 interviews in the past week. All with No Luck. I want to be able to provide for my children. I am also planning on attending a online college to further my education. So that my children can have the stability and life they need. There dad offers no help so I have to stick with the day care schedule for a job. Any advice?

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      Jul 22, 2015 @ 12:42:25

      Sabrina, I’m glad you had the courage to get you and your kids out of an abusive situation. If you can attend college online to increase your employability, that would be a great idea. But concentrate on getting a stable job first. The fact that you had four interviews is something to celebrate! I get complaints all the time from folks who can’t even get to the interview stage. Keep applying to jobs as you have been, noting your available hours. You’ll eventually find a good fit for both you and your employer. If you haven’t already, you may want to apply to a temporary staffing firm like ours http://jobs.selectfamily.com/. Outstanding temporaries are sometimes offered full-time jobs with the client employers, so it could turn into something more stable.

      Reply

  2. Lisa Pullo-Groves
    Jul 21, 2015 @ 09:36:54

    Hi! I recently relocated to a new city. I’ve been applying for positions non stop for 2 months and have had 3 face to face interviews. When I’ve been given a phone interview I pass with flying colors and onto the next stage. When having the face to face interviews I leave each one, feeling confident that I would have an offer. I’ve now received letters stating they found a better fit for the position. I’ve worked in Call Centers for the past 8 years in a customer service roll, so experience was not an issue, could it be my age? I know they can’t tell me that it’s age, but I can’t think of any other reason. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong, if anything. Is it in bad taste to ask why I was passed over? I’m of the opinion if I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, I can’t fix it.
    Thanks for any help you can offer.

    Reply

  3. Gayle Mullins
    Jul 16, 2015 @ 09:29:04

    Anita, is it ok to put a professional photo with your resume?

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      Jul 16, 2015 @ 09:57:44

      Gayle, You may wish to add a small thumbnail photo to your résumé header. I don’t recommend adding a photo as an attachment (that may come off as a little egotistical). As an alternative, in your cover letter signature, provide a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile or your personal web page to allow potential employers to put a face to the name.

      Reply

    • Gary
      Jul 16, 2015 @ 10:54:45

      It’s not something I’d suggest…there is still discrimination out there, but you have to prove it happened.

      Reply

  4. Awudazzity Johnson
    Jul 07, 2015 @ 11:20:16

    DO I HAVE TO HAVE EXPERIENCE OR ARE THEY WILLING TO TRAIN?

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      Jul 08, 2015 @ 08:15:25

      Awudazzity, It depends on the job. Some employers are willing to train for tasks that are specific to their industry or business.

      Reply

  5. Phyl Hill
    Jun 23, 2015 @ 16:35:47

    Hello Anita,

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I still haven’t heard anything yet, about the position for which I had the face to face interview for. I called HR and left a message and no response. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing. In the mean time I have continued to apply for other positions and I have gotten a job offer. It was not the first choice but, I did apply for the position. Therefore, I will take it. It pays so that is a plus.

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      Jun 25, 2015 @ 15:38:06

      Yay, Phil! I think taking the bird in the hand is better than waiting for that other one to come out of the bush.

      Reply

  6. felicia
    Jun 23, 2015 @ 13:23:18

    Does selecttaffing charge a fee for finding me a job or for there drug screen or background check

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      Jun 23, 2015 @ 15:45:15

      Felicia, Select Staffing does not charge a fee to the job seeker; the hiring client company pays all charges.

      Reply

  7. Iesha Phay
    Jun 23, 2015 @ 13:09:32

    Hi Anita,
    I am 24 years old and have never worked at a regular job. I have earned one paycheck for $34.08 at a temporary agency. Since April 2015 I have turned in hundreds of applications and only had about three calls returned. I try to look on craigslist for jobs available but everyone wants high school diploma/GED, which I am in the process of earning. But for the meantime I am SOL on getting a full/part-time job. I am happy to have the temp agency to work at but the work they give me is so hard. Do you have any advice?

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      Jun 23, 2015 @ 15:58:30

      Iesha, Devote as much time and study to your GED as you can. You don’t want to rush through only to end up with a failing score. But as you have discovered, there are many more opportunities for you once you have that General Equivalency Diploma. In the meantime, check in with your staffing agency weekly; the next assignment may be a better fit for your skill set.

      Reply

  8. Robyn
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 16:30:57

    Dear Anita,
    I was fired from my job a year and a half ago but I haven’t managed to find a new job yet.

    Several times I haven’t gotten past the application stage; I was even recently turned down from my local supermarket!

    I’m sure that it’s something that I write, but I don’t know how to put a positive spin on it. I was terminated due to performance and even though I improved by the end, it wasn’t good enough.

    How can I convey to employers through my application that I’m a worthy candidate for the job?

    Thank you.

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      Jun 19, 2015 @ 16:36:46

      Without seeing these applications, it’s hard to tell what is off-putting on your applications. Your most recent termination could be the issue if you are asked point-blank if you have ever been fired from a job. Don’t lie, but here are some tips on putting a positive spin on your situation: http://anitaclew.com/2014/08/05/explaining-away-youre-fired/. You may be able to shine on a résumé more so than through a fill-in-the-blank job application. Check out my free e-book, Anita Clew’s Guide to Better Résumés: http://anitaclew.com/e-books/. There’s a chapter on starting a résumé from scratch if you’ve never created one before. Whenever there is an option to attach a résumé in addition to the application, do it!

      Reply

  9. Brandy H.
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 13:20:41

    I’ve just recently graduated as an LPN in April 2015, but I have not had any luck thus far landing a nursing job. I chose not to work while in school, so I have not held down a job since 2012. I have been applying to Administration jobs along with Nursing jobs too. I am wondering if employers in the Administrative field would overlook my application because I have recently graduated in one field, but applying for another. I have a few years in administrative/clerical experience and I genuinely like the work, but I feel that my most recent education milestone may set me back. If I take it off it looks like I haven’t been doing anything since May 2012. Do you think that may be true? Should I take it off my resume if I’m applying for office work?

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      Jun 11, 2015 @ 15:02:01

      Brandy, Leaving your medical training off your résumé would leave a large inexplicable gap. But an employer may fear that that you’ll leave the admin job as soon as you find work in the nursing field. And they don’t want to go through the grueling hiring process all over again in 3-6 months! My advice would be to look for office and administrative jobs in the medical field. While you are at it, apply with RemX Medical Staffing for temporary or direct hire positions: http://remx.com/RemX/main.cfm?nlvl1=7&nlvl2=116

      Reply

  10. Lillian Rodriguez
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 11:10:54

    I’ve been applying for a job on line. Most of these application ask “in what year did you graduate from High School” – and there you go- they will know your age. When I was young I would apply for a job and I was hired. Now it’s like if I didn’t have any skills. Please tell me if you agree that there is age discrimination. My age is 56.

    Reply

  11. Cheryl Cayce
    May 26, 2015 @ 10:32:22

    Been in a sorority for 15 years. I am disabled Looking for healthcare positions that I cannot stand for very long. Can you help me? I have a medical assisting Degree that I need to be licensed, though.

    Reply

  12. Mohammed Waseem
    May 22, 2015 @ 08:20:40

    I am General Accountant/Assistant with around 3 to 4 years of experience in India. Soon I will going to Immigrate in US. Do i need to go for further studies besides i hold Master in Commerce from Indian University which is a specialized Accounting degree.And I do have computer application diploma and certification from recognized boards.

    Thanks

    MD. Waseem

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      May 22, 2015 @ 15:39:28

      Mohammed, I’m not an expert in specialized recruiting for the accounting profession. I’m sure that if you were to want to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you’d have to study the U.S. regulations and pass an exam. You may wish to look for bookkeeping jobs and general accounting positions where you could learn the differences in practices between the two countries.

      Reply

  13. Blue Collar Man
    May 21, 2015 @ 15:08:06

    Hello, I am 56 years old (single) and have been taking care of my mother who is 94 for the past six years. She has many doctors appointments through out the year, some are only days apart.
    I haven’t been legally employed in this time, but I do keep my skills up to par by doing “side jobs” now and then. By trade I’m a Industrial Spray Painter. Working over the years for military contractors, sub-contractors and factory manufacturing of different products.
    Recently I’ve tried to reenter my field. Trying to find a second or third shift position. This way I will still be able to help my mother out and work in the evening or overnight. Unfortunately, do to my time off I can’t get past the HR dept. I believe that I’m being dismissed immediately do to the last six years. Personally, if I could talk with the foreman or plant manager and take the required ‘spray and written test’ that are generally given to be considered for hire I know I could win them over with my talent and knowledge of the field.
    But once again you have to deal with someone in HR that knows very little to nothing about ones talent. They only look at the date of your last employer and write you off.
    I’m always open to suggestions on improving myself…
    Thank you!
    Blue Collar Man

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      May 21, 2015 @ 16:01:14

      Blue Collar Man, You may do better with your “good ol’ boys” network than with HR managers. Contact former employers, coworkers, even the clerks at the paint store to see if they’ve heard of any job openings for you, or know the plant manager or foreman at the companies for which you’d like to work. Have you tried LinkedIn to see if you can connect to the right people? Here’s a primer: http://anitaclew.com/2013/04/16/lessons-on-linkedin/

      Reply

      • Blue Collar Man
        May 23, 2015 @ 14:28:49

        Thanks for the reply Anita. Looks like you confirmed my thinking. Someone is going to have to secure the job for me and bypass the decision making in HR. Isn’t it a shame that someone in HR would base a decision on a date and not on past experience and skills? You speak of the “good ol’ boys” I remember the “good ol’ days” when you talked directly with the foreman of the dept. first. He would test you for that particular job and would know if you had the skills/talent to do the job.
        I may get lucky and find a company that is “desperate” and can’t find anyone to fill a position (unfortunately, those places are generally “low pay” outfits. That’s why that can’t get anyone to work for them.) Then again, something’s better than nothing when your trying to get your foot back in the door.
        I will heed your advice and see if anyone can help me out. Thanks again Anita.
        Oh crystal ball, take us back to 1999 when there were more job openings than job seekers…

        Reply

  14. Michael Varlack
    May 21, 2015 @ 13:15:52

    Hello Anita,
    I was wondering is it possible for me to get a career job making 30k+ a yr with just a high school diploma? I have a yr of experience in retail and looking for something better.

    Reply

  15. Vikram
    May 21, 2015 @ 02:36:20

    I am a Chemical Engineer with 30 years experience in various fields in India. I shifted on immigration to US. Will my experience be counted?

    Thanks,

    Vikram

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      May 21, 2015 @ 08:19:58

      Vikram, of course your experience counts! There may be different protocols and regulations in the United States, so you may have to accept a position below what you’re used to and learn the American ways on the job. For you references, be sure to provide email addresses as well as phone numbers in India to make it easier for hiring managers to learn about your past successes.

      Reply

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Disclaimer

Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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