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Coffee with Clare

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Hi Friends – I am glad you are here for Coffee With Clare – every Thursday!  I sure hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Dear Clare:

I am an overweight, middle-aged woman (well into my 50’s), and I recently lost my job due to no fault of my own – I was downsized.  Now I find myself “hitting the pavement”, but I can tell you, Clare, it seems as though no one is interested in hiring me, and I can tell in large part it is due to my age.  (I know they can’t “legally” discriminate against me due to age, but I can tell they do.)  I have lots of experience, but I am not getting much response for my job applications and resumes I have sent out. I have had one or two interviews, but if I find the man or woman who is interviewing me is under 40 years old, I can tell you – they aren’t interested!  What can I do?  I must work, and I am diligently looking for work.

Signed – Julie    

 

Karen2

 

Dear Julie:

This hits close to home!  I have found myself in your shoes more than once.  Let’s start with your resume.  Make sure another qualified person has looked over your resume.  Consider his/her suggestions on how to improve your resume and make any necessary changes.

Dress nicely for interviews and be well-manicured with appropriate hairstyle and makeup.  On interviews, be sure to make eye contact, smile but don’t smile too much, and give a warm handshake.  Although you need a job, make sure “desperate” is not the message you are sending.   

Vertical portrait of smiling professional woman

 

Now, if you are not getting enough interviews, I have gotten jobs (and job offers) by networking.  I would suggest you put together a simple cover letter with your resume and send that out to your circle of family, friends, former co-workers, and other people you may know.  Ask them to let you know of any potential job leads and job contacts they may have.  In this day and age, be sure you are networking and keeping up with the people you know already because this is the best way to look for job leads. I have seen it posted in various places that as many as 80% of jobs are never advertised. Don’t give up!  Keep at it, be consistent, and BE persistent – it will pay off! 

Readers:  I would love to hear your suggestions for Julie!

 

Karen1

 

Friends, I want to hear from you!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at: lifeainteasystreet@gmail.com

~Clare 

 

Author
Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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23 Comments

  • Shakeira says:

    Hi Claire and Julie,
    As an Operations Manager who is usually responsible for hiring employees my advice is to be memorable. A lot of times there might be 100 people applying for the same job. And unfortunately all of the resumes start looking alike and all of the interviews start blending together. Sometimes a joke, picture on the resume, or interview answers outside of the typical box is what sets one candidate apart from the rest.

    • Clare says:

      Gosh – such wonderful advice – to stand out and be memorable! So practical and true! I certainly appreciate your helping Julie and this is great advice!

  • Julie, you didn’t mention what type of job you are looking for but you might try LinkedIn; it’s a way to network as Clare suggested, and a recruiter might see your profile and contact you. If you have ever considered starting your own business this might be the time to do it. Do you have any skills you can offer directly to people- organization, writing, home care, decorating? I’m sure you have much to offer and someone needs it. Good luck

    • Clare says:

      I keep hearing so many wonderful things about LinkedIn so we appreciate that reminder! Yes, networking I know is big! Appreciate your suggesting too that Julie start her own business because that is a way lots of people are going these days – and being successful too! Thanks so much!

  • Sheila says:

    This is great advice! Julie, I would also consider this an opportunity to do something different. There is a website called http://www.flexjobs.com with opportunities to work from home and it is legit! I became an admin assistant for a person who lives on the other side of the country. There are many different job opportunities. What I love is being able to have the flexibility in my job. I hope this helps!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, I have read and heard about “Flex Jobs” too from more than one person and I appreciate your input on this! Great thoughts and advice and we truly appreciate it!

  • Lakisha says:

    I don’t have much work experience but I will say stand out from the bunch and make your interviews count. Good luck!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, Lakisha – to stand out and try to make good eye contact, shake hands firmly (without breaking the person’s hand 🙂 ), have a real smile when appropriate, proper dress attire I think is all part of it – thanks for sharing!

  • Persistence is definitely important! And timing, it’s everything. Networking seems the way to go nowadays. Using social media is also important – LinkedIn, Facebook (clean it up!), etc. Good luck!

    • Clare says:

      You know, looking back over the years such truth in “timing is everything”. Yes social media, LinkedIn, is all so helpful and networking is so important these days! Thanks for these great tips, Jennifer!

  • Alonda says:

    Always dress better than the job you are interviewing for! Always do your research! I lead the interview committee at my past job before becoming a stay at home mom and I was always impressed with people who had specific questions about our company, the programs we ran, opportunities available, training and growth. It shows interest and commitment on your part, that you have researched and know what the company is about and believe you are the best fit.

    Be memorable. Wear a smile. Come with letters of recommendation, past experience, and resume in hand (it’s best if it’s all put together in a nice binder or durable folder). Show up EARLY and happy. Greet people as they see you. Be a joyful presence.

    And remember God always provides what His people need! Don’t forget to invite God into your job search. Ask him to open doors of opportunity and bless you with His favor!

    I wish you all the best!

    • Clare says:

      Alonda, wow, such wonderful “hands on” advice – and with your background I this is great! Yes, I agree to do “homework” before appearing to the interview is so important and it truly shows an interest in the company! And God does provide! Thanks for such specific and realistic advice!

  • First Julie, I’m sorry that happened and I hope you find something soon. If you are getting interviews but things go downhill afterwards I think my biggest tips are practice interviewing. I would always google common interview questions and answer them like it was a test so I can have an answer ready, not memorized but a general idea without having to “umm” and “welllll.”
    Also researching the company is imperative. Companies like knowing that you aren’t just looking for a job but you are looking to get a job at their company.

    • Clare says:

      Such a good idea – to “google” common interview questions – I love that! And that would be so helpful! And to research the company first so she can be prepared! We are getting such wonderful advice – and I so so appreciate it, Dia!

  • Shann Eva says:

    Great advice! I worked in a recruiting office, and how you present yourself is just as important as what is on your resume. Be on time, be polite, dress up, and smile. Confidence is so important.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, presentation is key, confidence is so important! I love those words of wisdom you share “be on time, be polite, dress up and smile”! Practical and true!

  • andi says:

    everything that everybody has said is SO true – just keep on pushin!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, we are getting such practical and knowledgeable advice! And we so appreciate it! Thanks, Andi! Julie, don’t give up!

  • My dad always had the best career/interview advice: “Remember it’s a conversation between you and another person. Just smile and be yourself,” he said.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, yes, I think being warm and honest and making eye contact with the interviewer is just key. He had great advice, I think!

  • Great post! Keep going… however difficult it may be…a door will open, sooner or later.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, persistence and consistency is key….. working at it daily! And doing all the background research and the above suggestions from all these gals above is key! Thanks so much!

  • Becki S says:

    Great advice Clare, and best of luck Julie. Hopefully things will turn positive for you as the holidays approach.

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