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Resume Help/Need advice for a 67 year old woman


My mom has been looking for an Admin/Receptionist job for almost six months now and she is having a hard time landing a job offer. She has plenty of experience and a very outgoing personality so I am not sure what is taking so long.  She seems to think it is age discrimination; any advice is appreciated.

Hi David,

Any number of things may be at work here; it is difficult to know exactly what the situation is, but allow me to give you my rule of thumb for people who are experiencing the circumstances your mother is facing.

If a job seeker is having difficulty getting interviews, the problem is usually in the resume or other application documents.  If the that same applicant is getting interviews but not job offers, the problem is normally in handling the interview properly.

Simply having "experience" or an "outgoing personality" may or may not be sufficient for any particular job.  There are many things that govern jobs and job offers in the market today; many of these things were not nearly as dominant six or eight years ago, so the manner of job applications and offers is quite different than it has been in the past.

Here is what I suggest to you and your mother.  Send me an email to the address below and attach the resume and cover letter your mother used in the last job for which she applied.  I will take a look at the documents and be happy to give you (or directly to your mother) a critique.  At the very least, I will be able to tell if the issue is in the picture your mother is presenting to prospective employers or if the issue lies elsewhere.

Looking forward to helping.

Best wishes,

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.


I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

Music Educator's Journal, Teaching Music, Music and American Culture (forthcoming, 2013), Last Teacher Standing: The Job is Yours Now! and 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them!

B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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