Dear Coach: At a recent job interview I asked members of the committee interviewing me if they had copies of my résumé. They said they had...

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Dear Coach:

At a recent job interview I asked members of the committee interviewing me if they had copies of my résumé. They said they had reviewed it. Good!

But the first question they asked was this: “What qualifies you for this job?” Bad! While my mouth tried to form the words to say they knew because they had read my résumé, my brain was trying to figure out why they would ask this. I didn’t get the job but still would like to know why.


Carol Kleiman:

Talking in person to a job applicant is much more meaningful than just reading a résumé: It was an opportunity to sell yourself, and I’m sorry you missed it.


Dear Coach:

I hate some of the questions asked on a job application, and now there’s a new one: My son was asked if he had a family member on welfare, or if he gets aid for dependent children.

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Don’t you think these questions are too much?


CK:

Yes.


Dear Coach:

I’ve been in the same unionized position for more than 10 years and haven’t been able to break out of the box. Now all I seem to be interested in is my family. Is this normal?


CK:

You need to talk to a career counselor. You’ve probably always been dissatisfied with what you do, though you are lucky to have union protection.

We live long lives, and it’s hard to spend all that time doing something unrewarding.

Dear Coach:
What is the proper way to send a thank-you note after a job interview?

I prefer the old-school method of writing a letter and mailing it.

However, my friends believe in e-mail, because it shows you are up on current technology. I say e-mail is a lazy way out.


CK:

I agree with you. A personal letter is an advantage because it takes longer to write, you have to address an envelope, put on a stamp and mail it. That shows that you really care.

And it really stands out in an e-mail world.

E-mail questions to Carol Kleiman at ckleiman@tribune.com. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.