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Virtual Job Club Day 5: The Fun Part

First, a note about next week: Mark your calendar for Monday’s assignment, which will be delivered in the form of a 20 minute coaching call led by Gretchen Gunn who runs a recruiting firm.

She’ll tackle how to tell your story—from one sentence to the full interview. Gretchen will give you instruction, advice and an assignment.

Dial-in at 2PM ET on Monday, August 29.

Call-in Number: (712) 432-0075
Access Code: 187482

Next week’s work will focus on your story, your resume and your journey.

Now for today…

You did a lot of heavy thinking all week—and now we’re starting to see a way out of the darkness. When you release the fear, you open yourself to awesome possibilities. I for one thrive on possibility.

Imagine for a moment that you could tell recruiters and hiring managers exactly what it’s like to be out of work and looking for a new job. This is the final step of what I want you to get out of your system.

Today’s assignment: Give employers a piece of your mind—let it all hang out. Be specific about what you wish they’d do differently and how you might handle things if you were in their shoes.

I know you have so much bottled up, and until you release it from your body, you’re allowing yourself to be held hostage to the pain and frustration of the process. That’s not good for anyone.

Remember to use your initials to remain anonymous. (Depending on what you have to say, use our comment system instead of Facebook to post.)

Let ‘er rip—and have a GREAT weekend!

P.S. This assignment isn’t meant as an assault on recruiters. Far from it. They’re busy–often overworked…too much to do, too little time to get it all done. This is about allowing you to release the frustrations and tensions from your mind and body so you’re able to move on clearly.



  1. Maureen Reintjes

    Some things I’m seeing as the founder of a large online job club:

    -Don’t break what isn’t broken.
    -Don’t freeze salaries for years and yet turn around and create and hire someone into a position who thinks they are fixing something that was never broke.
    -Be careful of farming out to 3rd parties and volunteers to replace dedicated and competent staff. When the economy improves those people will disappear and employers will be back to square one as their competent staff will be long gone.

  2. Barbara

    Employers have a huge responsibility. First and foremost, they need to really understand what it’s like for an applicant to wait for a reply. Many posts on job boards do not provide a contact name or number, so you’re in limbo wondering how to follow up.

    The appliction process for some companies is overkill. I had to complete an application that took over one hour. They did say it was lengthy, but an hour? Even wanted to know how many students were in my high school graduating class. Really? What impact does that have on my qualifications?

    I had an interview scheduled last week and the interviewer was a no show and promised to call me later that day to reschedule. Never received that call.

    Some response from the company, even to let you know they received your resume, would be nice. In most cases, I feel like my resume goes into outerspace.

    Some employers post vague job descriptions – more is better! How do we know we’re qualified if they don’t post all the job responsibilities!

    Lastly, the salaries are more than disappointing. Almost all the ads I’ve answered are paying about half of my previous income. Some employers want expertise in just about every aspect of the job, but only want to pay $10/hour. Who can live on $10/hour??

    Improvement is definitely needed on the part of the employer.

  3. Susan

    It is so frustrating to not hear anything after taking the time and energy to apply for a position.

    It is not helpful to hear (when they do respond) that over 250 people applied for the position.

    It is idiotic to participate in email interviews! Just how lazy are the HR folks today.

    It is impossible to try to mask that you are over 50 in the application processes. One way or another they ask questions that indirectly indicate age.

    Bad news is bad news, but it is so wrong to not notify people when a position is filled.

    HR people need to realize how difficult it is for people who are unemployed and all the emotional turmoil it puts people and families through. Most of them act like they don’t have a clue.

    (thanks for giving us an opportunity to vent the many frustrations this week)

  4. RK

    This is to the employers as opposed to recruiters, etc. To employers, if I could, I would say that I am so tired of you relying on gossip instead of reality…so tired of you taking the word of those whose motivation is to keep themselves comfortable instead of working for reform that could actually help people…so tired of the BS instead of you looking at real skills and evidence of high performance…so tired of the status quo-and so sick of it, too. You disgust me and I deserve so much more! I have worked hard for what I know and can do. I have sacrificed much. I have devoted myself; committed myself. And yet you sit in judgment of something you know nothing about. And you stand in the way of progress. Perhaps it’s time for you to go!

  5. JF

    I want feedback and I want you to return my calls! Seriously, I understand that you may not think I am your employee but please tell me why – I will do my best not to cry!
    And if you are HR in the government, please, I do know you are inundated but if I specifically reach out to you, go ahead and tell me what it was other than there are more vets applying and dammit I am a vet!

  6. sm

    1. Recruiters, you send emails or call and want to meet with me (you saw my profile on linked in or something). We have meeting, I provide CV and references, portfolio, whatever else you need. Then I never hear from you again. I have no idea why I was not a match for a particular job, when everything on the job post fits exactly what is on my CV.

    If we meet face to face, talk on the phone, exchange emails, at least have courtesy for a call back. It takes just a few minutes.

    2. Hiring managers, you should be clear about your needs and time frame to fill those needs. Why bring me back for one, two, three or more interviews, then I never hear back from you. Months go by. Or you tell me you “hired from within” or “postponed filling that spot” for now. That reflects poorly on you.

    3. For those hiring managers that are blatant about not hiring folks that are unemployed or not as obviously not hiring folks of a certain age or other demographic, shame on all of you. Folks break laws because they can, because laws have convenient loop holes and because no one ever investigates it.

    4. Those companies that force workers to go to other countries to train workers and then come back to the US and fire entire departments after you outsource all those jobs, you are criminals, and you perpetuate a bad economy. Only CEOs and top exec. staff benefit from the difference you reap as profit.

    The conquer and divide has been very successful in the workplace. Folks need to realize there is strength in numbers and we all deserve much better.

  7. Lois

    1. When I go on an interview, I feel so flustered and nervous — think that I’m going in for a real interview but they have such a short agenda these days — had a five minute meeting in mind. It is so frustrating. 2. Forget about the old days when I could pick-up the New York Times, circle some want ads and create two or three interviews. 3. At this moment in time, I have no idea how or what to do next to get a job!!! This is really crazy since I could qualify as a professional job hunter!!!

  8. Carmen

    Employers–any kind of response that you received my resume and application would be GREAT! And don’t negate my resume because you think I’m too old, overqualified, made too much money…just because I worked at the same job for 16 years! I would hope you would appreciate my experience, my loyalty, and my job stability!!! Look at the person behind the black and white words on paper! Give me an interview…meet me…talk to me!!! Give me a chance to sell myself and let you know how valuable I could be to your company!

  9. YG

    To my former employer I would like to say that letting a person know the reason(s) for their release is considered a simple courtesy. To this day I still have no idea why I am unemployed. I had had no low performance reviews. My roles and responsibilities had continue to increase within the company. I was working multi-million dollar project successfully. I was active in getting the company recognized in the community through my volunteer efforts. And then suddenly, one day, with no warning at 4pm I was escorted out of the building. Why?

    To prospective employers, I will never gain experience if you dont give me the opportunity. My background speaks for itself. I am an intelligent individual who can learn to do anything I apply for in a relatively small amount of time. And while you think it is not profitable to have to train someone to do the job, it is not profitable to your organization to have an unfilled position either. And to recruiters, know the position you are hiring for. I am tired of calls from Headhunters who pick up on one or two words in my resume and call me about jobs that have nothing to do with my skill set.

  10. DKCG

    Let me hear back from you after I have interviewed for a position. It is very rude not to let a candidate know where he/she stands!

    Draw from my experience and talents, not from my age!

    Put yourself in my shoes–it is not easy doing a job search, staying abreast of industry changes and fine tuning your skills, etc.!!

    Have some compassion. Just because you have a job does not mean you can’t loose yours!!

  11. JKP

    Waiting to hear back is frustrating. Even an automated reply that my resume was received, and then that the position was filled, would be courteous. I only apply to the positions I am qualified for, according to your ad, so I think it’s reasonable to expect some kind of acknowledgment. Thanks.

  12. tm

    -FInding out that they hired within the company…couldn’t that been tackled before posting for the outside world to get their hopes up.

    -Updating the status for your application from “received” to either “not qualified” or “selected another applicant” instead of wasting my time checking every hour to see if my application was looked at.

  13. AB

    Dear Employer,

    I would like to let you know how I feel when I apply for a job at your company and for some reason I get rejected.

    Did you know that a personal “Thank you” for applying will make me feel that you really cared that I had applied for a position at your company? After all, even though I need a job, your company had something that attracted me to be a part of your family. It wasn’t just because of the “job.”

    The main justification that you constantly give is that they found somebody who is more qualified for the position. How do you know that that person is more qualified. Is it because his/her resume has more credentials than I do? Do you know that in many cases, those credentials were not put in practice and as such, the experience doesn’t exist. Why not, instead, ask for a “brag book” like every new mother does when she has a new baby? In this way you can compare apples with apples.

    What about ask if the applicant would agree to a trial period?

    You, employer, waste so much time in processing an application, that it becomes a job for the applicant (without pay) to keep track of all the applications submitted. And, the worst thing is that there isn’t a way to contact you, and if there is, you don’t return phone calls or emails. And, by the way, I found a website that keeps track of all applications I submit. I still have to enter them, but at least I can see which company deserves me.

    I could go on and on, but one more thing I want to say is: Shame on you for not giving an opportunity to meet an applicant face to face, so the applicant will have a chance to sell herself. In my case, you don’t know what you are missing.

    I understand that there should be a process, make it more human, after all isn’t the recruiting part called “Human Resources?”


    The excellent employee you didn’t hire!

  14. C.J.

    I wish they would say why I didn’t get the job.

  15. SK

    I’m in total agreement with JKP! Waiting to hear back is the MOST frustrating thing about ‘job hunting’. I would prefer automated replies or mass emails informing me of the hiring process or my application status or the position being filled – in this technological day-an-age it really isn’t that hard. And it’s definitely better than getting no response even after calling to find out.

  16. PAL

    I hate the ads that indicate that the minimum requirements are a BA/BS then list preferred qualifications are a higher degree. To me that is code for “we are paying entry level wages but we know we can get quality talent because people are desperate.”

    I hate you employers for wholesale laying off workers at the first hint of an economic downturn. This causes a snowball effect in the economy that create the disasters that hurt everyone, including you. Then when the economy shows a hint of recovery,you tightwads don’t want to hire anyone, even though that would help people. The world needs a strong United States for its creative energy and can do attitude that benefits the world.

    I also dislike your outsourcing jobs so completely that you disadvantage the very Americans who would buy the products. Then you outsource to countries with such low standards that we Americans buy harmful products that risk American lives like bad wood products that end up in homes or defective airplane parts that cause planes to fall apart.

    So start hiring already. Because hiring, begets hiring and so on and so on…

  17. PK

    Dear Hiring Personel,

    Whatever happened to common courtesy?

    Hundreds (if not thousands) of people are applying for your job(s) daily and all they want to know if whether or not that are being considered. Common courtesy says that you tell people their job status within a reasonable time frame. They shouldn’t be hearing from you months (or even a year) down the road.

    What happened to being specific with your job description?

    Don’t go on a fishing expedition hoping that you’ll get the best candidate that applies. Tell me what you want and then let me decide whether or not I qualify for the position before applying for it. I promise it will save us both time and energy.

    There are so many other things that I could (and want to) say; but I don’t have the time. I’ve got work to do to get the job of my dreams.

    Have a good day and I hope you take what I’ve said above to heart.

    All the best!

  18. Kathy

    Dear Employers:

    May you all experience the pain of losing a job and trying to find another so you can support yourself. May you all experience the rudeness, the coldness, of the Corporate Universe when your calls, emails, letters, applications are not acknowledged. Whatever “policy” drives such behavior should come home to roost on the heads of shareholders, boards, executives who instead, have been reaping obscene profits.

    I no longer care “why” you operate as you do. And the latest scam of refusing to let unemployed people apply for jobs has to be one of the cruelest, immoral games Corporate America has invented.

    May you all rot in hell.

  19. lbr

    I know I can contribute to a training team at an organization. I know my experience exceeds that of the cute young things hiring managers are looking for. That in itself is sexual harassment and discrimination wrapped in one employment packet! I have a stellar resume…do you ever read it? Do you just put out the job announcement because it is required, yet you have your mind made up who you will hire. Your neigbhor’s daughter, fresh out of college, or the daughter of a board member, or the daughter of a big contributor? Are you only hiring internally? If so why throw the ad out for all to see? I am angry as hell and I refuse to take it anymore!!!

  20. lbr

    oops did I spell harrassment incorrectly in my blog above? Anyhoo, however it is spelled, I am still angry!

  21. Clair

    Carmen and AB…I chime in with both of your comments, well said.

    They say….we tell twice as many people the bad things about a company and product when we have a complaint versus the good things. With that in mind,

    Dear Employer….please consider the fact that when you do not respond to my application, direct phone call to a hiring manager, or simply even acknowledge you have received my resume, that I share this feedback within my social network. What is the impact to you? We switch our purchase power to your competitors. Bad, bad, bad p.r. and marketing which could have been avoided by extending a simple, “Thank you for your interest in our company”.

    I would love for you to share, with this group, any feedback from HR folks after they read this group’s comments.

  22. I agree with YG when said, that “I am an intelligent person who can learn anything quickly” and actually thrive on learning new things. I’m not one of those that wants a job where I don’t have to think and perform. I am 50 something year old woman that expects to be just as vibrant and hardworking into my 60’s or 70’s, if not in the corporate world, then somewhere. What happened to this new mentality that’s supposed to exist about not feeling old and living a full life!

  23. wendy

    I hate it when you already know who you are hiring but you have to go through with the legal aspect of interviewing an x number of people. True, it could lead to a different job if one comes up later in the company and if you like me in the interview. But usually it is a waste of my time and your time. You get paid for your time my time is precious. I could have spent the time I spent with you in a real interview where I actually had a chance of getting the job. Don’t waste my time! It’s even worse when you overhear people talking about this who work at various companies.

  24. JSG

    Why is it so hard to hear back from you? Following up seems worthless — it gives me a false sense of agency. I wish you’d get back to us just to let us know you’ve received my resume and cover letter, or if we’ve been rejected. The unknown is so frustrating. Do you ever even really look over my resume? Why should I have to apply to 100 jobs to hear back from only 1?

  25. MMP

    First, I want to applaud you, Tory, for dreaming up this assignment. It looks like the first thing we did was begin to list our strengths, and I am so impressed by the change in tone on this forum! I am so glad I am a member of this dynamic group!

    Then, to prospective employers:
    1. If an institution or company is legally required to post an open position, but you are going to hire from within anyway, SAY SO IN THE AD!
    2. Please let me know you received my application or resume.
    3. Tell me one thing I could do to improve my chances next interview.
    4. If you can’t do any of these things, hire me to do them for you!
    The One You Let Get Away

  26. Shelby

    1. When I have an interview scheduled with you for next week, and you fill the position from within prior to that interview, please call or email me and let me know! It would save my time and gas to know that I didn’t have to drive all the way across town (12 miles) only to wait 30 minutes past the scheduled time to have you tell me “oh that position was filled last week”. Thank you for wasting my time.

    2. Acknowledge that you have received my resume/application/cover letter. A simple email that it was received would be appreciated.

    3. After the interview, when you are asked specifically if you will let us know whether or not we have gotten the position and you say yes we will be notified, then keep your word and actually let us know. Hanging without knowing either way wears on our already stretched nerves, and does nothing for our self-esteem.

    4. When we are scheduled for an interview with one person, please don’t spring 3 or 4 other “interviewers” on us without preparing us prior to going into interview room. We have enough confidence to interview with one person, but sometimes have to muster up enough for the “group interviews”.

    5. Just because I happen to be over 50, have 30+ years of experience, have worked several short-term and/or temporary jobs because that was all I could get at the time, don’t assume that I am “over qualified” for the position that you advertised and happens to match my qualifications perfectly.

    6. Please be compassionate for those that have been looking for a job for many weeks or months. We are not a meat counter where you can look over the goods and pick what looks good to you. Pick the one who will do the most good for your company. The experience we have may be just what your company needs, and you won’t spend extra money training someone who may leave the position shortly after being hired.

  27. Mary

    Dear Employer,

    Please DO NOT repost jobs UNLESS you have provided a letter of explanation to all of the people that previously applied for these jobs! It’s ok to tell us you actually read the resume and don’t believe we can meet your needs rather than leading us to wonder if something’s wrong with your computer system or if your HR person quit unexpectedly.

    Also, don’t use blind ads, let us see who you are, as that may cut down on the number of applications that you receive. I am probably in the minority of people who actually believe that it is better to have no job than to have a bad job, but, honestly, word does get around if you do not treat your current employees well. Let us choose to exercise the same judgment you use towards us, and we both will save time.

    Also, please be upfront about what the job is paying. Rather than asking for salary history or requirements, just post a range of you expect to pay. After all, you get to decide what you’re willing to offer a candidate any way, just as I can also make a decision as to what I’m going to charge you for my services.

    Finally, really, really consider holding an open house day when folks can come to your offices and get a chance to meet a few of your employees face to face. You may find that you actually like some of us and that we’d be a good fit for your culture, or that we have skills that aren’t on our resumes that you’d really value. You can limit the open house to folks that register in advance so that you won’t get more of us that you can handle, and also it will help you get a better idea as to who really wants to work for your company.

    It’s time to put the Neighbor back in the Hood, as Carol Adams likes to say. Now would be a good time for all of you employers to stop using your online systems which aren’t working for you or for us, and show a little neighborly consideration. After all, you do need customers, don’t you?

  28. HDR

    I would like to tell recruiters and hiring managers that this is a very frustrating process and that I’m worried about my finances, and hope they understand this. I hope that he or she is sympathetic to my situation (i.e., acts like a fellow human), shows respect and promises to get back in touch with me, whether or not they want to hire me. Also, I would like to hear constructive criticism when I ask for it, so that I might learn something from the process. If I were a hiring manager, I would do all these things.

  29. KE

    First of all, when you tell me that you are interested in interviewing me, you send me an incomplete email that doesn’t even mention when I should meet you. It takes you days to reply back to me and correct yourself. It was so confusing! You had me thinking that you were a scam! You’re so lucky that I really like your organization b/c it’s in a field that I love and need a job b/c all of this is just for a part-time job!

    For those other organizations I applied to in the International Affairs/Media Communications field, I know I was still abroad during the time I applied to these jobs and that it would of been hard to set up an in-person interview BUT we could of tried a Skype interview. It’s so frustrating to hear from friends entering educational jobs in America after their time abroad get employed in America through Skype interviews so easily because the hiring managers in that field said they “understand their situation” and the demand for education jobs is really high now. But for those that want to enter other fields (like myself) just have to go straight to graduate school I guess because it’s just too difficult to get a job now.

    What also amazes me is how hard it is to find a job in the U.S.A, my home. Now that I am back at home, I am still not getting a response. It’s actually easier to go abroad and be an English teacher in an Asian country than to find work in your own country. I’ve already spent two years abroad teaching English in a prestigious program (and no I wasn’t paid a lot for it). I loved it but I came back because I really want to pursue my real dreams and use what international experience I have in various fields, but no one is interested it seems. I have lived a more independent, productive life in two different countries but when I live back at home in America (a country known for people coming to have more opportunities, better paying jobs than their home country) I can’t do anything. I guess I should of stayed abroad.

    And, finally, for the Media/Music, misc. jobs I’ve applied to, ok, I know I’m NOT your typical candidate. My experience in these areas are limited, but I have proven to you in my cover letters that even though I was an Internation Studies major, taught English abroad, interned for the U.S Department of State, etc. that I STILL have passion for the performing arts. I have explained my side film projects, musical activities and so on to you. I have even explained how my international experience also includes some side work with the performing arts and this can be very beneficial to your company and it makes me unique as a candidate.

    I know it’s also hard for you (employers) to pick the right people but, seriously, if you pick me you won’t be sorry.

  30. ME

    I have gone on several interviews and at each interview there are 4-5 people sitting on the interview. I have interviewed for employment and also for volunteer positions and it seems as though 4 or more people are required to decide who will receive the job. This is very intimidating.
    Fewer interviewers
    2. Inform the interviewee why they were not qualified for the job. Provide coaching or feedback
    3. Do not overlook qualities and experiences that a person can bring to the job that do not fit in the box of expectations. Sometimes people fit all of the expected qualificationss but can not deliver what is required of them.
    4. Think out of the box when interviewing. The ability to communicate with individuals by asking questions that allow the individual to express themselves, this will help to determine if the individual can relate with others, also identify things about the person that may not be asked in the interview. Case and point a director was hired because she was able to present herself well at a interview. But aboout 7 months later it was found that she could not read and that she did not have the education that was required for the job. The job was in education. How could this have been prevented? Maybe, by asking questions that are not predetermined. It helps sometimes to think outside of the box. People like this are caught when they are approached or asked questions that are out of the ordinary.

    I feel as though I am being judged in an interview and I get very nervous.

  31. EE

    Has my resume been received?
    Status, please.
    How can I get past the BA requirement in a check list that eliminates me despite years of experience?

  32. Jennifer

    I could not agree more with most of the complaints targeted toward employers. My top issue is with employers not following up after an interview. It is as important for you as an employer to follow-up as it is for the job seeker.

    I want to take this time to address recruiters as well. It should be a balanced partnership. We are both in this together: I need a job and you need to fill a position for you client.

    1) CRITICAL INFORMATION! Get as much important information about a position as possible BEFORE contacting me. (i.e. location, salary) It is not acceptable to contact me when you don’t even know the salary range. As far as location, it is no excuse if you are recruiting from out of state. Use Google Maps, Yahoo Maps or MapQuest. Know where in the city your client is located. With gas prices as they are, location will affect the salary I can accept. If you don’t have these two pieces of critical information you are wasting both of our time.

    2) HONESTY! Be completely straight forward about the position. If it is contract (open-ended), contract (close-ended), Contract to perm or straight up temporary position, be honest with me and let me make the best choice for me. Lying about it puts you and your firm in a very bad light and causes confusion between myself and your client.

    3) FOLLOW-UP! You have bombarded me with emails and phone call to gather all the necessary information to submit me for this opportunity from right to represent forms and references to the last 4/5 of my SS#. A weekly phone call or email to find out how the process is progressing is not too much to ask.

    4) DO NOT VIEW ME AS CHEAP & DISPOSABLE! If you know your firm has a reputation for low-balling salary rates and or not supporting your contractors, please know that I am aware of this or will find out and will be taking that into consideration. Please understand that contractors or temporary employees work just as long and hard as permanent employees, if not more so, because we do not get the same benefits or perks that permanent employees may get. We deserve to be paid and respected for the benefit we are providing to both your client and the recruiting firm.

    Thank you, Tory, for today’s assignment. Felt freeing to get that off my chest. If anyone else has as much experience with agencies as I do, please chime in.

  33. JE

    First, do not exclude me because I am currently unemployed.
    Next, do not make a successful credit check part of the application process. After all, I have been unemployed.
    Third, do not assume that at 61 I can’t keep up with the younger staff. I am an active, intelligent person who does not deserve to be stereotyped.
    Fourth, if a CPA is not necessary to actually perform the job functions, don’t make it a requirement. I don’t have the $ to sit for the exam, but have the skill set to do everything a CPA does except sign an opinion letter.
    Fifth, if you tell me you will be conducting second interviews with a select group of applicants, let me know if I am not getting a second interview. Leaving me hanging is not very polite.
    Sixth, remember that the future is uncertain. Some day, I may be interviewing you. Treat me as you would like to be trea situation.

  34. EJ

    You want experience? Then let me gain some! I can volunteer and take classes all I want, but I will never get the type of work experience I need without being given the opportunity to work even an entry-level job. Isn’t that what entry-level jobs are all about?!

  35. ED

    At a recent interview, I was asked why I didn’t fill in the salary requirement. I shared that the job posting didn’t specify if the position was full time or part time. I then asked what was the hiring salary. The interviewing team responded that they DID NOT KNOW. OMG, how do you interview candidates and do not KNOW the salary of position. I was also told that a selection would be made by a certain date. I followed up and was told that THEY found out the regional and corporate needs to review candidates. Of course not a word of this process was shared in the initial interview. RED flags every where. Since the team conducting the interview would be co-workers, I am thrilled I was not hired.

  36. Cindy

    I do wish that each of you have to face a “reduction in force.” That you would sit before a person who won’t even look you in the eye to tell you why you were losing your long-time job, knowing that you were lying through your teeth. Then the second time, being told via conference call from corporate (from someone I have never met) telling me that I no longer have a job and thank you for my 4 1/2 years of service (I had just been there one year). Throwing me out there to sink or swim with the thousands of other people looking for a job, being interviewed by 30 year olds who can’t imagine that I can keep up because I am over 40. Giving my all at an interview and being told over and over again that I did not make the cut, that they hired another person. I am a valuable employee. What will it take to prove that? I can out last and run circles from the 30 and under crowd. I was told to my face by a “friend” that why would they hire me, NOW they can hire an architect. You are playing with people’s lives. Can you at least pretend to have compassion and respect for all of us trying to find a job? Why can you make us put in our birth year in an online application – isn’t that illegal? Not hire people who are unemployed – that is ridiculous. I am sick of it all. I just want to take care of myself and have enough to give back to others. If I had the chance, I would put as many people to work as I could. It is really tough out here.

  37. PL

    Oh boy,here comes the fun part! It’s been almost two years for me and out of hundreds of applications, I’ve been acknowledged TWICE and interviewed ONCE. My first and biggest issue with employers is that they must assume, due to an overwhelming “employer’s market”, that this throws BASIC MANNERS out the door. I have followed all of your past instructions on cleaning up my resume, yada, yada and so I know, at least in a large amount of cases, it wasn’t ME. If you are in an HR position or are currently hiring for a small company or just ONE person, please extend the COMMON COURTESY to ALL that apply of a simple acknowledgement. It doesn’t have to be a long formal letter, just say, “Thank you for submitting an application/resume for our available position….and then whatever is appropriate, i.e. we have chosen someone else, you weren’t qualified, kiss my butt, WHATEVER!!! I am so UP TO HERE with spending hours and hours filling out applications, writing cover letters, perfecting my resume, attaching my resume, putting it in the body of the email because it will be “deleted if it’s an attachment” (very common requirement), leaving phone messages to those who refuse to ANSWER email, it just goes on and on. I must say that it’s come to the point of grief with me and it’s dehumanizing after a while. Constant lack of acknowledgement will blow out even the strongest person’s confidence and you begin to feel pretty useless and powerless. I hear all the time that employers “probably” don’t acknowledge everybody because they are so overwhelmed with responses. Well – HEY – here’s an IDEA – why don’t they take the person that they DO hire and let them spend their first couple of hours on the job acknowledging everybody else that took the time to apply for the same position??!! I would say that a major source of employment postings these days is on craigslist. Unfortunately, these people are allowed to write all their demands and requirements, what type of personality they want you to have, what type of lifestyle they want you to lead, how professional they want you to “LOOK” and then you don’t even have the advantage of having a CLUE what they are willing to pay your for your services, should you fit into their perfect little box. I actually got a separate email address after a while to write back to some of the extreme postings and tell them exactly what I thought of them and their available job…petty, I know, but it made me feel better, at least temporarily. So – employers out there – if you ever get an email from “yougottabekiddingme”, watch out, you will probably need to read it out of the view of children.
    Thanks for the opportunity to vent – felt good! 🙂

  38. PL

    PS – This was, by far, the most fun assignment yet! LOl

  39. Alison

    I wish these online applications did not take so very long. There should be a preliminary screening and if you pass that, then I’ll take your hour long test. You obviously don’t mind wasting my time. Two recent hourly retail companies I interviewed with did this. They screened me first, and then I completed their assessment. This works out better for the both of us. At least I know I was honestly being considered.

    What the heck are you looking for? No really?!?! I read the list of qualifications, I see I’m completely qualified, I apply and then nothing. I honestly am happy to even get an auto generated message. At least something is recognizing me.

    I honestly can not believe this small local marketing firm that I applied to, who was looking for an entry level marketing person (the person who left was an intern) could not return either my calls or emails. I made 2 phone calls and sent 2 emails, the first was my application, and the second was a follow up. I put in a lot of effort and showed my interest without turning stalker like and you could not even send a standardized rejection email??? Your firm needs lots of help apparently and I will not recommend them to anyone I know (and I have at least one person right now who could use services like theirs).

    Please, it’s hard out there to find quality work. You can ask any of my former employers and they will (well should!) give you all the same response: hard working, dedicated, fast learner, and we wish we had more people like her. However, either it is something I am doing or you just don’t notice a good candidate when I sit in front of you.

    To quote ABBA “Take a chance on me, take a chance on me, if you the very best, take a chance on me!!!”

  40. KBH

    This is a terrific session. PK and Kathy said it perfectly, so I am going to “ditto” their comments.

  41. CR

    I’m really tired of the game playing: trying to figure out what THEY want and then trying to figure what I have to say to make them want me. Uggh

    What’s up with this taking you more than a month to tell me if I got the job or not?!!!! I know you have a reputation in town for taking a very long time to hire. Yep, that was proven when I applied for the position on Valentine’s Day and I got a call from you in freaking July! So now I’ve interviewed with three people, more than a month later, I’m still waiting. Both you and I know you aren’t going to find another canidate that is perfect for what you need now AND perfect for you when your department grows. Uggh.

  42. DT

    Dear Mr. TF. (X-Supervisor) I like to know Mr. TF the real reason why you terminated me. Was it because I was not a part of the “click”. So now that you’re made my life a living hell because I don’t have health insurance to cover my medical problems – Cancer and Diabetic how do you feel. Not alone the reason you gave for my termination is a lie. Not to mention you judged me by what “other” people said. Wow, and you’re a Project Manager. Best wishes to you and DC, BL, MB because I will survive.

  43. L B

    Most of my anger right now is directed toward my last manager. I worked 13 years for a company, and he fired me in less then two sentences via EMAIL! Give me a break. To this day I don’t know what happened. I was a great employee, honest, loyal, hard worker, a team player and a leader. He was the absolute worst manager ever, and if I do ever own a company, I will NOT hire anyone like him.

    When I apply for jobs, I want to know why I am not being considered or have someone at least sat a “thanks but no thanks”. Pretty much, I think my resumes are hanging out in cyberspace.

  44. JSE

    Hi All:

    Thanks for sharing. I empathize with all of you. As someone returning from overseas to live and work again in the States, it is very distressing to realize the maze that looking for a job is.So having only recently returned I have to take your word for it. Over the past month I have experienced some of what you are describing; no responses to applications, no follow up after they have contacted you and given you a teephone screening even though they promise to let you hear from them one way or another. Then they put you at the mercy of all these on line predators who want to convince you that paying them $346 to prepare your resume is what is going to make it come together for you. Who has money for that when there is no income. Well if this is the way it is going to go, escpecially considring that I am already over fifty, I would better think on how I can employ myself. And maybe the contacts and reputation I have built overseas will work better for me. So if “Corporate America” does not wish to benefit from what I have to offer then although I need to stay in the States right now, I would better exploit all the options that the digital age has to offer and reach out to my friends and assoicates across the ocean and offer my services to them. I am beginning to feel the pain. But ladies hang on we won’t sink.

  45. MJD

    What they need to know:
    1. Let us know when you have received our application and resume.

    2, Let us know when you have made a selection-if we were not choosed it would be nice to know why.

  46. EW

    The thing that bothers me the most is the fact that at my last two jobs (both that I could have worked at until retirement), went out of business. At my last position the Regional office Manager was great – She ran a great office and we always made our service levels and went the extra mile. We did our part! It was the upper level management that screwed up! It seems to me when you have employees under you, that you would think about them first, and not your petty differences. That in a nutshell was what the downfall of the company was. I encourage all corporate managers to go on that new TV show and get down to the level of the employees so that you can see what we go through. I still have hard feelings about losing the best job I ever had and putting me into this mess. I have to realize that all I can do is my best and know that it will work out! Another thing that really bothers me is that employers judge you by your credit! I probably have the worst credit ever since I was making good money and now for more that a year, we have had lived on less than half of what we used to live on. You got me started – now I have to go calm down and look on the bright side again….

  47. N.C.

    It’s an employer’s market, but let’s not take advantage. When you say that you have “competitive pay” and that a B.S. in the field is “highly desired” … make sure that your pay actually IS competitive or, better yet, post your starting pay for the position… and then be willing to pay for that specialized degree when someone has it!! I found a job I’d LOVE but may have to take something I might just kind of ‘like’ because it pays almost double (and it is county work vs. private sector with a BIG, healthy, wealthy, privately owned company…. county work paying more). Please be willing to hire good people instead of settling for someone just looking for a ‘job’ I am a perfect fit and I want a career, I want to grow with and help improve your company. I know what I’m worth and I know that I would be an asset to your company, pay me right and I’ll make it worth every red cent!

  48. RP

    I really wish employers would stop expecting three different disciplines in one employee, for 3/4 of 1 employee’s salary. If you want a graphic designer, hire a graphic designer. Videography, web design, web development and web management are NOT one in the same entity, and anyone that can do all those simultaneously at 100% is super-human. Anyone that is super-human is NOT going to do that for $8 an hour. Especially if, on top of all of that, you want them to be an executive assistant. Switching between right and left brain functions doesn’t actually come with a switch and doesn’t always happen when YOU want or need it to. And who has all of that time anyway? And for what you’re paying, with none to bare minimum benefits, I’m going to need time to STILL do my freelance work to pay my bills and afford to come and sit in your cubicle. Oh. NOW you want me to deal with clients, too? With a smile? What’s that you say? I can’t freelance if I work here? You planning on doubling that measely salary or cutting that job description and adding benefits? No? Oh. Thanks. But no thanks.

    Stop being cheap and be realistic.

  49. I.M.

    Dear Employer Interviewer:
    When we spoke over the phone you sounded like I was the best candidate for the position. You made me feel like the next thing that was going to happen was a job offer. You got me so excited I was even dreaming of being part of your team and had planned my wardrobe, route to take to work and what I would prepare for lunch.

    However, when we met in person and had a face to face interview your countenance changed and I could see how you became cold as soon as you saw me. Yes, I’m not a young thing, and no, I do not look like a “hood ornament” nor am I that thin. Also, apparently you are afraid of anybody who seems to have any type of physical difficulty. Unfortunately I do use a cane but that has not prevented me from being an efficient, organized, person who has kept up to date with all the software packages, intelligent, shows on or before time every day and has not had one day of showing up to work without first clearing it.

    Your indifference when I left gave me chills, but I did not show it and smiled at you and thanked you for your time. I was gracious, sent you an email Thank You note and forgot about you and the hopes I had built. The canned email I received from you confirmed my suspicions that you were just playing with me and that you were not serious about finding me a wonderful candidate and a good fit for the job. You played your role well. Be honest and when I ask for feedback tell me why I was not the candidate of choice. The “easy out” you chose to tell me is transparently ridiculous.

    Good luck with your next candidate.

  50. DAS

    First, if you have a position open and people apply, respond to the applicants. If I didnt care about the job, I wouldnt have applied and remember one day you may be working for me so have respect for your applicants.

    Second, have compassion for your employees. Sadly I was let go 30 days after a family death. I worked for 3 days from their hospital room and they passed and I took 2 days off for the death of my parent. 30 days to the day of my parent passing i was let go.

    Third, your employees are the blood that makes your heart/company work so keep them happy, healthy and your business will thrive. If you don’t take care of them, they will no longer work.

  51. Victoria

    If I can upload my resume on your site, why then do I have to rewrite it into your other formatted version. Time waster!

    And then – do you EVEN read my resume? I’ve had conversations with recruiters where it’s clear they did not.

    And, God forbid, you have any manners (some of you, anyway).

    As to my current employer who has wasted my life this year (for the most part) doing a bait & switch on me with sales quotas and commissions and expectations and mind games during my most CRUCIAL earning years (the 40s). Thanks a lot. Karma is gonna get you. But I feel sorry for you.

    I am wanting to emulate Sir Richard Branson.

    I am not a victim and I will allow a bit of “ego-disgust” but I gotta get past it and empower myself. I wish the same for everyone else.

    Lots of light and clarity, peace, love and prosperity to everyone.

  52. REK

    Sorry this is so late. Boarding up windows most of the day. :p

    I have to agree with many of the previous posters. Hiring companies, if you don’t REALLY have a job to fill, don’t post the position. Likewise, if you know you will be filling from within, don’t post the position externally. (Or somehow make sure you mention that there are strong internal candidates.) If you call me in for an interview (or three!), let me know the results, even negative results. Don’t just drop me into a black hole.

    Corporations who are hording cash and refusing to hire, or worse, sending all your jobs overseas: Shame on you! You CEOs make sure you get your multimillion dollar bonuses, even during years your employees get nothing. I think there should be a special circle of hell reserved for these selfish people.

    Finally, I have been working really hard not to hate my previous boss for the countless ways he made my life miserable. I know it’s not a healthy emotion for me, and has (unfortunately!) no effect on him. I spent every weekend of the last six months I was there thinking, “Maybe he’ll die.” Now that his death won’t do me any good, I would rather he develop some painful condition and linger for a long time. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy! Picture a micromanager for whom any idea not his was a bad one, any personal style not his was wrong, oh, and carrying on an affair with one of his direct reports. Yuck!

    Wow … That was cathartic! All those things you are never supposed let past your professional façade. I feel better already!

  53. terri

    Dear Human Resources,
    Please have the common courtesy to call a candidate back even if they don’t have the job. Why do you feel the need to leave people hanging in the dust and why do not even meet with a person before determineing if they qualify. It makes me feel like I am not worth the phone call or worth the opportunity and I know I have alot to offer it I was just giving a chance.

  54. sad

    to the executive directors and branch managers that do all the hiring. please stop hiring all of your family members and putting them into positions they know nothing about. i have more education and hands on experience then any of you combined but yet because your father or mother or brother or sister in law or brother in law is on the board of directors, folks like me, that have been in the work force for years always get over looked. also get to know my name. my name isn’t “hey, come here”.

  55. SRC

    Dear Whom It May Concern,
    Don’t ask me questions that YOU are not prepared for me to really have good answers to. Also, if you already know that you are going to hire internally and you only picked me out of the pile to keep up with some status quo…don’t waste my time. This is a potential relationship where we are both woo’ing each other. You know, if not from jump, then within the first 10 minutes of our time together whether or not you want me…just be honest, let’s be real…either I have what you are looking for or I don’t; figure that lil gem out before you call me.

    One Hard Working Willing To Be A Team Player, but I’m No Fool Potential Employee

  56. AW

    Dear Potential Employers, I know that many of you like myself are probably overworked and underpaid especially given the financial times we are living in, but it would be nice if I could request the following things. I will call you follow up. Instead of chastising me over the phone, please just find my information and let me know. Remember it’s a two way street, your attitude also impacts my view of the company and if you are rude to me for simply trying to gather useful information, any recommendation that I have for someone to work with you is now out of the window. Just think you may be losing your next best employee to your competitor because you were rude to me. Word of mouth still goes far, but with an electronic space, even farther.

    If you insist that I have to fill out an online resume, can I at least get an updated status of where the job is? Did someone review my application, was the position filled from within, what is the story? I know that some jobs especially university and government ones are subject to bueracratic rules and regulations and that it may take a while or that a position may be put on hold for whatever reason. Please just let me know that so I can effectively move on. I will not hold it against you because things happen, but please let me know something useful other than a computer reviewed my application and decided that I was not worthy.

    Finally if I could have my dream scenario, it would be really nice to talk to a person so that I can make my case. There have been many times where I have seen some jobs and wondered if a compromise could be reached if only I could speak with a real person.

    As for my current employer, I wish that you would trust your employees to do the right thing for you instead of using expensive outside resources to come the same conclusion that we have tried to express for months but have been blown off because you believe there is “simply no way we would understand or comprehend.” Be honest with us and we’ll be honest with you. Thanks!

  57. TL

    Wondering if i can’t make the call on Monday @2pm Eastern, will there be a way to access the info by Gretchen Gunn?

  58. KC

    Dear Employers,
    I’m tired of reading job postings that require 4 years of experiences for entry level work. How is one supposed to gain experienced without the opportunity (chance)? Also on my interviews, I really wished you would stop asking why I want to leave my current position. I can’t say because I hate it, it sucks and I need more growth & $$. A resume is not a know all tell, it only gives a small part of who the candidate is. Give me a chance, give us a chance.

  59. ASM

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I would like for employers to stop:
    -looking down on me/holding it against me that I took time off to care for my family and now I have an employment gap

    -don’t penalize me for the employment gap when I took courses and/or did some volunteering to keep my skills current.

    -don’t leave it up to a computer to read my resume for some “keywords.”

    -let me know why you are no longer considering me for the position.

    I have been in a position of interviewing before and a little common courtesy goes a long way in the business world.


  60. WR

    I would like to remind them that they can be in my shoes at any day and any time> You should watch what you are doing because you will rep what you do to others, It will come back to hunt you.

  61. PL

    A couple more things……..having to re-write the ENTIRE resume you just uploaded per THEIR request….how crazy is THAT? And my fave of all……the “employers” that require a 4 year minimum college degree, you have to be bi-lingual and know every computer pgm ever invented and they are offering starting wages at $8/hour and 20-25 hours a week. SERIOUSLY?????????

  62. s

    Dear People Who Read My Resumé (or don’t),

    I write a pretty good cover letter (covering what? I remember when one typed a cover letter and attached it to a resumé and mailed it and waited….) and I always tell you that I am a mature woman who will show up to work on time, will not be texting and FB chatting and goofing off when you hire me to work, and I will be worth the money you pay me. Don’t you think you should reply?

    I might not be “cutting edge” in my ability to design a groovy product, but why don’t you give me a chance? I went to the best public high school in the US and I still have some brains left in my head in spite of what my teenagers think. You will get much more than you pay for if you give me a chance. You’re missing out, people. My ADD tendencies push me to hyperfocus on a job and you’ll see that I will pick those nits right out of every job you give me and will even copy edit and rewrite. I can write better than most of my clients’ writers, so you’ll REALLY get your money’s worth.

    Did I mention that I’m fun to have around? Give me a chance, people. Just because I’m older doesn’t mean I’m worthless.


    The One That Got Away

  63. MJ

    Good employers want a perfect employee; therefore I want to work for a good employer. I do expect respect, skills development and training. If I do not get the job, I expect feedback. I am a mature person. I think I have a good deal of experience, talents and skills that only age can offer. Consider the possibility that a mature person can be productive, caring skilful. We deserve the chance to demonstrate our capabilities. Thanks

  64. v

    Dear Recruiting for the Man,

    Please give a courtesy email even if it is generic just to inform us that we are not a candidate and what specifically put me at a disadvantage.

    You wonder why we don’t want to trust you after you hype us like children on Halloween. Be human, it means a lot and can build some more confidence rather than put us further in the pit of despair.

  65. BC

    I am sick and tired of having to fill out your online application when I have submitted a perfectly good resume. YOU are being paid for the job of finding candidates, or you have subordinates who are. So if you have a regular salary and the comfort of paying your bills every month, then why — why — do I have to do all this extra work FOR you? MY time is NOT being paid — but that does NOT make your time more valuable than mine. This is something that makes me think you are lazy, too lazy to do a little work, and makes your company look like it’s on a power trip, just another way to make the candidates feel like they’re powerless puppets. Give me dignity, give me respect — just as YOU want me to treat you.

    Also, I know I’m older. I know I use a cane to walk. I know I’m not a size 6. I know I don’t have all this seasons’ styles to wear. So what? All of these outward traits have their own reason for being, and it’s not because I’m lazy. But whatever the reasons, these things do NOT affect my intelligence, my creativity, my skills, my experience, my work ethic.

    If I don’t know your specific system, I’m not intimidated. I’ve learned more programs and systems than I can even name at this point because it was needed and I was unafraid to throw myself into learning something new. I don’t walk through the professional world wearing blinders, able to work within only a narrow focus. I know how to do a lot, and I understand how different disciplines, different jobs, interact with each other. I’m someone who can step back and look at a much larger picture, so stop being afraid I might take something from you and instead think of how I can contribute to your company.

    Damn it, stop making it seem that I have to beg — and even then won’t get the job. Give me a chance!

  66. KM

    Dear Hiring Managers/Recuiters/Freelance Employers,
    I am SICK and TIRED of being jerked around and lied to. I am a strong candidate with years of experience. Why is looking like the hippest cat in the city so important in this field? Why can’t you just tell me if there is something you’d like to change instead of lying to me and letting me hear from my recruiter? Why can’t you call and let me know what’s going on with a job you’ve called me about? I am a HUMAN BEING! I’m a great employee and a solid person. You may think you can treat people like sh*t now because you’ve got some sort of upper hand, but the universe is going to take a big bite out of your a** in the end. Treat people how you want to be treated. Oh, and when someone cold calls you, have the decency to give them a moment of your time, if only to say nicely that you can’t talk but best of luck. How would you feel cold calling all day and getting treated like a subhuman? Not very much I’d bet!

  67. Debbie G.

    The 3 main things I want to say to recruiters and employers are:
    Every business benefits from a mix of experienced and entry level employees. The choice shouldn’t be young vs. mature – it should be young plus mature (for the best results.);
    If someone has the ability to take a year (or more) off to focus on whatever they like, isn’t that something everyone would LOVE to do? Don’t stigmatize people who have done it (either voluntarily or forced to), think about how much more refreshed and creative these people are likely to be!;
    Think about the traits and attitudes that could mean more to the success in a position than having very specific and exact experience. Most times a strong team player and problem solver with a positive “can do” attitude and strong follow through who has related experience or core skills in a similar area and has shown their ability to learn new skills quickly will be of more value to a company than a person who has been doing the exact thing you are looking for, but shows signs of being difficult to work with or who doesn’t think they need to learn anything new.

  68. DWS

    I would like recruiters do find the best candidate available for the position, irregardless of age. I am tired of being discriminated against because I have 40+ years in the business!

    Experience is golden, and you get what you pay for in this business.

    Plus, this experience can be used to grow your teams of the future, especially avoiding costly errors and misjudgement by entry level new hires. I would be more than happy to coach and mentor, after hrs. for free, if an employer would hire me to do their posted job from 8 to 5.

  69. Judi

    I would like hiring managers to look around the office and ask themselves this question,” When was the last time I hired someone over 50?”

    I would also like them to put a more mature person at the front desk. It’s a bit discouraging to walk in and be greated by what appears to be a perky 12 year old. The front desk person is the first impression we get of a company and and nothing screams “we don’t hire old people” like a receptionist who looks suspiciously like they have yet to granduate from high school.

  70. Ruth Williams

    I truly dislike filling out applications and applying for jobs on-line. There is no fed back. I know it is illegal to ask your age but many of the applicants require that information before you can go furher. I know I’m older but I’m a reliable, hard-working and a honest person. I am knowledgeable and have years of experience in my profession. I’m always on time, never sick and, always willing to learn. I’m creative,flexiable and a problem solver. I care about people, and is always professional. I can figure out why I done have job. I get call in for interviews and many times for second interviews but only to run into a dead end. I wish that they would at least tell me why I was not pick! So that I would know if I need to improve anything.

  71. Patti

    Dear Employers
    What happened to meeting an applicant and asking the questions face to face. I have had my fill with the online applications that take 45 minutes to complete. Between uploading my resume then having to retype my job experiences to answering 80 multiple choice questions that range from employee theft to coworker gossip.
    After spending 45 minutes to apply for the position to never hear from someone in the company. If you go to the location they tell you to go to the website.

  72. EW

    I think it is just common courtesy to answer someones inquiries. We are supposed to call back on jobs that we apply for. It seems now that not ever getting back to someone is standard practice. Even a sorry you didnt get the job is better than nothing!

  73. MW

    Dear Employers and Recruiters, I think it is unfair that I am not consider based on my work experience and length of employment history. I have work from the start of my teenage years up until now. Being a military spouse and mom is not easy to explian on my resume. I have ran my own home daycare business while earning my Bachelors degree. I believe I am qualified for many positions, but I am not given the opportunity to demenostrate my knowledge of the position. Also I think having a electronic system to select a candidates for a position disqualifies me automatically because keywords are not found on my resume. As an applicant all I would like is to be given a fair chance to prove that I meet the jobs requirements before being disqualify.

  74. ST

    Dear human resources,

    I am a college graduate with a wealth of knowledge and experience. It is very upsetting to take the time and interview with you and not to hear a word back. Many say it’s rude to not send a follow up letter to the person who interviewed you to say thank you and to follow up. What happen to sharing the same courtesy. In this day and age respect should be given from you too. We are all human and no one is perfect. Take the time and allow someone the opportunity to learn something new to benefit your organization.

  75. IAA

    I would ask for recruiters/interviewers to treat candidates the way they would want to be treated. Have respect for people regardless of the situation. Just because you have a job today & are in a position of “power” so to speak, doesn’t mean it will always be that way. Be professional at all times, do not act snide or rude. Also, don’t ask questions to which you could find out from the resume. I know it is difficult to have to choose from so many different candidates, but try to keep an open mind & give people a chance to prove themselves, don’t just strictly adhere to all of the hiring guidelines. After all, someone probably took a chance with you. Moreover, please try to leave your prejudices and biases at the door and focus on the candidate’s skills, talents and potential.

  76. L

    Dear Human Resources:

    Could you please just send me a letter, or even a form letter or e-mail to let me know you have selected someone for the position that I took the time and energy to prepare for, and I likely took a personal day too! It is really unprofessional of you not to contact your applicants. Come to think of it, do I really want to work for you if this is your work ethic.

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