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Thread: Would greatly appreciate some helpful advice on career situation

  1. #1
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    Would greatly appreciate some helpful advice on career situation

    Hello all,

    Just joined this forum and would be thrilled to get some honest (constructive criticism) advice on a career related situation I am currently in;

    I am trying to break in to the planning profession again after a five year hiatus and have sent my resume to 3 places thus far...all three resulted in interviews but after that nothing....here are the questions

    1) The first municipality who interviewed me wanted to know when I could start (i said 2 weeks after my next interview) I mistakenly thought It would be rude to cancel an interview after making one and was honest...In hindsight I was wrong because I didn't hear from them.........However, 3 weeks later, the guy they hired for the position I applied for didn't last and they called back last week wanting to know if i was still interested in the position, I said yes but havent heard anything since??? (they posted a job ad 3 days later on the APA site...My question is What the heck is going on over there????

    2) second Intv, it went well and I found out later they were checking my references, but then they hired someone else.... why would they check refs but not hire??

    3) Third intv went ok, but it was for an entry level position - and they seemed concerned because I was self employed and thought I would not like being told what to do --- result no callback....question -- is my age (mid 30's and being self -employed for 5 yrs) a "turn off" to planning agencies when considering for hiring me??

    I have 3 yrs of planning exp, a ba in geog and one semister of grad school in planning (I am concerned prospective employers might not want to hire me cause of a 5 yr lapse in planning related activities (am i true in thinking this?)

    Would anyone be interested in reviewing my resume / cover letter for criticism..I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback on it!!

    Just wanted to thank all of you in advance for your help and advice

  2. #2
    Quote Originally posted by cantrell01 View post
    <snip>
    1) The first municipality who interviewed me wanted to know when I could start (i said 2 weeks after my next interview) I mistakenly thought It would be rude to cancel an interview after making one and was honest...In hindsight I was wrong because I didn't hear from them.........However, 3 weeks later, the guy they hired for the position I applied for didn't last and they called back last week wanting to know if i was still interested in the position, I said yes but havent heard anything since??? (they posted a job ad 3 days later on the APA site...My question is What the heck is going on over there????
    Could be a couple of things: I'm trying to get somebody hired for our planner I position, but I'm swamped with my own job and most of that one as well. There just isn't enough time to get things done the way I would like. Also, human resources might have compelled re-advertising if the job had been offered/accepted. HR can be weired like that.

    2) second Intv, it went well and I found out later they were checking my references, but then they hired someone else.... why would they check refs but not hire??
    You were probably one of two finalists. I checked refs on both candidates too -- you never know when you might learn something about a candidate from a candid conversation -- enough perhaps to sway you to a different candidate.

    3) Third intv went ok, but it was for an entry level position - and they seemed concerned because I was self employed and thought I would not like being told what to do --- result no callback....question -- is my age (mid 30's and being self -employed for 5 yrs) a "turn off" to planning agencies when considering for hiring me??
    Would not be a problem for me, wouldn't even give me pause. My presumption is, you applied for the job, you should be serious enough to want it. Indeed, I'd prefer somebody a little more mature, but that's a by-product of my workplace (and a little bit of a hangover from the last PI who was, eh, not so mature for his age).

    How have you followed up the interviews?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    None of this seems that unusual.

    Quote Originally posted by cantrell01 View post

    1) The first municipality who interviewed me wanted to know when I could start (i said 2 weeks after my next interview) I mistakenly thought It would be rude to cancel an interview after making one and was honest...In hindsight I was wrong because I didn't hear from them.........However, 3 weeks later, the guy they hired for the position I applied for didn't last and they called back last week wanting to know if i was still interested in the position, I said yes but havent heard anything since??? (they posted a job ad 3 days later on the APA site...My question is What the heck is going on over there????

    2) second Intv, it went well and I found out later they were checking my references, but then they hired someone else.... why would they check refs but not hire??

    3) Third intv went ok, but it was for an entry level position - and they seemed concerned because I was self employed and thought I would not like being told what to do --- result no callback....question -- is my age (mid 30's and being self -employed for 5 yrs) a "turn off" to planning agencies when considering for hiring me??

    I have 3 yrs of planning exp, a ba in geog and one semister of grad school in planning (I am concerned prospective employers might not want to hire me cause of a 5 yr lapse in planning related activities (am i true in thinking this?)

    Would anyone be interested in reviewing my resume / cover letter for criticism..I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback on it!!

    Just wanted to thank all of you in advance for your help and advice
    1. Sounds like bad news- I'd ask a lot of questions about why the person left, but in any case since they've posted the ad it probably won't be something you'll have to worry about.

    2. You might have a bum reference, or they might go through the motions of checking a few peoples' references even when they know they want to hire one of them. Let it go.

    3. It is a turnoff only for an entry level position- they may figure you'd leave as soon as you got a better offer, and they may be correct.

    I don't think the lapse is a big deal but then again I don't know what you've been doing for those 5 years.

  4. #4
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    :Thnks for the help, I appreciate it )

  5. #5
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Howdy fellow Wisconsinite! I work in Janesville and live in northern, IL. I'm familiar with a lot of vacancies and recent hires in the area so I may be able to clue you in to particular situations. PM me if you are interested.

  6. #6
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    I know this is going to sound a but "foolish" but what does "PM" mean?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Private message. Click on my screenname, and then click on "send private message" or something like that. If you want to share with me what jobs you applied for, I may have some info about what is going on.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by cantrell01 View post
    I know this is going to sound a but "foolish" but what does "PM" mean?
    PM=Private Message. Use the control panel to send and receive private messages.

  9. #9
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    uggg. can't find p.m from control panel...oh well

    Places applied for:

    Winnebago Couonty
    Kenosha County
    Beloit, WI
    Mchenry, ILL
    Boone County
    Last edited by Gedunker; 30 Mar 2007 at 5:09 PM. Reason: sequential replies

  10. #10
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cantrell01 View post
    Places applied for:

    Winnebago Couonty
    Kenosha County
    Beloit, WI
    Mchenry, ILL
    Boone County
    I sent you a private message. Look in the upper right of your screen and click "Private messages".

  11. #11
    Member
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    Quote Originally posted by cch View post
    I sent you a private message. Look in the upper right of your screen and click "Private messages".
    there is nothing on upper right corner of my screen that says "private messages" I do have "windows messenger" though - could we try that instead CCH?

  12. #12
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    CCH --

    Just shoot me an e-mail cantrell01@sbcglobal.net

  13. #13
    Cyburbian solarstar's avatar
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    cantrell - click on "control panel" and then it gives you a choice of viewing messages. I don't have a link at the upper right either.

    By the way, the "when can you start" is a typical question that we always ask even if we have no intention of choosing that candidate. Next time give the standard "two weeks should be enough time to get things in order and notify my current employer" answer unless you need longer. It is a red flag that they had such a quick turnover, but you never know what actually happened. Our HR makes us readvertise if we only have one qualified candidate since we have to interview at least 3 for every interview "round". That may be what you're seeing there.

    References are often checked when you're down to one of the finalists - I'd take it as a good sign as long as you know your references are good.

    Finally, I'd be surprised to hear age and/or planning lapse are factors. Let them know you've kept up on planning issues in the state, and it sounds like cch can give you some valuable feedback about the planning situation in that area. Good luck, and hang in there!

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