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questionHello, Work Buzz readers-

You’ll notice that lately we’ve been doing more Ask The Work Buzz posts where we discuss a question asked by you. We know job seekers have a lot of questions, especially these days, and we want to help! So this is a reminder to submit questions to us that you’d like answered.

As always, we encourage you to chime in with your $0.02 on Ask The Work Buzz questions. If we’re answering a question and you’ve been there, done that, feel free to share your experience in the comments.

You can post questions in the comments section here or even send them to us via Twitter.

So start asking!

  1. After position was eliminated in August last year, I am still searching for a job. Because of the economy and the area I am in it has been slim pickings. How can I explain this lack of employment in an interview now…?

  2. Is the market for civil CAD drafters going to pick up any time soon? What indications from the construction and banking industries might support your theory? I’m thinking of pursuing a different career path, but I don’t want to jump ship if things are about to turn.

  3. Mr. Balderrama;

    Nurses take quite a bit of abuse from the media-watch any “House” or “Grey’s Anatomy” episode, or heaven forbid “Nurse Jackie” and you’ll get the idea; according to these shows, nurses either do nothing, or are psychos. Then I come home from work to see you condense what a nurse does, who a nurse is, into someone who handles “sniffles” at a doctors office. I am a critical care nurse; I work nights in a 28-bed unit; the docs aren’t there at night, I am; I am there to keep you alive, I am there to comfort and educate your family about your illness and treatment, I am there to hold your hand, take care of your pain; I understand your complicated, multi-system illness, how it is affecting your body, what to look for to try and preventing you from “crashing”; I am the one the doc counts on to be his eyes, ears and brain when he or she isn’t there; I understand your lab values, your x-rays, your MRI results; I keep you and your “lines” fastidiously clean so that you will not get an infection, so that your skin won’t break down; I check and re-check everything so that you will not get the wrong drug or wrong treatment; I work to preserve your dignity in a situation that would strip it away; I am the one who takes the time to explain everything to you and your family, as the doc was “too busy”; I am the one who makes sure that your son flying in to say “goodbye” to you knows exactly how to get here to the hospital, and then makes sure that security is at the front entrance to bring you up, so you won’t get lost; I break the rules and let your sleep in the room, so you can “just be there”; I am well educated, and continue to educate myself to better care for you; My job is emotionally, physically and mentally challenging, and can be vastly rewarding when even one patient says “Thank You”; Nurses are not, as you called it, “Superheroes”; we are a group of well-educated, hardworking, and caring people who a vastly unappreciated by the public and poorly portrayed by the media. If you think that what I wrote above is trite or over dramatic, every nurse can tell you some story-some event that would pale in comparison to what I have written. Most docs today, especially in acute care areas, consider the nurses as a part of the team; not the pill-pushing subordinate of yesteryear. It would have been better, and truer, if you had said that nurses were next to docs in skill and knowledge with almost endless opportunities.The Cons? Overworked and unappreciated.

  4. I am a 50 year old man who for the last 3 years has been caring full time for my father with dementia. How do I overcome the twin hurdles of age and a long stretch of “unemployment” during my job search?

  5. I am a 51-year old female who was recently fired after 10 years with a very small company (less than a dozen employees). I had recently had surgery, which coincided with a very busy time at the office. I was out of the office for 3 days for the surgery, which I was told I would be paid for, and had to call in sick one day the following week due to recouperation issues. I was fired without warning and told that the reason was “poor performance” and taking too many sick days was cited. How do I respond to the question of why I left my previous employer?

  6. It has been said from resume writers that you should never cover up gaps in employment. It has also been said you should explain your unemployment on your resume or cover letter. I have been out of work for 2 years. I have been primarily taking care of my kids at home while my wife works full time. After running the cost numbers for daycare, gas etc I found it hard to find something that I could bring home some money and not just break even, or less. I was a newly licensed real estate inspector right when the real estate market went down 2 years ago and found myself without clientele and equipment etc. If I am to explain my gap on my resume where do I put it? My resume is a chronological resume. Or should I leave the explanation of my gap for the cover letter only?

  7. I have two questions and that is what do you do about previous employers who have gone out of business and closed on your resume? All of my past employers with the exception of one have closed and gone out of business. I realize that many companies hire out background checks but do these jobs still show up?
    The other question is: I’ve worked many years in several positions and I know that it’s good to keep the resume short to one page and to the last 5 years what should I do? Many of the jobs I’ve held have been 10+ years or more!

  8. Hello Work Buzz. I graduated college 3 years ago with a degree in elementary education. There are not very many teaching positions out there so I’m looking to other avenues. I’d like something that would pay more than minimum wage but I am unsure of what I can do with a degree that doesn’t specialize in anything but education?

  9. Courtney,
    You have the degree to teach! Use it to do your own home school/tutor. My parents paid A LOT of money to have me tutored. You need to advertise it!!!

  10. Greetings!

    I am hospitality senior college student about to graduate and would like to work in marketing for which I developed a strong interest during my education. I have joined my College’s Marketing Club as Director of Advertising and I am seeking an internship to gain a first experience. How should I approach companies since I have not yet worked in this field nor it is my major?

    Thank you

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  14. Although I have a full-time job, I decided to earn a few more dollars to add to my cofters by creating website. I’m learning how to blog for dollars and so far it’s been interesting!! I have always loved to write, so this is write up my alley.

  15. I was let go from a position in 2006 for “performance” reasons. The only thing I was ever told was the 1 word–performance. I found out afterwards that my immediate supervisor was lying to her supervisor about providing the training that was necessary to do my job and that she was lying because she and her assistant were forging documents. Had I been doing the job I was hired for I would have discovered what they were doing. One of the employees has since been fired for her actions and the other was suspended, however, that particular branch is no longer open. How do I explain being let go for this reason? I realize now that I should have smelled something fishy and quit but I didn’t and am not sure how to answer the why were you let go/fired questions.

  16. Hey, Work buzz! Boring question, but necessary answer. I haven’t worked in the job force for very long. I am applying for a position that is requiring a salary history. I know what this is, but how do I present this. First job and salary or most recent and salary? Do I include the employer and job title? Thanks

  17. I have a bit of an unusual situation and would appreciate some help. Throughout high school, my family moved back and forth across the country, and I attended 4 schools in 4 years. For obvious reasons, this limited my number of friends and accomplishments and, thus, my networking opportunities. Fortunately, my parents have managed to get me on with companies they’ve worked for, and for the last three years I’d been performing clerical work, which helped get me through 3 years of college. However, I am unable to complete the 4th because my family has been struggling lately. Through a series of badly timed events and incompetent employers, we all became unemployed. Because the job market made it tough for either of my parents to find quality jobs, we decided to move from Las Vegas to a small town in Oklahoma where we have relatives for support and living is cheaper. Unfortunately, most of my relatives are either retired or seeking jobs themselves, so they’re not able to povide the connections we would like, which leaves us on our own. With their experience, my parents are having no trouble finding interested parties, but I can’t say the same for me. My experience is not extensive enough to walk into to any office job, but it is concentrated enough to not be of much use in other fields like retail and customer service. No matter how many jobs I apply for, including several “no experience necessary” positions, I can’t get a job, much less an interview, and I can’t understand why. Several teachers and co-workers have stated that I am ideal student/employee: I show up to work on time, I do my job better than most, and I never cause problems. My father, who has worked in management for 20 years, likes my resume; I received an honors diploma; my college GPA is above 3.5; and I don’t have a criminal history. Making matters worse, my parents are upset because they feel my failure to find a job is my fault. Either I’m not being agressive enough or I’m being too picky (mind you I applied for several entry-level retail positions). So what do you make of this? Why am I unable to get a job, but people who appear to be stoned half the time and who struggle to do their job are successful?

  18. This question is on behalf of a friend of mine, who is in an awful situation. After quickly building a successful career in management in the public sector and earning high regard in his field, my friend unfortunately ended up being accused of harassment and discrimination when he choose one of his employees for a promotion, over another. The rejected employee made the claims hoping that HR would overturn his decision. HR told him they would put him on administrative leave while they investigate the claims. At the same time, my friend was afraid that HR would discover that he had a close relationship with a third employee, thus possibly regarding him as violating their no-fraternization policy.

    So, rather than go on administrative leave and subject himself and his department to an investigation and media speculation, he decided to resign. That was nearly 4 months ago and while he has had dozens of interviews in that time, he has not been able to land a new job. When asked why he quit, he’s been giving answers about being unhappy there, wanting to change the course of his life, and things like that. But at this point he is wondering if it would be looked at more favorably if he honestly explained the situation.

    Do you think any future employers would immediately rule him out if he told them that he quit because he developed feelings for an employee, which was against policy? Or if he told them false allegations were being made about him out of retaliation, and because he wasn’t happy there he decided to skip the drama and resign?

    Also, potential employers have been asking him to sign a release, that would allow his old HR department to answer ANY questions about him, which he would prefer not to do. But if he did, could HR legally talk about allegations for which he was never officially charged?

    Thank you. Any advice would be much appreciated.

  19. I changed jobs early this year and now I want to go back to my previous job because what am doing now is not related to my carreer and I dont like it. Am missing my former job and I would like to go back. will my former boss mistreat me? is it advisable to go back? please help

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  21. The question is: How do I reconcile moving, time lapses for caring for my children and job changes over various fields on a resume?
    The situation: I have had many job changes over the course of my working life. My husband’s job has us relocating from state to state or overseas every 2 1/2 years (on the average). In the course of the last 20 years since I graduated from college and have been moving there have been many jobs that have not been in line with my original teaching degree. For the better part of the last 11 years I have stayed home and raised my children. I did teach some and volunteer throughout the entire time. I have had a range of positions that have given me great skills in several fields that I know I can build upon.
    How do I reconcile these events so that it does not place me in to the “round file” in the corner? Any help is appreciated…thanks.

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