Job Applications and Resume's

Updated on January 14, 2014
Z.M. asks from Los Angeles, CA
9 answers

I have been out of the FT work force for 12 years now. I always said once all the kids were in school I was going to get a job again but just PT and probably in retail just to give me play money. Every application I've filled out also asks for a resume to be attached. WHAT? Seriously…for a retail position? What's the purpose? It's not like it's a white collar job or sales. It's just retail. They already have the info in the application. It's been so long that I've put together a resume I don't even think I know how anymore. I can't afford to hire someone to do it for me or I wouldn't be needing this job.

Also if I ever do get the opportunity to get my foot in the door for a interview there's those stupid questions they always ask like:
"Why do you want to work for this company"? How do I answer that?

One of the stores I've applied online to is Target. They have this very long questionnaire of I believe 75 questions that they claim there is no right or wrong answers. Some of them could go both ways, some are trick questions, others are repeats. I've applied twice now and answered the Q's honestly every time. One that comes to mind is: If a co-worker confided in you that he stole something and swore you to secrecy would you tell your sup or protect your friends secret"? I checked I would tell my sup. Wrong? I wouldn't thinks so but I've been turned down both times in the three months I tried.

One last thing: The last time I worked any retail it was 14 years ago just before I met my husband and it was only for four months. I'm sure registers have been upgraded since. And all the places I've applied at want at least six months previous POS experience. How am I suppose to gain that if no one gives me a break?

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answers from Dallas on

I hate to respond with a link to another site, but I cannot recommend She puts up new content several times a day, and the commentator community is engaged, helpful and kind. There are archives on how to write a resume, interview advise, negotiating salary and a lot more. The blog author does not have a retail background but some of the commenters do. Good luck!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Asking for things like a resume, etc, for a retail job is about proving motivation. Are you willing to go to some effort to get this job? If you aren't, maybe you aren't really willing to work very hard.

(I'm not saying that you are not willing to work hard. I'm just saying that asking for things that require some effort is a screening tool for them, even if they don't actually need what they are asking for.)

If you have a basic computer with MS Office and MS Word, then you have a resume template. It's a standard part of the software. You can get a very basic resume using their template.

Since you've applied at Target more than once, I think it might be useful to make an appointment with the store manager. Don't ask for an interview for a job, and don't assume that this is to convince Target to hire you (although you should have a copy of your resume with you in case they ask). Just say that since you weren't hired, you are applying other places, and you'd like to get some feedback on your application, so you don't make naive mistakes in the future.

As for how to get around the 6 month request - if there is the opportunity to put in a cover letter, or box for 'other information you want to add' in the application, you address it there. You know that you don't have 6 months POS experience, but you are good with computers, friendly and outgoing, believe you would be good at working with customers, and you are willing to do as much training as needed to learn the required skills.

(By the way, if your point of view about retail comes through, eg "Seriously, for a retail position?""...those stupid question"...etc, then I can see why you weren't hired. Customer interactions with POS positions are one of the most important aspects of a successful retail business, in terms of getting customers to come back. Managers take hiring those positions very seriously, even if you don't.)

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answers from Los Angeles on

If you want the jobs you are applying for, you have to answer their questions. You currently do not sound motivated to do what it takes to get hired.

No one is going to hire someone who won't learn how to put together a resume. They are not going to hire someone who doesn't know why they want to work for their company. There are too many qualified applicants out there who want those jobs more than you do.

The best thing for you to do is to actually talk to a store manager to ask them how you can make yourself an attractive job candidate. Good luck with your job search!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Birmingham on

The easiest way to put together a resume by yourself, in my experience at least, is to do google image searches and see what other people have done with theirs. Look at a ton of resumes, especially those in your field, and see what you like, what looks professional, and go from there. Once you have a draft, get input from husband, friends, whoever. Try not to get bogged down by the idea of a resume--once you actually DO it, it doesn't have to be that tough.

As for "why do you want to work for this company?"--answer truthfully, but with enthusiasm. It's your chance to open up a little, show that you know a little about the company, and that you're not planning to stick around for just one or 2 paychecks. Just get excited (and knowledgeable!!) about the job and the company, and the interview will go more smoothly!

And the questionnaires... yeah, those are ridiculous. The example you used is a good one, actually, because the way you answered supposedly shows that you can't be trusted (to keep your friend's secret)... from what I've read about those things in the past. They're tricky and present you with catch-22 situations, pretty much. And really, do they demonstrate what kind of worker someone will *actually* be? *Rolls eyes*

Anyway, good luck in your job search. I hope you find something soon that works for you.

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answers from Springfield on

Do you know anyone who owns a small business, maybe a store or restaurant? Is there a locally owned store where you like to shop? It might help if you are able to make a personal contact. If there's someone who knows you or at least knows your motivations (ie, SAHM with kids in school) it might be easier to find a position.

I'm just wondering if you might find more success going the locally owned route.

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answers from Los Angeles on

You have to put together a resume. It shows a potential employer more than what you can put on an application. It shows them how well you can type and spell, whether your grammar is good, and what responsibilities you can considered most important or valuable. You'll want to highlight the aspects of your past jobs that are most relevant to the job you're applying for, even if they weren't the biggest parts of your job. There are tons of sample resumes on the web, so I'm sure you can find some that will help you put one together for yourself. A resume offers much more information about you - both as a person and your work history - than an application.

When you write a plural word, such as resumes, you do not use an apostrophe. Apostrophes show possession or are used for contractions. As a former recruiter, that is the type of thing that would stand out as a big negative when I was considering your application - you wrote it incorrectly in the title of your question, so that is the very first thing I thought about you. You must make a good first impression.

It is hard to get back into the work force after being out for a long time. Is their a course you can take through a local community college or rec center where you can get some training on some of the new systems? Are there online training classes you can take? If you do take it, make sure you indicate it on your resume.

I highly doubt that Target didn't accept you based on your answer to the question about stealing. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of people applying to the job and they can only accept a few at a time. They also likely just hired many people for the holiday season and may be keeping some of them on board. Don't assume you're getting turned down because of one small answer.

Why do you want to work for the company? Well, to help you better answer that, do your research beforehand. Go online and learn more about the company. Do they do a lot of charitable work? Do they have the same values as you? Do you want the discount at that store? Do you have something in common with the owner? For example, Target is a huge supporter of education. You can register your Red Card and Target will donate a percentage of every purchase to the school of your choice. If that really means a lot to you, you could tell the interviewer that you really respect Target's support of education and all that they do for your local schools, and tell them you want to be part of a company that values education so highly. Do your research. The interviewer can tell how much you know about the company/store, which shows that you cared enough about the job to learn more about it in advance.

How are you dressed when you go for an interview? What do you wear? The more professional you look, the more serious they will take you. Even if it's a retail job, look professional. Wear a suit. If you're applying at a clothes store, wear something you bought in that store. When I used to interview people, if they came in dressed to casually, I didn't think they were serious enough about the job.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I would imagine that right now it the time when retail places have the LEAST openings. You're going to have to try a different job.

Why? you ask?

99% of these places just laid off a BUNCH of people they hired for holidays. IF THEY HAD ANY OPENINGS THEY ARE FULL NOW. They had a massive amount of extra's working to refill shelves every few hours, to sweep up and clean bathrooms, extra cashiers, every single job had at least 2 people working it. Now they laid off everyone they couldn't find an opening for.

Every job they have is filled and they have tons of people that have already proven their merit to them that they have had on the payroll. They are going to hire them instead of someone off the street.

Sorry but right now is the worst time to be looking for a job at a store.

If you need work right now go to the employment office and see what they have on the books. Everyone that got laid off from this holiday jobs is also looking for the same job as you and they were just working, they haven't been a stay at home mom and out of the work force. SO they're more appealing.

I don't mean to be rude or mean or cast a shadow on your hopes of working in retail part time but in reality it's the worst time of the year to be doing what you're doing.

Please, if you need to work right now, go to the employment office or a temp agency or the kids schools and apply for every job you could possibly do. Even substituting is $60 a day or more. If you need a job right now there are much better ways of finding that future job.

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answers from Richland on

Those are psychological tests if you lie it is obvious because there are other questions that will show it. Not quite awake yet and I don't have one in front of me so I can't show you by questions how it works. Using your example most people would not run to the supervisor. If asked they would be honest but they wouldn't turn a friend in.

You have to be honest or you will fail that test every time and Target is not the only retail store that uses them.

An example from my life, I was applying to a grocery store, one of the questions was have you ever smoked pot. Yes. They asked about it in the interview I said I tried it as a teen, not impressed. To say no is almost always a lie. They didn't say use, they said try.

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answers from Dallas on

Visit your local community college and see what free resources that are available there. You pay taxes that support your community college and there are usually lots of services they can provide. They probably have classes on writing your resume, interviewing for jobs, doing a job search and may have low cost or free classes on updating your skills. You could also contact your local unemployment services office. They have free classes on writing resumes and probably someone who can make suggestions on a resume for a stay at home mom returning to the workforce. They do not just deal with unemployed people-they provide service to those wanting to enter or re-enter the job force. Good luck!

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