my boss retired but still won’t leave us alone, do people still put phone numbers on resumes, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. My boss retired but still won’t leave us alone

What do you do when your old boss finally retires and then still won’t leave you alone?! My old boss loved his agency and line of work so much that he worked beyond 40-hour weeks and was reluctant to retire in the first place. Then the arthritis in his hand got the best of him and he retired. We rejoiced. Now he won’t stop sending personal emails loaded with his opinions on how we should handle various situations that he intentionally sought to find out about through various social back-channels. Is there a polite way to say please just butt out already!?

Absolutely. Someone with authority could say to him, “Fergus, I’ve got to ask you to stop emailing the team about work matters because it’s confusing the message over here.” Or, if you don’t feel like you have the authority to say that, you could try, “Hey, Fergus, we’ve got this covered. Enjoy your retirement, and don’t worry about stuff here.”

And if that doesn’t work, you really could just ignore his messages. If that feels too rude, try verrrrrrry long waits before you respond, and then when you do respond, make it unsatisfying — just a quick “noted!” or something like that. It might wean him off the satisfaction he’s getting by still feeling involved. But really, ignoring is okay too, once you’ve done that initial “we’ve got it covered” message.

2. I’m terrified by the intensive business course I’m about to take

I managed to get a last-minute place in a course that runs for a few days, but I am terrified. The course is an intensive business/finance sort of thing, with speakers and lots of team work on the four days with a final presentation at the end. I decided to give it a go to challenge myself, maybe network a bit, and see if finance/business would be a career for me. I’m currently at university studying humanities.

Words cannot even begin to express how nervous I am about this and I need help in beating these nerves. I think it’s a combination of:
– having little to no business/finance knowledge so feeling out of place/inferior
– because my friend recommended me, I am an extension of their professional reputation and now feel like I have to do well (in fact they have reminded me of this, which is fine but it’s extra pressure and I’m very conscious of this)
– I’ve never networked before and worry just saying “I’m here to see what I’m interested in” is too vague or unambitious – it is designed for ambitious people and though I am ambitious I don’t know what I want to do
– no office/professional experience – the most I’ve done is part-time retail gigs

I suppose what I’m asking is, how on earth can I a) calm down about this and b) network effectively with little experience? I want to make a good impression on the other course mates who I’ll have to work with and the business people who will be there, and I know I can be collected and confident but I’m still panicking. Please help!

It’s is very, very likely that there will be lots of other people there who are similar to you. You definitely won’t be the only person who’s new to networking (and really, people with decades of work experience still feel awkward about networking — possibly most of us), and if the course is targeting university students, lots of them won’t have professional experience (or what they do have will be very minor). And “I’m here to see what I’m interested in” is totally reasonable; anyone who judges you for not being sure what you want to do professionally while you’re still in school must live in a bubble, since that’s a very normal way to feel.

And really, 99% of the time when you’re dreading something like this, it ends up being much, much better than you fear it will be. Will it help to realize that the level of anxiety you describe is out of sync with the reasons for it — that you’re stressing yourself out far more is warranted? I will send you a cupcake if I turn out to be wrong about this. (You just need to report back and send me your address if I’m wrong.)

Read an update to this letter here.

3. Do people still put phone numbers on resumes?

I am job hunting in New York City for a luxury retail sales jobs. I got an interesting question yesterday. Although the interviewer had my resume with my phone number in front of her, she asked for my number. When I asked her why, she said, “Now no one puts their phone number, just email.” So, is this a new thing? And would you recommend I keep or lose my phone number?

It’s not a thing. I suppose maybe it’s a thing in luxury retail sales in NYC (I’d have no idea), but it’s not a thing in general. I can’t think of the last time I got a resume without a phone number.

Loads of employers still contact candidates by phone rather than email, and most of them are not going to be pleased to discover that they can’t do that. Keep the phone number on there. (And really, if for some reason it is a thing in your field and region, you’re not going to be judged for having a phone number on there, since it’s a totally normal thing to provide.)

4. Should I push back on this change to one of my job duties?

I work for a school district, for our child care program. Throughout the school year, we have a dozen schools with about 600 children enrolled. I handle the deposits of fees for our program, and all parents are required to pay online with credit or debit card; I reconcile a monthly report of fees collected and hand it in to our accounting department. We also have a preschool, which is part of our department, that has about a fifth of our enrollment. Soon, all of the parents at the preschool will also be required to pay online, which will increase their volume. Since I am the only one in our department who does our card deposits, the office manager will not need to process deposits anymore.

I don’t mind taking over the deposits, since I think it will streamline things and it only accounts for a single line on the spreadsheet. However, I am wary of taking on a function of her job, considering she already make more than me because of her particular title. I’ve brought it up to our program coordinator, who is actually retiring this week, and she agrees with my point, and thinks I ought to have the office manager reconcile her own account. It may not work in practice, though, and the director of accounting might not go for it. Should I just suck it up and accept it?

Yes. Job duties switch around all the time. This isn’t like being asked to take on a whole new area of responsibility; it’s just a change to an area you’re already involved with.

If there’s some reason why it would make more business sense for the office manager to reconcile her own accounts, that would be different. But it sounds like you agree that the change makes sense.

5. Do I have to paid for a full week when my last day is mid-week?

I am an exempt employee. I have given my two weeks notice and will be ending mid-week. Does my employer still need to pay me for the full week or does this change because I’ve given my resignation?

Nope, this is one of the few exceptions where the law doesn’t require exempt employees to receive their full salary for the week. They can pay you for a partial week if it’s your first week or your last week. (If anyone is baffled by what the hell “exempt” means, here’s an explanation.)

{ 182 comments… read them below }

  1. Audiophile*

    I’d be more concerned by the fact that she asked for your phone number when she had your resume in front of her. I could see if din’t have your resume on hand or it had gotten wet and so she needed to write your number down again, but otherwise, it’s just weird to ask.

    1. Chocolate Teapot*

      I would have said something like “My number is 555 123456, which you can see on my CV”. I can never remember my phone number immediately when it’s asked for.

    2. Panda Bandit*

      Yeah, there is something off about that interviewer. I get the feeling she was looking for a reason to be snotty or was playing games.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I could imagine it just being a throwaway remark — like asking “what’s your number?” without really thinking about the fact that she has a resume in front of her and then saying “oh, these days, you hardly ever see numbers on resumes” to explain why she just asked rather than because it’s actually true.

        1. just another librarian*

          Yes, that’s what it sounds like to me. I doubt the LW was supposed to read something into that remark.

          1. TootsNYC*

            I agree. I think it only means that she was moving fast, mentally.

            She may also be the person who processes info aurally.

            I sometimes go to a department and say, “Who’s in charge of this?” instead of looking at the chart that tells me. I think it’s not very polite of me, so I’m working on changing that. But I just prefer to get information through human contact, and I forget about paper.

        2. LBK*

          Yeah, that’s how I read it. I don’t think it was meant to tell the OP how she should be writing her resume, it was just explaining why it’s part of the interviewer’s natural cadence to ask for a phone number: because she apparently gets a lot of resumes that don’t have them.

      2. Random Lurker*

        I hate it when a hiring manager offers input on what should or shouldn’t be on a resume. This is a huge pet peeve of mine, actually. Something on the resume must have been enticing enough to want to have an interview. Why aren’t we discussing that? Why waste time getting to know each other to discuss formatting or other minutiae like a phone number? Even if it’s a brief comment, it isn’t really related to the job. When I’ve been on the receiving end of comments like this, it always feels like the interviewer needs to feel like the smartest person in the room.

        Maybe I read too much into these comments. We all have things that irritate the hell out of us that we try to avoid in a potential boss. This one is one of mine.

        1. BRR*

          I’d be irritated over something small like this where it doesn’t really matter and it’s still incredibly common. To me it’s as normal as having your name on your resume. If there is a hiring manager who is passing up on people who put their number on their resume let them go forth and find barely any candidates for roles. And again it always bothersome when it doesn’t matter. There is no standard resume format.

        2. Merry and Bright*

          I’m with you on this. If you are in the interview chair then the thing wasn’t a deal-breaker.

        3. Recruit-o-Rama*

          I will sometimes offer advice on formatting issues because I know my hiring managers well and I know that some of them have irritating hang ups over resume formats and I’m trying to help you. I look for skill sets and other things, so I often overlook formatting issues, but in general, I am offering advice in order to provide something of value to job seekers. Perhaps I’ve been irritating my applicants and candidates? That has never occurred to me.

          1. JMegan*

            I don’t know – I think if you’re talking about a specific manager, who you know well, and that person has specific quirks that might be dealbreakers to them, it’s worth mentioning to your candidates. “Fergus only accepts resumes in green font – we have no idea why, but it’s really important to him.”

            It’s useful information if it’s not commonly known (or if it’s specific to a particular office or person), AND if it could make the difference between the person getting an interview or not – as a recruiter, it’s your job to see that the person gets an interview, right? If the info is coming directly from the hiring manager to the candidate, and the candidate already has an interview, it’s likely to be more annoying than helpful.

            1. Recruit-o-Rama*

              You would be very surprised at the kinds of basic errors people make on their resumes. Whether my company hires them or not, listing their work history in the wrong chronological order will not help them in their overall job search, as an example. My job as an internal corporate recruiter is to find the right person for the vacant position, or rather find a pool of candidates for the hiring manager to interview for a vacant position, no necessarily to get a specific candidate an interview.

              On this website, the comments section tends to over analyze what hiring managers and recruiters say and do. The bottom line is a lot of people could benefit from some basic resume advice and if there is a glaring issue, I point it out. Maybe it’s not my “job” in the strictest sense, but I do it anyway. I assume some people will be annoyed and some will appreciate it. I cannot make everyone happy and I am very unlikely to stop doing it because the needs of the people who appreciate and use the advice to their job seeking benefit outweigh the desires of people who are annoyed for no good reason.

                1. Recruit-o-Rama*

                  It has made me think about what I say and how I say it to candidates though so I appreciate the perspective. It’s very easy to assume that people know what you mean when you say the same things day in and day out. A phone screen or an interview are things I do from my chair multiple times a day everyday, but for my candidates, they are doing it once this week and it’s probably been a long time since they’ve done it and they are nervous and anxious so I like this site for reminding me of that easily forgotten fact.

              1. TootsNYC*

                I think there’s something different about advice from a recruiter and advice from the hiring manager.

                When I speak w/ the recruiter, I’m speaking with a job-hunt professional. So anything they can tell me to increase my chances of making a good impression w/ the hiring manager is great.

                But Random Lurker’s comment was specifically about the -hiring manager-. And I kind of agree. By that point, we should be talking about the job, and whether I can do that, and not about whether I can put together a resumé the way you like it.
                If something about the resumé strikes you as so odd that it might affect whether I’d be a good fit, sure, ask (“I see your resumé has your most recent job at the end–what was your thinking on that organization?”). But then, maybe, why did you call me in? (I know that I’d have to be really short of decent candidates to interview someone whose resumé was organized that way.)

                1. Recruit-o-Rama*

                  I think this is just semantics. I am the one who puts the candidates in front of the hiring manager at my company so the answer to the question “well why did you even call me in?” might be that. I think it’s an overly adversarial take on the advice offered, from my perspective. Why get hung up on it? Why assume some other motive?

                2. MillersSpring*

                  As a hiring manager, I have given resume advice to candidates under the premise of, “You seem like a nice and competent person, and in case this opportunity does not work out, I’d like to help your job search by pointing out a couple of suggestions.” Examples might include minor typos, missing words, chronological resumes being preferred over functional ones, skills that could be added–oh, you have Hubspot experience?, etc. Yes, in an interview I really wouldn’t spend more than one or maybe two minutes on that kind of suggestion, but if someone senior is being kind and offering you constructive criticism, I wouldn’t get huffy that your interview time is being wasted.

        4. Murphy*

          I’ve been asked for advice on a resume (at the end of an interview) and then happily gave it, but otherwise I generally won’t (even if I’m biting my tongue to keep from saying something).

          1. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

            I have something when the applicant is new to the work force and it’s a glaring error.

            It’s getting better but over the years I’ve seen recent graphic design graduates who get such bad resume advice. The last time I said anything it was because I couldn’t figure out when he had actually worked for these companies.

    3. Joseph*

      Meh, I don’t think it’s that weird. Most of the time, people will put their phone number (along with email and possibly physical address*) in a header. The interviewer probably just skimmed the initial header when the resume came in, but then focused purely on the actual content and just blanked that it was there. After all, if I’m reviewing your resume prior to the interview, your phone and email are basically irrelevant to me until afterwards when I need to contact you.

      Haven’t you ever lost your keys and then found that holy jeez, they were on the table in plain sight the whole time? Same deal.

      Don’t overthink it.

      *As an aside, what’s the consensus on putting physical addresses on resumes? I almost always see it listed on resumes, but I’m been in the work force for almost a decade, have interviewed dozens of people, yet have never once contacted a candidate by snail mail – so it seems kinda useless from that perspective. But on the other hand, it tells people “hey, I’m local” and removes that attendant worry, so I could maybe see an argument for it.

      1. NJ Anon*

        Because I’m in NJ and am not going to hire a part time bookkeeper from Texas. Are you moving? Then put it in your cover letter. I’m tired of playing guessing games with job candidates.)

      2. ThatGirl*

        I’ve never been initially contacted by snail mail, though I have gotten some rejection form letters by post. But I always figured it was to show I was local, especially since phone numbers are portable now. I had a Kentucky area code for over a year after I first moved to northern Illinois. Now I have an area code from a different part of the metro area than where I actually live.

      3. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I increasingly see resumes with no mailing address, but it always makes me wonder if the person is local or not (since sometimes it’s a way of disguising that). Since many employers prefer to hire local candidates, if you are local, I think you should include it so that you’re not raising the question in their heads. But more and more people are taking it off. (I just don’t see why, if they’re local. Some people say it’s for security reasons, but I don’t get that.)

        1. Long Time Reader First Time Poster*

          I tend to put my town and state on resumes, but not my actual address. Maybe it’s weird, but I don’t like the idea of potential employers google mapping me to see what kind of house I live in before making an offer.

          1. Bad neighborhood*

            My neigborhood has a bad reputation so I do the same. A few bosses have told me that they wouldn’t’ve hired me if they’d seen my address up front…

            1. Kelly L.*

              Wow, that sounds like it could get really racist really fast! Sounds like you’ve had some pretty nasty bosses.

              1. Christopher Tracy*

                That’s exactly the point. And frankly, if someone said that to me, as a black woman who lives in the business district of my city (so a pretty desirable location), I’d be job searching. I have no patience for bigots.

        2. Florida*

          Security reasons?! These candidates are misinformed.
          Generally speaking, your address is public record (voter record, driver license record, any professional license). These candidates don’t know how easy it is for a motivated person to find their address. Your email and cell phone number, however, are generally only available if you put it out there. It is often available in public record docs, but only if you choose to put it on there. It’s not usually a requirement.
          So if you are worried about security, you should keep your cell phone and email off the resume.

          Note: I am not recommending you remove your phone or email from your resume. I think you should include your phone, email, and physical address.

          1. Long Time Reader First Time Poster*

            “Misinformed” is a bit much.

            I have no illusions of my address being untraceable. Obviously if a motivated employer wants to dig deep and find out where I live, I’m not able to stop them. However, omitting my address puts the onus on them to do a bit more digging than just copy and pasting my info into google.

        3. M from NY*

          Job searches have changed. For example years ago one could register with 2-3 agencies and have temp positions overlap. Now you can register with 20 and hear nothing. I am no longer filling out 20 w-2 forms when you have no immediate assignment or real interviews beyond “bait and switch” opportunities. When one has to send out a significantly larger number of resumes to people that don’t need specific information then chances of being victim to their sloppy housekeeping (data breach or just outright selling of mailing list to third party vendors) increases. Address may not matter if you move frequently but when it’s been consistent it is an easy in for identity theft.

      4. Regular Lurker*

        When I was laid off, I received job placement services as part of my severance package. The counselor I spoke to told me to leave off my physical address but include my city and state. He suggested it was for personal security/privacy purposes. Not sure if it’s true, but I followed that advice and it was not a problem in my job search.

      5. Allisonthe5th*

        Agree! Don’t overthink it. Do you want to be contacted about a job? Then make it easy for people. If I’m Lukewarm about your resume and have to hunt down a way to talk to you, I’m not going to bother…

    4. ScaredyCat*

      My initial thought was that perhaps the recruiter is thinking of CVs/resumes which were not specifically submitted through an application process? Eg: online job sites, LinkedIn, etc.

      I actually removed my phone number from my online CV because I was getting way too many calls during business hours. Though I’ve generally worked in offices where taking personal calls was not a problem, I always felt really anxious talking to recruiters at work. I really really suck at moving to a more private office in an inconspicuous manner, so I would just suddenly rush off which probably made things that much more awkward.

      If I do specifically apply for a job, then I will also list my phone number on the resume, otherwise I prefer to be contacted via e-mail/LinkedIn message/smoke signal/etc.

      1. Audiophile*

        When I post my resume online, I remove my phone number and address. Even when I’ve posted it on my own website, I also removed big name financial company, since I was working there at the time.

        When I’m applying for jobs directly, I leave everything on my resume.

    5. Sutemi*

      It is not uncommon, but sometimes applicants to want to take a phone screen at a different phone that the one on the resume. Perhaps they want to use a land line rather than cell, or a google voice, or simply want to confirm a number just in case it was mis-typed.

      1. Meg Murry*

        Yes, that’s what I was thinking. More of a “what’s the best number to reach you at time X?” question, rather than assuming it’s on your resume (which maybe isn’t in front of the person that minute).

      2. Kimberlee, Esq*

        Yep. When I’m setting up a phone interview, I 100% of the time ask what number they would like to be contacted at, I never just assume it’s the one on the resume.

      3. Stranger than fiction*

        Oh that’s a great point. I used to prefer interviewing on a land line, because cell reception wasn’t as great as it is now. (now I don’t even have a landline)
        But this lady still didn’t need to say nobody puts a phone number.

    6. diane kaston*

      i agree, i often find i am being interviewed by people who have not read my resume and use the “tell me about yourself?” to cover for that?

      1. LBK*

        I ask that question even if I’ve read the resume because I want to see how the candidate describes themselves off the cuff rather than in a document that they’ve had time to edit and polish. It tells me a lot, like seeing how well people can summarize lengthy sets of information and it gives me insight into what’s the most important to them or what they see as the core of their career based on what they emphasize when they talk about their job history.

        1. OfficePrincess*

          Yes this. I always start off with “Tell about yourself and what brings you here”. For a well-prepared candidate it’s a great way to start off on a good note with a professional summery that clearly links them to why they applied for this particular job. For a not-so-prepared candidate, it can toss out any number of flags (and has on rare occasion eliminated a candidate from consideration). Either way, it opens up the conversation in ways you might not get from just Q&A on their resume.

          1. Kimberlee, Esq*

            Yeah, I don’t understand why some candidates balk at being asked “Tell me about yourself” at an interview. It’s literally the easiest question you could possibly get. If you don’t have an answer for that, I dunno. Like, its something that people will ask you at work events, it’s something new co-workers will ask you, it’s something new managers will ask you. It’s something randos you meet at a bar will ask you.

            1. Ultraviolet*

              I think if someone is worried about giving the “correct” answer in an interview, then “Tell me about yourself” is anxiety-provoking because it’s so open-ended. And as just discussed, it usually comes at the very beginning of the interview, when you have the least amount of information to gauge what your interviewer might want to hear. If you’re thinking of the interview as a test to pass rather than a conversation, it can feel like an unfair question.

              I’ve never heard it outside an interview, so I think it also has a little stigma as being a classic job-interview question.

              1. LBK*

                As I mentioned above, I use this question in interviews, but I do try to shape it a little so it’s clear I want to hear about them as a worker, not just them as a person in general. Something along the lines of “Talk to me a little about your background and your career up to this point”. I’m having trouble thinking of how I say it because I don’t really phrase it as a formal question – I tend to just let it flow from whatever small talk we’re making as the candidate settles in. So far I’ve found it to be a good ice breaker as it lets the candidate start with something they can (or at least should be able to) talk about easily: themselves.

              2. OfficePrincess*

                I interview entry-level candidates. I give a lot of leeway between right vs wrong answers. Basically, I don’t want to know that you have three kids who’s father just left you and your sister is kicking you out and your dog died and …. Keep it related to your work life and draw a link from what you’ve done to the job I’m hiring for. I promise it’s not a trick question!

                1. LBK*

                  I also interview entry-level, so I wonder if that’s a common thread for why we find it more useful – entry-level people don’t tend to have enough work history to get a really clear sense of the direction of their career, so it helps to hear them describe where they want to go and why they think this job is the right next step for them to get there. If you’ve spent 20 years as an accountant, I don’t necessarily need to hear you summarize your career. Seems pretty clear you want to be an accountant.

                2. TootsNYC*

                  Yeah, there’s almost no totally wrong answer.

                  Even if you include somewhat superficial personal stuff, like you’re a mom, or you grew up in the Midwest–that’s fine. It’s not going to tank your application.

                  I also think it is SUCH a predictable question that every job applicant should prepare for it. Three to four sentences.

                3. LBK*

                  I did have a candidate recently who basically spent the entire answer talking about how her process of choosing a college and her experience being on the swim team there, which was really weird since she’d had multiple jobs after college so it wasn’t like she didn’t have any professional experience to discuss. But I probably wouldn’t have disqualified her just based on that answer (the interview went downhill from there, which is what disqualified her).

              3. Bee Eye LL*

                I once had a hiring manager ask “What are you into” and I responded with “Well that’s a loaded question” and got a laugh out of him. I also got the job.

                Now that I have conducted some interviews myself, I can tell you that it’s often hard to gauge a personality because people are so rigid and careful during interviews. I work in IT, and one question I like to spring on candidates is “Star Wars or Star Trek?” just to see how they react. Best answer so far: “You first.” Hahaha

                1. neverjaunty*

                  Springing random, job-unrelated questions on people just to see how they react is good because it signals to the applicant what your company culture is like.

                2. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  @neverjaunty If I’m reading that correctly as sarcasm, could we … be a little nicer to each other here? By all means, make this point but it can be made in a kinder way. (And if I’m just jumpy and it’s not sarcasm, blame it on a morning spent dealing wieh an influx of really crap comments on yesterday’s intern post.)

                3. Bee Eye LL*

                  How is gauging personality job-unrelated? We are hiring computer techs who do customer service, in person and on the phone, all day long. They need to be able to react quickly and interact with people, especially when the job entails going to someone’s office, sitting in their space, and so on.

                  Also, I would not base by hiring on whether or not someone prefers Star Trek over Star Wars. That’s not the point of the question at all. It’s sort of an ice breaker.

                4. Recruit-o-Rama*

                  Bee eye, I agree with you, I like to ask some unrelated to the job, light hearted questions to break the ice and get my candidates comfortable so they will relax a little and show me who they are as people.

        2. Murphy*

          Yup! It’s my first question: “tell me about your experience and education and how it relates to this position” (or something like that).

          I’m looking for someone who can pick out salient points and tell me why I should care about them (something we do a lot in our job). I don’t want a job history when I’m asking that, but a summation of how your experience fits my needs. Like a briefing. Like we write all the freaking time in our job.

        3. Stranger than fiction*

          That makes sense, but it’s still annoying when you can tell they haven’t read your resume at all by other things they say and ask.

          1. Recruit-o-Rama*

            Ha! In addition to my actual recruiting responsibilities, I conduct training for our new supervisors in interviewing skills. I spend two whole slides and a breakout activity teaching them to prepare for their interviews, including reading the resume. I was shocked to learn when I started in this role years and years ago that it was not a standard part of their process!

    7. Not So NewReader*

      I thought she was trying to cover for her own oversight and, unfortunately, thinking quickly, she came up with a very weak cover. I think we all have done this, where we do some dumb thing, we try to cover and then do a bad job covering.

      It would have been easier if she had just said, “Oh, right. I see that now.” Instead she handled it the hard way and dug herself in deeper.

      She could be worried, nervous, tired, etc. People hit brain voids for all kinds of reasons.

      I do know that I have learned so much here. I knew to shoot candidates an email rather than just randomly calling to set up in person interviews. This allowed candidates to prepare with their preliminary questions before my phone call and we were able to discuss what to expect in the interview itself. The process was SO much easier. (I hit less brain voids myself!) Most people have both email and phone on their resume and that is very helpful.

      1. OfficePrincess*

        I think there may have also been a bit of her being so used to getting poorly done resumes it didn’t occur to her to check for what she needed before asking. Or, it may have just been a reflex, like when the server tells you to enjoy your meal and you say “thanks, you too” before your brain kicks in to tell you that this is one of the situations where you don’t want to default to that response.

    8. Recruit-o-Rama*

      I generally email candidates to schedule phone screens and always ask for the best number to reach them. You would be surprised how many people give me a different number than is on their resume. Also, many people list more than one number and I am just confirming which number is their preference for the scheduled call. Perhaps the interviewer in this case meant to ask/say something along those lines.

    9. Chaordic One*

      Back in the day, when I sometimes paid for things in stores with a check, I would get annoyed when the cashier would ask for my phone number. I would politely reply that it was printed on the front of the check (which in my case it was.) Which makes me think that I can’t recall the last time that happened. Maybe 5 or 6 years ago.

  2. Chriama*

    #5 – I know this is slightly off topic, but can we have a post about legal pay requirements in general? Like, when do you need to receive your last paycheque by, and under what conditions is your employer allowed to change your salary/withhold pay/whatever. One question I’ve had for a while is, if your company gave you a salary increase but later realized it was incorrect (e.g. they mean to give you 5k but gave you 15k) under what conditions can they ask for it back. Does it matter how big the mistake was (e.g. was it something you could have reasonably been expected to notice and ask about, or they should have expected to notice and pay back) or how long it had been going on before they noticed (e.g. if it’s been over a year are they allowed to ask for repayment for 6 months of the excess but not more than that)? How are they allowed to ask for it back, and who is the burden of proof on to indicate what the proper pay amount should have been?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Every state has their own laws on that, but you can very easily get the pay laws for your state (usually in a pretty user-friendly form) by googling this:

      (name of state) paycheck laws

      (Although since you’re writing “paycheque,” I’m guessing you’re not in the U.S.!)

      If your company makes an error on your check in your favor, they can indeed demand it back, regardless of amount. There might be a limit on how long afterward they can do it, but if there is, it’s a pretty long one (generally within a year is going to be allowed). Beyond that, you’re getting into details I can’t speak to with any authority!

      1. Construction Safety*

        Sis is going thru this right now. Employer changed payroll companies, she got a two-week check for something like 4 hours of pay. Called right away & they over-nighted a check for the balance (say 68 hours). Next payroll period they paid for all actual hours plus another 68 hours. She called right away, then again and again and again. Now they’re 2 months down the road & no resolution. She’s afraid they’ll take 68 gross hours of pay out of one paycheck & doesn’t want to hear any “Well, you’ll get it all back when you file your taxes” B.S.

    2. misspiggy*

      There have been quite a lot of posts about legal pay requirements, so an archive/keyword search may help. But many of the rules seem very country and state-specific.

    3. fposte*

      I think in Canada that’s by province, so try your province name in the Google search. Some of that may also be under banking regulations–but it may also be that no limits are given by the law at all.

    4. That Crazy Canuck Bookkeeper*

      Labour laws in Canada are usually based on the province you work in, unless you work in a federally regulated industry (banking, airlines, some others), which have their own labour rules. In BC for example, if I overpay an employee, I am not allowed by law to deduct that overpayment from their check without their written permission. If they don’t give it, I would have to file with the courts to get permission, and would probably just have to eat it. On the other hand, in Newfoundland I could reduce your check to zero to correct an overpayment at any time with zero notice. It’s pretty much impossible to say anything definite without knowing the province and industry you are working in.

  3. LiteralGirl*

    #4: The only thing I can see that would make sense is to perhaps see if the office manager can take on something that you currently do, but only if doing the preschool reconciliation will take enough time that it would cause you to have overtime.
    Side note: this completely sounds like my kids’ school district program. I’m so grateful we had it!

    1. Jaune Deprez*

      I agree. I might try to negotiate a responsibility swap if the task I’d be taking on was going to require a big chunk of my time, but not otherwise.

      Taking on an extra responsibility sometimes leads to recognition and advancement, and sometimes it doesn’t. But refusing to take on an extra responsibility because it might lighten the load of someone with a better title and salary will never lead to recognition or advancement.

      1. Sadsack*

        Yes, it sounds like OP is already doing the same work for other accounts. The higher level employee’s time is probably better utilized doing higher level work. That’s probably what OP would be told if he suggests that he shouldn’t take on this work.

      2. Critter*

        Yeahhh that ‘s true. I guess I’ve just been grumbly because I’ve spent so much of my year here handling things from center while they were recruiting for the position, which took 5 months.

      3. Jerry Blank*

        While I agree with this, I’ve had to push back at my job because one additional responsibility because two, which became, three, etc. My company does not promote administrative staff as an unofficial policy, and I get my standard raise each year to correct for inflation–no more, no less, regardless of performance. From an economic perspective, the more work I take on, the less I’m being paid, and I can no longer afford to let an employer take advantage of my time and availability. I need that time to look for a better job. :)

        It’s important to remain flexible and be willing to pitch in. It’s also important to set healthy boundaries for yourself so that you don’t go crazy and don’t devalue your own labor.

    2. Seven of Nine*

      This. The other thing I’d add is that pulling deposit responsibilities from the office manager and giving them to the OP may have more business outcomes than simply the automated process. The office manager may now be freed up to do higher-level tasks that only she can do, which will in turn make the business better. (I’ve been there, and let me tell you — getting that extra time is a godsend, and it gets poured right back into the business.)

      This isn’t like kids clamoring to make sure mom/dad assign equal amounts of chores to each one. (And even there, the parent probably had you wash the dishes while they cooked dinner, at least at first — sure, you didn’t have equal amounts of dish washing, but that’s not the point.) Taking the work you can from the higher level employees with the better salary is frequently just part of the job.

      1. Critter*

        OP here! It isn’t actually higher level – our duties are the same, with one difference (which I actually do in my position as well, just with a different system). In fact I’m training her. I think it’s one of those things where duties shift around a good deal with clerical positions, and HR and the board determine the titles and salary ranges and all that jazz without too much in depth knowledge of what’s really going on in the department. Which is understandable.

        But- it turns out I can submit for a reclassification of my title. Hmmm.

        1. Witty Nickname*

          Oh, that might be a good idea to do then! I think rolling the preschool payments into your duties actually makes sense, but if you are really doing the same things she is, you should definitely pursue reclassifying your title.

          I don’t know where you are, and don’t want to list actual locations just in case it allows you to be identified, but I think you might be in my school district (I got an email that the director was retiring). I’ve moved my son to a different program starting this summer, but we really loved the school district program. And while I’ve had a few billing issues over the past few years, I have always been really impressed by how quickly and easily (for me at least) they have been to resolve and how pleasant everyone has been whenever I’ve had to call. Issues happen – making it easy to get them resolved is huge. So if I’m right, thank you! We’re going to really miss the program!

    3. SchoolSupportStaffer*

      School employee job descriptions are usually handled by the personnel board. Review your description (and yeah I know there is always “other duties as assigned”. But this is a new duty. It may be that you could take this on and use it in your review to push for a promotion.

        1. Critter*

          That’s exactly why I asked; “gimme moar moneh!” seemed silly as hell. I asked someone in HR (whose had this position before me), and it turned out she was going to submit for a reclassification that ended up being dropped since she left the position to go to HR.

        2. SchoolSupportStaffer*

          I don’t know. My change of duties included more contact with a grant giver and grantees. I got a promotion from Classified to Management — about $25K more per year. It really depends on the job description. School job descriptions are far more rigid than what I experienced in private consulting or as a city of LA employee. Anyway.

  4. NJ Anon*

    #1 or set up your email so that his goes straight to junk mail.

    #3 of course they do! To me, it would be weird if they didn’t. WHat are you trying to hide?

    1. Sadsack*

      I didn’t read letter no. 3 as trying to hide anything. He seemed confused because he expected that people still include their phone number on resumes, which is what he did. It was his interviewer who suggested that’s not done anymore.

      1. Merry and Bright*

        +10 There is so much going on during a job search and you feel you want to be reasonable and take advice on board. After all, it might help you. But it is easy to feel on edge and overthink think something if it takes you by surprise like this. That’s why the AAM community is so great because you can share your thoughts and check these things out!

      2. LBK*

        I don’t think the interviewer was suggesting that it was something that shouldn’t be done anymore, but rather that it’s something she doesn’t see people doing anymore.

      3. Vicki*

        I think the interviewer was trying to cover for the fact that she hadn’t expected to see the number on the resume and therefore had not looked for the number. That is, cover for her failure to actually see what was in front of her.

      1. LENEL*

        I’m not NJ Anon, but my read is that you only leave it off if there’s something you don’t want the interviewer to know – e.g. leave off address if you don’t have a local one. Leave off phone if your only contact number is your current work number. That sort of thing.

        So really, the end ‘question’ is a rhetorical one to show that you wouldn’t leave that information off unless there was something about it you didn’t want to disclose to the prospective employer by ‘hiding’ it.

    2. stevenz*

      I think a big part of it is that nowadays people are more accessible by email than by phone since phones are so often used for texts and dating apps. And phones get email. So why is a phone number needed? That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t put it on a resume, just that it may not be the preferred way to contact someone. I don’t have my phone number on my resume and no one has asked for it. (If they really want to know they can email me!)

      1. Vicki*

        >> since phones are so often used for texts

        That’s how you send a text to a phone. You use the phone number.

        Now, personally, I would love to leave my phone number off my resume. Instead, it goes to voicemail and the message says “Please send email to ….”.

    3. Vicki*

      “When I asked her why, she said, “Now no one puts their phone number, just email.”

      So, I said “The one on the resume is the best number to reach me for anything job related. My other number is used for family…”

  5. KR*

    So, #2, either you have a not awful time there and learn stuff or you get a cupcake. I think it’s worth it to go either way. :)

    Bonus if there’s cupcakes at the class.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      I really feel the OP on this one. I don’t know how many times I have walked into a room and said “omg, I am in so over my head.”

      OP, I hope you find comfort in knowing that many people feel this way.

      I hope you can also coax yourself into realizing that the way out of the information gap, and that is what this is an information gap, it to go into the thick of it. Let’s say you go and you can only follow or absorb 30% of what is discussed. This is called building a foundation, you now have 30% more knowledge on this topic than you did before. If you chose to go to more similar events you will not feel as disoriented as you do now.

      Also consider that everyone else is there to learn also. They would not have these sessions if there was no need for the session. There is a significant need, so this is being offered.

      One thing I have done is talk less and listen more. People tend to think I know more about things than I actually do simply because I have not said too much. ha! I have found that if I talk less I do actually absorb more, so win-win. Don’t be afraid to be that person who listens and learns.

      I’d like to hear how you make out with this, also. I remember the old me who did not do much of this stuff and I remember going the first few times was so. very. hard. It worked into the BEST investment in ME that I could have made. It could be that you go from being VERY nervous to being VERY pleased with yourself that you went. Sometimes things go this way.

    2. Elizabeth West*

      LOL or buy themselves a victory cupcake when the class is over!

      But the OP is going to the class to learn, so it doesn’t matter if they don’t know everything right off the bat. I’m sure there will be other people who don’t know all that stuff either.

    3. Big10Professor*

      I have taught in programs like the one the OP describes. Typically, the point is to give non-business students enough basics that they can effectively communicate with the finance/operations/marketing/whatever people in their organization, not to turn them into the finance/operations/marketing/whatever people. As an instructor, I am looking to impart about three key ideas per day, and the rest is just window dressing.

      I recommend doing any assigned pre-reading and coming to class alert and ready to work, and you will be fine.

  6. Caledonia*

    #3 – I get this. People say ‘so the number we can contact you is 61002294?’ even though it’s right there on my C.V and then they ask if I can get to their office/shop/etc, even though my address is also there.

    I don’t get annoyed as recently one of my friends posted on FB if anyone knew this woman because she had put her number incorrectly on her C.V and my friend was getting calls from her…so just as well they’re asking you just in case you accidentally transposed some numbers.

    1. Rob Lowe can't read*

      I’m definitely guilty of doing this – not in hiring, because I don’t hire people, but in job-related interactions. I’ve been in enough situations where one phone number is listed for a person, but they actually primarily use a different number, or they can most reliably be reached at work at whatever other number, that I find it’s just better to confirm (even if I’m actually on the phone with them at that very moment!) rather than deal with headaches down the line.

    2. just another librarian*

      Yes, I would confirm too because it’s amazing how often in my line of work the number we have for people is 1) flat wrong (employee transposed digits when typing, whatever) 2) out of date 3) no longer in service.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        Ditto from me. People move about so much. I constantly verify contact information. And you know, some how we STILL lose contact with people, am shaking my head.

      2. Construction Safety*

        Agree to this. Though the “Most people don’t put them on…..” comment was a bit odd.

    3. hayling*

      I always confirm the number to call someone on. One, to make sure there are no errors. Two, someone might prefer to take calls on a different number (I used to try to take phone screens at my dad’s house which has a land line).

      Also, people fudge their addresses (or don’t update their CVs) enough that it’s worth confirming where they actually live live.

  7. OP2*

    Thank you, Alison, for answering my question so quickly and thank you for being a sound source of advice and logic (as always)! I surprised myself with how anxious I was, actually, and I think it’s because I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well.

    I got the itinerary and confirmed everything yesterday and am feeling a lot better about it. It’s quite clear that no preparation is needed, so I’m going to go and see what I can learn and do my best to stay cool. Any tips to network/make the most of it would still be appreciated though!

    1. Joseph*

      Make sure you’re up to date on (1) any relevant industry news and (2) a few major/national global news events too.

      On the first, it’s pretty common for important recent industry items to be a topic of discussion – after all, you’re all in the Teapot Business, so the new Department of Tea regulations requiring all teapots to have two spouts (for safety!) are going to be a hot-button discussion.

      As for the second, nobody at the Teapot Design Conference is going to expect you to be an expert on Brexit, but you want to at least be able to nod intelligently as though you’ve heard of the subject.

      1. OP2*

        Haha that’s no issue, I’m British myself and have been reading the paper each day with dismay. Thank you for your help!

      2. Joseph*

        As an addendum, since it’s outside your field and you’re a student, #1 may not fully apply. Instead, just know how to describe your field and be enthusiastic and listen well when others talk about theirs.

        That said, if you have a good conversation with someone the first day, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to look up their company/school on the web in your hotel room that night (particularly if you’re not familiar with it) so you have something to follow up on afterwards.

    2. (Not an IRS) Auditor*

      Best thing to do is ask people to tell you about themselves.

      Hi, I’m Jane. I’m taking this course to help me figure out whether I’d like a career in business. Why are you taking the course? If they are in a business role, follow up: Would you mind telling me how you got into that role / industry / etc.? What do you like / not like about that work? Read the social cues (like very short answers) and move on if the person doesn’t seem interested, but most folks like to talk about themselves and will think you’re a great conversationalist despite them doing 95% of the talking.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        This. This. Have a brief statement of why you are there, then ask them what drew them to the event. Ask open ended questions, rather than questions that can be answered with a yes or a no.

    3. CM*

      OP #2, this sounds like a great opportunity for you! I wouldn’t worry too much about doing well — you already sound like you’re going to take this seriously, and that’s probably all that’s required of you. For a week-long course, your performance probably matters less than your willing participation.

      A lot of people will probably be in the same position as you, as Alison noted, but I would encourage you not to stick with those people. If there’s anyone who seems particularly successful and intimidating, go talk to them! These can often be the best contacts. Experienced people in settings like this are often glad to chat with more junior people. You don’t need to know as much as them, and they don’t expect you to. Just express genuine interest in them. Ask about what they do, what their career path has been, and why they made the choices they did along the way. If they seem inclined to talk to you, be open about how you’re exploring your career choices and see if they have any advice for you. At this stage in your life, I bet there are lots of career possibilities out there that you don’t even know exist. See what you can learn!

      When I go to law school alumni things, I always have to take a deep breath and steel my nerves before going up to an important-looking grey-haired person in a business suit. Sometimes these conversations are awkward, and then I exit quickly (“Nice to talk to you,” shake hands, and walk away). But I’ve made some great contacts this way. If I have a good conversation with someone, I ask for their business card and ask if I could contact them for advice in the future or if they’d be willing to have coffee sometime (tea for you, I guess).

      My other networking tip if you are an introvert is to take breaks. When you feel yourself getting exhausted or your anxiety is ramping up, give yourself permission to hide out in the bathroom, take a walk, or spend some time chatting with people you already know.

    4. LQ*

      Good luck!

      I’ve done a bunch of these through work because they wanted to get me some skills or the like.
      My tips from my experience:
      Showing up and paying attention is like 75% of it
      Participation is the other 25%

      If in doubt ask questions. People generally like to talk about themselves, their project, sports, the weather. If you aren’t sure what to say just start with asking some questions. (If you are really terrified of these things or super stressed you can make up a giant list of questions ahead of time. Don’t whip the list out, but you’ll have a good idea of what kinds of things to ask if you’ve thought about it before.)

      Finally most of these programs that I’ve gone to that are targeted at people currently in the business world aren’t about grading, or getting things wrong. They really want you to learn and want to help you learn, if you don’t they feel like they screwed up, not you. (Unless you didn’t do the first thing.) So it is much more of a you get out of it what you put in.

      Story: I went to one of these shortly after I first started, mine was for a new piece of software. A coworker who had been around for about 10 years also went. For the next year she was just in awe/super upset because I knew so much more about the software. I’d been paying a ton of attention, asking question, trying to learn during the class. I actually had less experience than she did starting out, but just showing up, paying attention and participating shot me ahead by a mile.

    5. Sharkey*

      I’m sure you’ll do great! Just be honest about where you are at and why you signed up. Sometimes people in these situations over-compensate because they feel they must impress everyone in order to make their mark. That is far more of a turn off than someone who is new and inexperienced! Hearing someone say, “Hey, I’m out of my comfort zone here and don’t have much formal experience in this field but wanted to explore this field further and am excited about giving this my all” not something that would cause people to rebuke you. If anything, most people are going to be happy to take someone like you under their wing and show them why they themselves are so into this field. Go, have fun, and update us!

      1. LBK*

        I hate people who show up to these kinds of events and act like they already know it all. If this is all old hat to you, then why the hell are you here? In general, my most organic method of making connections and bonding with people is by helping them or collaborating with them on something. If you’re asking questions/asking people for help on anything you don’t understand, that forms a natural bond between you, and I think you’ll find it’s a good inroad to form the kind of connection you’d expect from a networking event. It provides a natural avenue to keep in touch – you can send them a “thanks again!” note after the event, or if you want to leverage them for something down the road you can use the “you were so helpful when we met at X, I’d love your assistance/insight/etc. on this topic” approach.

        1. TootsNYC*

          And actually, recent research has shown that someone who has done you a favor once (“helping them or collaborating with them on something”) is much more like to do a favor for you again!

          So, make yourself be someone they can help once, in this easy context, and then they’ll be more likely to help you later.

    6. themmases*

      There are a lot of things you could get out of a course like this, so it might help you to think about which are most important to you. It’s OK to decide you want to focus on being a star at the course content and let potential contacts come to you. Or to decide you want to find out as much as you can about some specific aspect of the field (maybe just whether you’d be good at it?) from the participants and the content, and let anything else you absorb just be a bonus.

      Learning about the other participants will probably help you a lot. People come to their work from all different backgrounds, for all different reasons, and learning about them will help you both break the ice and ease the sense that you’re an imposter. I would go ahead and say that you’re just looking to learn about the field. It’s an honest, confident thing to say compared to putting on airs.

      Take care of yourself while you’re doing a course that makes you nervous. Make sure you’re not hungry or exhausted when you go, and get some exercise to work off some of the nervous energy. Try deep breathing while you listen so you’re calm once there’s time for questions.

    7. TootsNYC*

      I made this point on another letter today.

      Pain is growth.
      Muscles get bigger and stronger when exercise creates tiny tears, and the body repairs it.

      Nobody is expecting you to be perfect before you even begin.

      I still remember when my daughter, at age 4, was upset because she couldn’t draw the letter S. I told her, “Well, you just have to practice. Nobody can do it perfectly the first time. You just try, and see how it’s wrong, and try again.” About 2 months later, she told me so proudly, “Mommy, I can draw the letter S! I practiced and I practiced, and now I can!”

      I’m sure you’ll learn a lot. Even if all you learn is that you can get through something uncomfortable, and it doesn’t create any damage in your life.

    8. Batman's a Scientist*

      I totally understand the anxiety. It can be hard to deal with and I’m glad you’ve confirmed everything and are still planning on going to the training. Good luck!

  8. Workfromhome*

    #1-Are you friends with your old boss out side f work? It doesn’t sound like it?
    Is your old boss a customer now? Doesn’t sound like it.
    If neither of those things are the case I’d simply ignore his emails or as others have suggested create a rule that sends them straight to junk. Just because someone has your work email address doesn’t mean every email you get requires or deserves a response. since the old boss has not current standing in the company or as a personal friend its no different than spam. Someone sending you unwanted emails.

    My guess if you just send these all to junk he will eventually give up (but unfortunately move on to someone else). What’s the worst thing that can happen? He goes to someone else and says hey Bob never responds to my emails? So what as long as you do good work and your current boss thinks so what people who don’t work there anmore think isn’t really relevant.

    1. Stranger than fiction*

      I think the poor guy is just bored and having a hard time adjusting to retirement. A lot of people do. I’d be tempted to send him a bunch of brochures about golfing and fishing and stuff like that. But yeah, the short answer Alison suggested and not replying to every single one signifies you’re busy and hopefully he’ll get the hint before too long.

      1. Anna*

        Or volunteer opportunities. If he has some skills people could use for free, there might be a demand for them.

      2. neverjaunty*

        Eh, I suspect it’s less boredom than a loss of importance and control – he’s not Boss anymore, who OP and her co-workers have to put up with and obey whether or not they like it.

      3. Lalita*

        I think it’s a little of both. Americans very much identify with their jobs – so much that retirement is almost a loss of identity.

        I would suggest to OP#1 to refer him to and There is plenty of constructive stuff to keep someone occupied professionally if they so choose to, unless they are in some rural area. But there is the Internet and they can conceivably start a consulting business.

        I would back-end it with a firm but kind notice that due to client confidentiality agreements, she/he nor the other employees can discuss details of projects with someone not contracted nor under the employ of the company – new policy! And then block his email on my email server if he keeps at it.

        My 2¢.

  9. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.*


    As a boss, I want you to hit me with concrete numbers. I don’t care if a process change put Gloria’s work on you (yet), and I really don’t care if it irks you especially because Gloria makes more money that you do.

    What I do care about is how many hours extra work per week work has shifted (1 hour? 10 hours?), what work you now can’t do because of the process change, and whether the process change causes any other issues that require us to tweak.

    So, just the facts ma’am, and we’ll sort this right out, if there is an actual issue or issues to be sorted.

    1. TootsNYC*

      Also, I personally feel that higher salaries aren’t justified so much by extra WORK or extra TIME, but by decision-making authority/ability/autonomy (look, the 3 A’s!).

      1. Jerry Blank*

        That’s a great way to overwork your unskilled and entry-level employees, who have to deal with a lack of autonomy, no authority, and low pay (the three sucks?) and tend to be young or unskilled. However, I agree with Wakeen’s Teapots in that if you should be able to quantify the extra work your doing and explain how it not only impacts you, but the organization. Otherwise, who cares?

      2. Jerry Blank*

        Sorry for the multiple comments. I realized that my problem with this is the blanket assumption that authority and autonomy is earned and deserved. It isn’t always, and there are many social factors at play that this assumption ignores.

  10. Collie*

    I’m all for keeping email/phone numbers on resumes but I’ve noticed some resume templates moving away from including personal addresses, which is something that makes sense to me. Thoughts?

    1. Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees*

      I just removed mine because I’m apply exclusively for jobs out of state. It’s pretty clear what area I live in if you’re familiar with my employer/do some basic googling but I’m hoping that taking it off won’t set off any immediate “relocation! relocation!” alarm bells.

      1. Recruit-o-Rama*

        Well you are not fooling any savvy recruiters by not having it on there, we know that trick! :-)

        1. Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees*

          Well bleh. A year of applying with it right there in the header and details about why I’m moving/how I don’t need relocation in the cover letter haven’t gotten me a single interview and it’s getting frustrating!

        2. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Yes — I talk about this above, but if it’s not there, we wonder why and suspect it’s because you’re not local. So for people who are local, I’d definitely include it since there’s no point in raising even small hesitations on the employer’s side. (And really, why not include it?)

          1. Collie*

            I find it takes up a lot of space. I had considered your reasoning previously, but didn’t think it would raise that much suspicion. Guess I’ll be leaving it on!

            1. LBK*

              I just put mine on one line below my name. I think it might even be on the same line as my phone number and email address. You don’t need to do a full address block like you’re writing a formal letter.

          2. Koko*

            What do you think about just putting the city and state, but not your full address?

            I’ve never really thought about it before, but there is a data security perspective that essentially says every time you write down or give out your personal information you increase your odds of some relatively unlikely privacy breach occurring. The company you apply to most likely won’t have their HR system hacked, they most likely won’t have a crazy person on staff who starts stalking you after the interview, etc, but the more companies you apply to the greater the odds that one of them will eventually be the 1-in-1,000 bad one. Under this argument you simply shouldn’t give out any more personal information than is strictly necessary.

            1. Joseph*

              I would guess you’d probably be OK with just city and state, though it’s worth noting that some big cities have oddly large boundaries, so the difference between the “close side” and “far side” can be an hour plus.

              Not sure how much of a security risk you need to worry about though – If someone hacks an HR system, they’re probably going to be far more interested in the current employees where there’s information like your SSN, bank information from your paycheck deposits, and so on rather than bothering with an interviewee who’s basically just a name and address.

          3. Colette*

            I don’t include it. I’ve had issues with people calling me as a result of department phone lists and, one one occasion, showing up at my door, so I don’t like sharing unnecessary information when I don’t know who it will be shared with. All of the work history in my resume is in this city, so I would hope it’s not costing me many opportunities.

    2. Mockingjay*

      I think it depends on your industry. Mine (defense contracting) is staid and resistant to change. Resumes are generally very conservative and boring, and usually include an address out of habit [“that’s the template!”], and also a skills section that can be matched to key words in the contract labor category.

      On the flip side, I have recently landed interviews by using AAM tips for tailoring my cover letter. [Thank you, Alison!] That’s where I can stand out with individual accomplishments.

    3. Recruit-o-rama*

      I like to know where people live.

      1. When I am hiring for entry level labor positions I want to know how far your commute will be as ansenteeism and tardiness are issues for this part of our work force and I am screening for that.

      2. For some of our positions we are only interested in local candidates.

      3. For the positions in which we are considering relo candidates, I want to discuss your timeframe, plan and expectations for relo.

    4. NJ Anon*

      As a hiring manager, it looks really weird to me to not have an address. What are you trying to hide? Are you moving? Put it in your cover letter. If i get a resume with no name (yes, that’s happened), no address and/or no phone number, it goes straight into the circular file.

      1. Undine*

        I think I stopped putting my address on my resume after a couple creepy encounters with online dating. Yeah, I know a job application isn’t like that, but I’ve just become very reluctant to give out personal information.

    5. Lia*

      I just got done with a search, and I saw a few that were only city and state, minus the street address. 100% remote work isn’t possible in this position, and we don’t offer relo assistance for this level either, but we don’t limit searches to local candidates. We DO tell them that there’s no relo.

      That said, about 25% of the applicants used their work email addresses for the contact information (and all but one of the internal candidates did this as well, although all of them are from different units). People. Please don’t use your work email. Get a gmail account and use that — to me, and to our committee chair, it looked like job searching on company time. And you never know who is reading your work email…

      1. ThursdaysGeek*

        If I were applying internally, I’d use my work email. Actually, I’d probably put on both work and home email. I’d want it to be obvious that I was an internal applicant, but let them have the option of how they communicate with me. Of course, if I were applying internally, my boss would already know about it.

      2. Joseph*

        For internal candidates, I think using your work email is different precisely *because* you want to emphasize that you’re already part of the company. Many interviewers give preference to internal candidates – they know the corporate culture, you can talk to others and get a real feel for them, and it has morale benefits for the rest of the staff to know that there really is growth potential in the company. So using your work email helps reinforce that yes, you’re an internal candidate.

        “Get a gmail account and use that — to me, and to our committee chair, it looked like job searching on company time.”
        No offense, but I think you’re missing a few key points here.
        1.) If they’re in a different unit, you don’t know what their work schedule is like nor how their manager likes to do things. Assuming your company has some flexibility for employees, it’s possible they did it at lunch or during a break. It’s also worth noting that many managers operate under the “spend time on personal business if you wish, as long as you get everything finished on time” philosophy.
        2.) Internal transfers/promotions are usually treated differently by managers than external job searches. In fact, some managers openly encourage their subordinates to apply to openings in other departments – after all, there’s no openings in my group, but you’re a great employee and I’d rather you stick with this company in another department than feel like you need to leave. So it’s very possible that they have their own boss’s blessing on applying to internal positions during the day.
        3.) If you didn’t check the actual timestamps, it’s possible they remoted in from home or their phone. Heck, they could have sent it from their phone while in the break room for lunch for all you know.
        4.) If you’re receiving an email between 8:00 and 5:00 from someone currently employed anywhere, then they’re probably doing it at work. The fact that it’s a gmail instead of corporatemail has no real affect on this. Also, if you check the email time stamps of your external candidates, it’s a good bet that at least some of them were supposed to be working when they contacted you.

      3. MillersSpring*

        I think commenters have misunderstood your meaning. I believe you meant that external candidates should use their personal email address. Of course internal candidates could use their work email and phone extension on a resume.

        For external candidates, I don’t want to see that they’re job searching using their current company’s servers, phones, etc.

        1. Lia*

          Yes, exactly — with internal candidates, though, I still think it’s a bit tricky to use your work email (at least 2 of these candidates are searching without their supervisor’s knowledge). External, though, IMHO you should always use a non-business email address and phone.

          1. Joseph*

            That puts it in a different light.

            Though I’d really wonder about the wisdom searching internally without the supervisor’s knowledge. With external candidates, it’s common behavior to not “out” someone to their boss, but seems a bit more iffy with internal candidates. After all, if you see they’re also working at ABC Co, you’re likely to immediately check the internal org chart and see who their boss is…and follow up first if you have a connection with the boss.

            It also seems like a potentially very awkward situation for the candidate if they end up getting/accepting the job, since you catch them off-guard (as you would if leaving externally), but then could potentially run into them on a common basis. Or get into one of those “My boss still asks me to work for him and hasn’t replaced me after I left!” situations that come up here every few months – It’s a lot harder to set a firm “Nope, I’m gone, sorry” line when you’re still working for the same company.

    6. Recruiter_MY*

      I guess it depends on industry, but I usually recommend not having a phone on a resume – it can get pretty overwhelming if recruiters call you at random times, especially if you are still employed. Of course, you can let the calls go into voicemail, but that seems like extra hustle.
      I personally prefer to email and set up a time of our call, so a candidate has all the information in one place – where they applied, and what the job description is.
      And for the address – city and state is fine, and even if a candidate is not -currently- local, if they put a desired area on the resume I am going to assume they do want – and are planning – to move.

  11. Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees*

    The trend I’ve noticed, which may be field specific, is that good news comes via phone call and bad news via email, so I wouldn’t take my number off my resume anytime soon!

    1. Stranger than fiction*

      Yes, and if I were interviewing, I’d want to hear their voice and tone etc. it’s hard to tell from an email. If they sound horrible and shrill, or like they’re half asleep, and it’s for customer service, for example, five minutes on the phone would weed them out.

    2. Judy*

      A tie-in to yesterday, is opposite what happens with the doctor’s office.

      Good news comes in an email saying to check your online chart, used to be snail mail.

      Bad news comes in a phone call.

      1. Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees*

        Oh that’s interesting, I’ve only ever had doctor news delivered via phone or in person, good or bad!

  12. squids*

    #2 — Mentally cross out “network” in your mind and write in “meet people” instead. It’s so much less intimidating when you treat it not as an arcane business tactic with immediate payoff or you’ve failed, but as something you’ve already done in other contexts.

    1. Miss Nomer*

      It’s funny but I actually found it much easier to consider it a career advancement strategy and nothing more. Maybe it’s because I’m shy? It’s interesting to think about the other perspective, though.

  13. BSW*

    #1: We had a colleague who worked in a specific area, “Teapot Rentals”, that was basically the middleman between our vendor and our company. The colleague retired. The vendor had issues with deliveries, billing, etc. and wasn’t responding to customers, and some of those customers contacted my retired colleague. Instead of the colleague saying, “I don’t work here, talk to Jane”, she contacted the customers, contacted the vendor, came into the office, and started doing research. Her former boss and my boss had to tell her very clearly (in person and via email) that we will handle this and to please not interface with customers. I heard later that she told other folks here that “she wasn’t allowed in the building anymore, so they’d have to come outside to say hello if they wanted to see her.”

    1. Important Moi*

      A colleague retired without cleaning up her office. So those of us left were charged with cleaning it (mainly me). When Retired Colleague found out my boss was upset about the state of her former office, Retired Colleague called me. Her explanation was that she left “notes for us to refer to in her absence.” Her notes were garbage – a mishmash of incomplete sentences and numbers only the author what they meant.

  14. mazzy*

    #4 – the new duty isn’t a large enough item from the way your describing it to make it into this type of argument. It seems to be right up your alley, unless you’re also having to follow up with 600 parents. I get your point about the coworker earning more and it doesn’t sometimes make sense for a higher earner to be getting rid of responsibility, however, I’ve more often than not seen the person in your situation pick the wrong time or example to make a thing out of it, probably because it’s easier to use a simple administrative type task as an example to discuss this with a manager. However, those are precisely the type of tasks higher earners are told to delegate down/over so they can use their expertise elsewhere.

  15. Ghost Town*

    I have my phone number and email on my resume, and in my cover letter. Good thing, too, because the last two times someone was trying to call me for a phone interview/pre-screen, the number they were sent was wrong, and they had to pull the correct one from my resume.

    Also, we’ve not had working AC for a week and a half now (US-Midwest, mini-heatwave), partly because somehow the technician and office conflated my cell phone number and my husband’s. So, I’m all for making phone numbers explicit and easy to find.

  16. NK*

    OP #2 – a really easy way to network, especially if you’re trying to take in as much information as possible to decide what you want to do, is to ask people about themselves! People love to talk about themselves, and so even if you don’t end up saying much, they will often walk away from the conversation feeling like it was successful. You can just let them know you’re a university student and are trying to figure out your path, and then ask a couple questions about what they do.

    Also, I completely agree with Alison that this is likely to be not as bad as you think, and that there are probably many people in your shoes. I’ve had times in life where I’ve passed up opportunities because I thought I’d be in over my head, and I regret those times. The fact that you’re even thinking about this indicates that at the very least, you won’t embarrass your friend. Good luck and please update!

  17. Miss Nomer*

    OP2, I totally understand the anxiety over networking. Three things my advisor told me helped me quite a bit in a similar situation.
    1. You won’t be the only uncomfortable person there. If you spot someone who looks uncomfortable/isn’t talking, you might actually relieve their discomfort by saying hi.
    2. People generally like talking about themselves. If a conversation isn’t going anywhere, steer it toward what they do, how they feel about the conference, etc.
    3. When in doubt, hang out by the food.
    Admittedly, my advisor was a nerdy introvert like me so this may not apply to you if you’re a social butterfly. Regardless, it’s one event – I promise you’ll get through it and have many more! Good luck :)

  18. non-profit manager*

    #4 – You need to let this go. As you observed, the minor change will increase efficiency and this is a task you are doing for other accounts, anyway. This is likely a task the office manager was doing because it needed to be done, and now the office manager can focus on other tasks.

    As a manager, I hear this type of complaint in my organization more than I want to. And it really annoys me. Mainly because the person complaining does not have the complete picture of what the higher earner is responsible for and (should be) doing. Many higher earners perform lower level tasks simply because someone needs to do them. Shifting those types of tasks is generally a smart move and an efficient use of an organization’s resources.

    1. Persephone Mulberry*

      Agreed. I have been in the office manager’s shoes, and it’s possible – even likely – that they have been looking forward or lobbying for this change. It’s not so that they have less work to do, it’s so that it frees up more of their time for other work.

    2. TootsNYC*

      The “higher level/lower level tasks” thing is an important part of this.

      Higher pay is not for doing more work. It’s for doing more-autonomous work with more authority and a greater or more specific ability.

  19. Michelenyc*

    #3 I live in NYC and have worked in fashion my entire career (20+ years) including luxury goods. It is definitely not normal for people to leave their phone number off their resume in our industry or in the city. It is true that many recruiters/companies reach out via e-mail but a lot of them still call first.

  20. cleo*

    This is timely. I was just wondering about whether or not I needed my address on my resume – I decided to take the address off but leave phone number and email.

  21. ThursdaysGeek*

    #1 reminded me of a conversation I had yesterday with a former co-worker. He mentioned that Matt is still coming in to the office once or twice a week, and this is at least 25 years after he retired. We were guessing that he’s probably in his late 80s. Of course, he still provides value, because they have no other chemists on staff, and he has a huge wealth of useful knowledge. I just realized that the former co-worker who told me this is also retired but goes in when asked, although he’s only been retired 5-10 years.

    I wonder if there are people at that company who wish he’d just give it up and go home. I know there are people there who very much appreciate that he comes in anyway. OP#1 wants her boss to fully retire, but are there others at the company who see value in the retired boss?

    1. Anise*

      In that situation I think it’s probably useful, but I hope he’s passing along his knowledge and expertise to others and not substituting himself, otherwise that knowledge will eventually be lost.

      1. ThursdaysGeek*

        I strongly suspect the knowledge will eventually be lost. The company isn’t willing to pay for and hire a chemist, and knowledge transfer needs to go to someone who has enough education to understand it. You make a good point, and that’s probably a more concrete reason why I suspect the company will go downhill quickly when a couple of key people, including him, exit the building for a final time.

  22. Danae*

    I -wish- it were all right to leave phone numbers off of resumes–I’m functionally hard of hearing (ears work fine, brain doesn’t) and phone calls where I haven’t been given a heads up ahead of time that they’re coming are very difficult, since I don’t have the opportunity to hook up my Bluetooth headset. I also get a lot of robocalls, and so I can’t just pick up the phone every time it rings. It would be so much easier if everyone used email for initial contacts.

    At this point, I just let all phone calls from numbers I don’t recognize go to voicemail. If it’s someone who wants to talk to me about a job, they usually leave a voicemail, and I can call them back when my equipment is hooked up.

    (And I just had a recruiter spam-text me yesterday! That’s a new one.)

  23. Opportunities We Seek Out*

    OP #2: Congratulations on registering for a course that will challenge you-that all by itself is brilliant.

    Courses offer the opportunity to learn about things we don’t know, the opportunity to connect with people who have different skills and perspectives that we do, and the ability to check how prepared we are for the inevitable challenges that happen all through life.

    Whatever you do not already know, whatever experience you haven’t yet had are absolutely fine, every single person there, including the course instructor also has their own list of things they don’t know and experiences they don’t have.
    So you are in the company of people that, like you, that are there to learn.

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