Get serious when applying for a job

I am a screener of online applications for a company that has more than 125 stores across nine states. Each week, we get hundreds of applications. My job is to reject the unsuitable candidates and perform a short phone interview with the promising ones. The qualified are forwarded to an area manager for consideration.

Dear Annie: I am a screener of online applications for a company that has more than 125 stores across nine states. Each week, we get hundreds of applications. My job is to reject the unsuitable candidates and perform a short phone interview with the promising ones. The qualified are forwarded to an area manager for consideration.

Competing for employment is serious business these days. I’m astonished at how carelessly people present their applications. Please pass these pointers on to your readers:

1. Get a serious e-mail address. Create something simple and direct such as yourname@whatever.com. Keep the cutesy-sexy ones for your friends. I’m not impressed with “hottie99.”

2. Your Facebook friends may not mind if you misspell, abbreviate and use all caps or all lower case, but to a recruiter, this appears unprofessional and not very intelligent.

3. Be available. Accept blocked calls, and make sure you answer the phone as if your next job depends on the person at the other end.

4. The voice message on your answering device should be clear and upbeat.

5. Follow instructions when responding to a message from a company to which you’ve applied.

I sincerely hope this information helps someone. – Screener

Dear Screener: We’re certain it will. Thank you for taking the time to give our job-seeking readers a few pointers that will undoubtedly help them rise above the pack.

Dear Annie: My older brother is a junior in high school, and my parents spend all their time trying to find the right college for him. They have gone through books and magazines, but frankly, my brother could care less. He’s lazy and is letting my parents do all the work for him.

Anyway, because of this I am being neglected. Not a lack of food or water, just attention.

This also happened when my brother was in middle school and was having a hard time with teachers and schoolwork. My mom promised it would never happen again, but three years later, here we are.

I’m invisible to my mother. I’ve talked to her about it, but she says I’m so independent and self-sufficient that she doesn’t think I need the attention. But, Annie, on my birthday, they totally forgot me because they were visiting colleges with my brother.

When this happened last time, my mom and I went to therapy. It helped then, but what do I do now? – Neglected

Dear Neglected: There’s an old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.”

Your brother requires more assistance than you and, therefore, gets more attention. But your parents probably bless you every day for being so low-maintenance.

Talk to your mother again, and remind her of the suggestions made by your therapist. Also discuss this with your father and even your school counsellor. And keep in mind, your brother will be leaving for college in the near future, and then you’ll have your folks all to yourself.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Confused,” the disabled 58-year-old woman whose relatives want her to dump her 73-year-old husband and keep trying to control her health care.

You missed an important opportunity to remind everyone, and especially folks with health issues, to have a legally crafted and properly executed advanced medical directive and living will.

“Confused” would then have the opportunity to express her wishes and to state who would be the one to implement them when necessary. That would eliminate the inter-familial hassles and fighting. – A.E.

Dear A.E.: It is always wise to have your end-of-life wishes in writing, and we appreciate the reminder to our readers. In this particular instance, however, we doubt it would end the family fights. Her relatives want to control everything, including her marriage. Unfortunately, no living will covers that.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net.