Thanking trainers is acceptable practice

Q. I recently started my first job at a large corporation and have been trained by various employees who have taken time to help me perform my job well. They also have been very courteous and I enjoyed meeting them. The training was conducted in various parts of the country, so I probably won't see many of them again. Is it appropriate to extend a thank you in writing or by e-mail? Or will it seem like "sucking up"?
A. A thank you is never sucking up. Send a handwritten note to each of them individually.
Q. How should I answer this question during a job interview: "What did you make in your lost job?"
A. Assuming you mean your last job, not your lost job (even though it was lost), don't answer that question unless the hiring officer tells you what the pay range for the new job is. If they won't give out any information, simply say you'll be glad to discuss salary after the job offer is made. That question is asked only to pay you as little as possible.
Q. There are two gaps on my resume for times I was unemployed. I left one job because they changed my job description and title and the second because there was no room for growth. When I tell hiring officers the reasons I left, they all say the same thing: "Well, that's great, but I would never leave a job until I had landed something else." At this point, the hiring officers assume I was pushed out, which I wasn't. What should I say instead?
A.Never give an explanation. An explanation will only be used against you, as you now know. I don't know how long the gaps in your employment were, but I do know it takes a very long time to get a good job today, and all you should say is that it was time to move on. Period.
XCarol Kleiman is the author of "Winning the Job Game: The New Rules for Finding and Keeping the Job You Want" (Wiley, $16.95). Send e-mail to
& copy; 2005 Chicago Tribune

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