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Old 04-12-2010, 02:09 PM
8 posts, read 39,646 times
Reputation: 14


Okay--this might seem like somewhat of a bizarre question. But, I want desperately to work for one of the two Whole Foods outlets in my area (ie, either Hinsdale or Willowbrook), have been applying to both of them for months, and cannot even land an interview.

I say this not out of a sense of arrogance, ie., I'm all that and a bag of (healthy) chips, and Whole Foods should be lucky to have me/owes me a job, but because I truly, really want to work there.

I want to work there because I'm trying to transition into a culinary/food career, have gobs and tons and scads of experience in customer service, including a stint in the travel industry, as well as a couple of cooking classes under my belt. But, every darn time I apply for even the most entry-level position at either store, they send me a 'pink-slip' e-mail with lightning speed! Yeah, thanks for applying yet again, Corky...we barely read your cover letter before we hit the 'delete' button...yeah, it's 'nice' that you took Intro to Pastry at that fancy-dancy cooking school, yes, very impressive, you and the twenty thousand other would-be Food Network stars who took it, too...

And, I go into their stores, and there are like, ordinary people working there...ordinary people like me, but ones who just seem to apply and to get jobs there without sweating it.

I know that the economy has something to do with this (ie., the number of people wanting to work for good companies vs. the number of slots open, etc.)...but, both these WF locations have been posting a reasonable amount of openings recently. And, these jobs are getting filled...just not by me.

You name it, I've tried it. I've rewritten my resume/cover letter, and even called the store manager for follow-ups, who of course gives me the ever-chipper, ever-cheerful evasive answer. I even took the step yesterday of gussying myself up and WALKING a resume in the front door...where it was accepted by the person at Customer Service, because the store manager wouldn't even come out of her office to see me. (This is doing my self-esteem absolutely no good, by the way.)

And, I don't 'know' anybody at WF or even anybody who knows anybody. (I did talk to a nice lady who works in the bakery in the Willowbrook store, but she just told me to fill out an application and hope for the best. She wasn't going to go out on a limb for some stranger, and I guess I'd feel that same way in her shoes.) Most of my contacts are in the travel/tourism industry, which means that if I want a job on a cruise ship, I'm good to go. But, to my knowlege, there are no ports of call in the Western suburbs of Chicago, which is where I am stuck for the time being.

I know that most people would have shrugged and given up by now, but I really want to work for this place (as well as really, really, REALLY need a job right now). Simply put, I've worked the hell jobs in retail, and I can't do it any more. I both want and need something that's going to get me going in the right career direction. (And, before you suggest it, I've tried restaurant work, which is DEFINITELY not for me. I am the world's worst server, bar none. You don't want me waiting on you and forgetting your drink order, yet again.

And, yeah, I know that 'maybe you're trying too hard' might also be a distinct possibility...but, with the bills piling up and the job market the way it is, how can I not try as hard as I can?

So, does anybody know what's up with WF?

The only things I can figure on is that I might have too much experience, and might skew a little 'older' than the usual WF employee (however, in today's environment, I don't think a hip, single 43-year old who looks about 33 should have a significant amount of trouble getting a cashier's job in a food market). I guess I'm saying this only because the managers at these places tend to skew very, very young, and those tend to hire other younger people (though this is a generalization, of course, but sometimes it does hold true).

I don't know...I guess all kinds of crazy stuff is going through my head right now, because I DON'T know why they keep rejecting me.

And, get this: a friend suggested that I try a couple of other places, like Trader Joes, and even Safeway/Dominicks...and, guess what? Same thing has happened. I've logged an obscene amount of applications on their websites, and have gotten nary a nibble.

I've tried to be as 'open' as I could vis-a-vis hours, etc., so it's not like I want some obscure niche, like from 10AM-2PM because of kids, etc. I told 'em all I'd work whatever they had. But, uh-uh.

And, I know that I'm borderline frothing at the mouth at this point, which never makes you very attractive to any employer. But, if I have to end up at Walgreens or some other place that I've worked in the past that I KNOW is going to be awful, I don't think I could stand it. And, my resume really sucks already as it is.

So, if anybody has some insight/inside information/tips they can share with me about how they do the hiring at this darn place, and how I can increase my chances or make myself noticed without appearing to be a stalker (which they probably think I am anyway by now), I'd really appreciate it.


Last edited by CubFanKate; 04-12-2010 at 02:54 PM..
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:55 PM
4,919 posts, read 18,481,683 times
Reputation: 6144
Many of the employees are part-time college kids. They work around their school schedule. WF also has a low turnover of full timers so you have to wait until someone leaves the postion. Best shot is an intro from a long standing employee to management.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:04 PM
Location: Houston, Texas
10,425 posts, read 42,572,216 times
Reputation: 10302
You want that job as well as 5000 others. You are obviously not making your resume stand out like you think you might be.

My sister wanted that job you want. She went every day and sat at the cafe bar and chatted with the server there. Often the manager came wandering over and started to know her because she was there every damn day bothering them for a job. Sis also made sure she put in a plug for herself by re re re re re reminding the manager that she is waiting for the first chance that comes up.

If you do the route my sister did it will cost you a $4.00 iced mocha each day but you put your face in front of those who you want to recognize you and think of you first when an opening comes up.

If you were a manager, and some one quit and you needed to hire someone, would you dig into that pile of faceless resumes sitting on your desk or would you walk to the cafe and grab that person by the hand that was there every single day asking for that position?

That is how my sister got her job at Whole Foods. It was part time but about 9 weeks later she was offered full time.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:25 PM
4,805 posts, read 18,969,602 times
Reputation: 4905
First of all, Whole Foods is like everyone else--declining business and an overabundance of qualified applicants. Most stores only have a few openings available. Quite a few, like Willowbrook, have none at all.

Your over-eagerness is palpable. Yet nowhere in your OP do you even explain WHY you want to work there so badly. I mean you explain that you want to work in a grocery store because you want to transition into culinary services, but not why this particular chain of stores is your preferred route. Furthermore, your explanation of your career change is all about what you would get out of working there, not what you can bring to them. Perhaps this is coming across in your applications as well.

Perhaps if you consider the thoughts above, you will find that there are other places that would be as equally useful in getting started down this new career path.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:30 PM
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,397 posts, read 12,842,686 times
Reputation: 6211
Check to see if they do any career events. I just landed a job at Whole Foods. They're opening up a new one near me and as such they needed bodies to fill positions. They had a three-day event where you submitted your info online, and then came in and had an interview with the regional manager. If you passed, you went on to interview with the team leader for the section you'd be working (customer service in my case). If that passed, you had a final interview with the store manager. I got a call two days later.

This is for part-time work.

Why are you so dead-set on Whole Foods if I might ask?
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:53 PM
25,165 posts, read 46,287,529 times
Reputation: 6908
They are collectivist. So the more friends and or family that you have that work there. The better it is for you. They also like to do internal hiring.
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:27 PM
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 12,620,067 times
Reputation: 1922
How much do they pay at W.F.?
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:54 PM
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,397 posts, read 12,842,686 times
Reputation: 6211
Originally Posted by Jesse69 View Post
How much do they pay at W.F.?
I'm getting $10/hr, supposedly that's what they pay nationally.
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:45 PM
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 12,620,067 times
Reputation: 1922
I don't see the attraction to working at W.F. unless you like working in a Yuppie environment. Even Aldi cashiers make more money at $12.65 / hr.
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:12 PM
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,397 posts, read 12,842,686 times
Reputation: 6211
Indeed... I'm excited to be working, and Whole Foods is a great company to work for, but CubFanKate seems borderline obsessed with them. Maybe she has a good reason to be, idk, she hasn't posted here.
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