Have you ever lied on your resume or embellished the truth when speaking with a recruiter or hiring manager? It happens fairly often and it puzzles me because background checks and references are quite easy to conduct. In addition, a simple Google search can quickly uncover false information.
Recently I caught a candidate in the midst of a lie just by asking the same question twice. The first time I spoke with him, he said he made $80,000 in 2013 and wanted to better himself by changing jobs. When I called back a week later and asked that same question again to make sure that the position I was about to present was in his “must have” range, he bumped his 2013 earnings up to six figures. All of the sudden, he earned over $100,000 in 2013. I asked to see his W2 for verification purposes but he declined. He also hung up on me which was for the best since any confidence and trust I placed in him was now gone.
What other things do candidates often embellish or just plain lie about? Here are 5 that my team and I encounter quite often:
Enhancing skill sets & accomplishments. If you didn’t do it, or didn’t achieve it, don’t list it. However, there’s nothing wrong with enhancing your resume with quantifiable accomplishments and improving how you display them.
Unexplained gaps of employment. Rather than make up a fictional job to cover an employment gap, try acknowledging the gap in your cover letter. If you were taking time off to raise children or to take care of a sick parent, no employer will fault you especially if you can show that you’ve kept up with the industry.
Fabricated education, degrees and certifications. This is very risky. This lie is one that could not only get you fired, but might also incite legal action on the part of your employer. It’s simply not worth the risk.
Omitting past employment. Depending on the circumstances or why you left a previous job, you might be tempted to leave it off your application or resume. Carefully weigh your decision, because a background check or employment verification could reveal your omission, making it look as if you are hiding part of your work history.
Falsifying reasons for leaving prior employment. There’s a tactful way of explaining being fired or quitting abruptly, and it doesn’t have to involve lying. Just figure out the best way to explain it in as positive a light as possible. Not explaining the reason(s) can and will ruin your chances of getting hired.
Here’s where I need to reiterate that honesty is still the best policy. Lying on your resume or directly to a recruiter or hiring manager will come back to haunt you. Once you’ve told lies, they snowball. If you land the job, you’ve got to keep up the charade of each lie for the rest of your career. Who can keep up with all of them?
Have you ever embellished your resume or know somebody who did and got caught? Share your resume stories with us below.
Public Relations is important for companies to promote and maintain a positive image, but it’s also important for an individual who is searching for a job. If you do not know how to make yourself stand out in the right way, you may lose an opportunity to someone who does. If you aren’t knowledgeable about the company you are interviewing for, you are at a disadvantage to a candidate who is. Not knowing the proper way to use social media and how to network can hurt you as well.
How can you use public relations to help with your search? Here are 6 good ways:
Promote Yourself– Find your strengths and talk about them. Think hard and separate your strengths from your weaknesses, then use your strengths as your sales pitch. This requires you to be honest with yourself. Use anecdotes to elaborate on why you chose what you did as your strengths. It can also be helpful to have personal business cards and a short website about yourself.
Find the Right Angle– Figure out what sets you apart from the other applicants; what makes you better. Go above and beyond the everyday status quo and show your potential new employer what you can bring to the table.
Do Your Research– Be sure to know about the person or company that is interviewing you. Know your personal values and how they align with the corporate values of the company. If they don’t match up exactly, either be flexible and willing to adjust your values to work with those of the company or accept that that particular position may not be for you and move on.
Social Media– It’s important to be informed, so be sure to stay up to date with news and trends. Don’t be afraid to interact with brands and companies on your social media platforms. Remember to follow the 1/3 rule: make 1/3 of your content interaction with your followers, 1/3 industry related, and 1/3 building your brand or business—and don’t forget to keep your personal pages clean.
Network– Talk to everybody you can. Keeping in touch with people in your industry and similar fields can help you in a future job search or in collaborations. Always be nice to the people around you and don’t burn bridges—you never know whose help you will need in the future or who you will run into again
With today’s competitive job market, it is important to maintain every advantage that you can. Overall, PR is a very handy tool to help you stand out.
Have you used any of these methods in a job search or do you have any other ways to use PR?
What is going through a hiring manager’s head when selecting a candidate? There are 7 top factors that influence their decision making about whether you get hired:
A Great Resume.
To get noticed in the first place, you have to have an impressive resume. Remember, your resume is the first impression the hiring manager will have of you. Keep it current and fresh. Also, look at other people’s resume typical to your industry and check how yours compares.
Showing Long-Term Potential.
Employers want people in their organization to work their way up and grow with the company. Flags go up if they see that you like to change jobs every 2 years. So if asked where you see yourself in 5 years, it’s best to say that you envision your future at the company on a continued success track.
Ability to Get Along with Others.
Since you will spend a lot of time with co-workers, employers want to make sure you have the ability to work well with lots of different people. Also, employees who have a sense of belonging with their co-workers tend to be happier at their jobs.
A Clean Online Presence.
These days, there’s a good chance that the hiring manager found you through social media in the first place. Turn your social media presence into a positive by making sure your public profiles are appropriate and kept up to date.
The Right Skills and Experience.
Having the right hard and soft skills with experience in the industry will put you ahead of the pack. Employers want to know that you can contribute from day one.
Giving Specific Examples.
Hiring Managers want people who can prove that they will increase the organization’s revenues, decrease costs or help it succeed in some way. Provide specific examples in your interview of how you were able to contribute elsewhere and quantify your work if you can.
Just about every hiring manager will be excited about a candidate who is enthusiastic and gives off positive vibes. People are attracted to happy and positive people. If you lack experience and skills, this could be your trump card.
If you’re a Hiring Manager, what else has influenced your decision to hire a specific candidate?
I Found the Perfect Job Online. What do I do Now? By Chris Hesson, Guest Blogger, DRI Plastics Division
After months of browsing online job boards, you finally see that one role that combines your past roles, industry experience and passion. And…it’s local!
What do you do now?
This is a scenario many job seekers face. Unfortunately, most take the worst possible next step: they apply online with the same generic resume they have sent out to so many other companies.
This will most certainly ensure that your resume enters the black hole of corporate HR, never to be seen again!
So, what do you do now?
HINT: Do NOT apply!
Step 1: Customize your resume.
Go through the job description bullet-point by bullet-point. If they are looking for a software developer with ABC experience, your resume should highlight your experience with ABC.
Your resume should mirror the job description.
Similarly, if you have experiences or skill-sets that are not relevant. Leave them off or at the least keep them few and simple.
Step 2: Network.
Before you submit a resume online or to HR look through your network. Do you know anyone that works for the company? Do you know anyone who knows anyone who works for the company?
Do not be afraid to tap your connections for introductions, no matter where they may be within the organization.
For example: If you are interested in an engineering role, but have a 1st or 2nd connection to someone in finance or sales, reach out to them! They may go golfing with or park next to the engineering manager
If you have no connections into the company, you can always coldly reach out to someone on the sales team. Sales professionals are great to network with.
REMEMBER: Networking is a 2-way street. Yes you have the goal of being able to make inroads within an organization, but try to find out where you may be able to provide value to them as well. Networking is all about deposits and withdrawals. You may even be able to return the favor by providing them with a lead!
Step 3: Repeat Step 2!
Connect with multiple people: develop rapport with them, learn about the company’s philosophy and culture, use them to connect you to other people within the organization.
Step 4: Leverage your network.
Use your old or new-found connections to introduce you to the hiring manager (or worst case – HR), or at the very least pass along your resume, and strongly recommend that they reach out to you.
Step 5: Repeat Step 4!
Having multiple people within an organization championing you increases your chances of having that first conversation with your potential new boss! A job search is like sales: it is all about pipeline. (Some people choose to focus on pipeline by sending their resumes out to every company hiring. But I would recommend honing in on those perfect roles and increasing your pipeline towards them).
Step 6: Talk to a recruiter.
Try to find recruiters who have done business with that company before. Some recruiters highlight who they work with on their website, or you may see that the hiring authority (or multiple people within the company) is/are connected to several recruiters. Reach out to them. Tell them that you are interested in connecting with a company they already know about and a position where they may already know the manager!
At the end of the day, nothing will guarantee you an interview, offer, or even a conversation; but increasing your exposure will decrease the odds that you end up in the resume black hole!
You found a new job. It’s time to resign your current position. But how do you quit and leave on a positive note at the same time?
Our team of recruiters at DRI can’t say enough about how important it is to leave your current job on good terms. We suggest that you make plans for a smooth exit and resign as graciously as possible even though you might be thinking “Take this job and shove it”.
Here are 6 great tips on how to resign properly:
1) Resign with Class. Craft a short, two or three sentence letter that announces your resignation and provides a two week notice. Make sure to mention your gratitude for the position. However, do not use the resignation letter to provide information about your next opportunity.
2) Resist the Counter-Offer. This is a big one. Chances are good that your current employer will offer you more money to stay. Don’t be tempted to say yes. The same reasons of why you are leaving will still be there, In addition, if it takes a letter of resignation to get you more money, keep moving forward. This isn’t the place for you.
3) Continue the Pace. Don’t go into the cruise mode once your resignation has been submitted. In fact, do the opposite and put the medal to the pedal! Leave your company and position in the best possible shape. If your boss asks you stay on longer than 2 weeks, see what you can work out. Protect your good reputation.
4) Pack Your Stuff But Leave Theirs. Don’t leave behind a big mess. Clean out your desk and pack your stuff. However, when doing so, don’t’ be tempted to take anything that belongs to the company. It’s not worth tarnishing your reputation and relationship over swiping a stapler or tape dispenser.
5) Don’t Trash Talk. If you are disgruntled with your employer, it’s better not to trash them to others. Word gets around much faster these days especially with social media and you want to leave on a positive note. Also, don’t forget you may need a professional reference from them one day.
6) Exit properly. Don’t make yourself scarce on your last day of work. Instead, go around the office, shake hands, and thank management for the opportunity to work there. If possible, give them a number where you can be reached in case they have any questions. Also, take a moment to thank your co-workers and tell them how nice it was to work alongside them. Don’t burn any bridges and leave with class.
Perhaps you are leaving your current employer now. If so, tell us how you plan to exit by posting below.
Do you feel like you’re shuffling off to work every day and that it should mean something more than a paycheck? Is the spark gone? Then, maybe it’s time for you to change direction and look for a new job.
Every day at Direct Recruiters, we speak with active and passive candidates who are unhappy in their current positions and ready to make a move. When we probe further and ask them to be more specific about why they’re unhappy and to pinpoint what they don’t like about their current job or company, we often hear the same reasons over and over again.
Can you relate to any of our top 6?
1) Stagnation: Feeling underutilized to the point of atrophy. It’s a bad sign if you’re not being challenged and lose the stuff that makes you stand out professionally. To keep your skills honed, you need to use them often. If not, you’ll lose them and fall behind.
2) Overwhelming Workload: It’s normal to feel frazzled every so often but if you’re job has become too overpowering on a daily basis, it’s unhealthy. Over the past several years, many of you have had to take on the work of 2 or more people. Increased workloads mean heightened stress and high stress can lead to burnout.
3) Bad Reputation of Company: According to a poll taken by CR Magazine in 2013, 69% of Americans would rather be unemployed than work for a company with a bad reputation. Moreover, 84% would leave their current employer in a minute for a company with a favorable reputation.
4) Sick of Broken Promises & Merit System: If your boss routinely promises a raise and/or promotion but you get passed over each time, chances are you’re feeling disappointed and misled. You realize there’s no growth in your current job. It won’t be long before you become totally disgruntled and on the chopping block.
5) Inept Manager(s): It is often said that good employees don’t leave companies, they leave bad managers. Bad manager practices deflate employee morale and in turn, mishandled employees stop caring about how well they perform their job and even become indifferent to company goals and objectives.
6) Change in Family Circumstances: A change in your personal life (marriage, having children, etc.) may make it necessary to find a new job because of location, finances or a need to spend more time at home.
Please share your story regarding how and when you knew it was time to look for a new job.
Success has nothing to do with luck. Success begins when developing a successful mindset. This mindset in turn builds character and ultimately creates success.
There are 7 things that all successful people have in common. Not to worry if you don’t have all seven. They can be learned. Find a role model and emulate their habits and behaviors that brought them success. Also, ask them to be your coach in order to help you learn and grow.
1) They are dreamers. Successful people dream big and don’t put boundaries on how far they can reach. They will do one thing each day that puts them closer to reaching their goals. However, they dream with a plan because without a plan, a dream is just a wish.
2) They are willing to fail. Success doesn’t come easy and people are bound to fail along the way. Rather than staying down, Successful people pick themselves back up and learn from their failures and use them as stepping stones to success.
3) They invest in themselves. Successful people invest their time and money towards bettering themselves. They strive to learn a new skill or improve their current ones. They realize that without knowledge, they don’t have power and without power, they cannot reach the next level.
4) They network and connect with others. Successful people network with like-minded individuals. They seek out people with similar goals and who bring out the very best in them. They will join associations and attend events to stay connected.
5) They take action. Successful people take immediate action and have excellent decision making skills. They don’t wait for things to happen but make things happen and do it without looking back or having regrets.
6) They embrace change. Successful people don’t fear or resist change, they embrace it. With the world moving at warp speed and technology rapidly changing, they adapt and realize that change is inevitable.
7) They see the bigger picture. Successful people never stop moving forward. They knock down any brick walls in their way. They also know that the problems they are facing today probably won’t matter next week or in the long run. They are unstoppable.
What other traits do you think successful people have in common? Please post below!
Thank You Notes…Still Protocol When Interviewing by Robert Cohn, Managing Partner & Director of Automation Practice
One of my best clients asked me to take on a challenging search for a sales professional who could meet their qualifications and requirements. My team and I worked diligently on this search and in a short time presented a candidate that piqued their interest.
This candidate went through 2 phone interviews, 1 face-to-face interview and was invited to HQ for a final face-to-face interview. When completed, I was able to debrief both the client and candidate. Both parties shared with me that it was a perfect match and were ready to move to the next level…the job offer.
Several days went by without a word from my client, so I reached out to them and asked if they were ready to close the deal and make an offer to our candidate. What I heard was an emphatic “NO”. The reason was simple…the candidate failed to send a thank you note or email when interviews were concluded. To our client, this showed a lack of gratitude, follow-up and the ability to close the deal…all necessary to be successful in a sales role. In addition, a thank you note would have allowed them to judge his response time and written communication skills.
I called our candidate to ask why he had forgotten this very important step especially since we discussed it as vital part of the interview and post interview process. He didn’t give me a reason as to why he failed to communicate with them but said he would send a note right away. However, it was too late. My client had already decided to start fresh and look at other candidates.
Bottom line, a thank you note or email is still protocol. It’s not old school but respect for a hiring manager’s time and consideration. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to reiterate your strong interest in the position and answer any questions they may have. It can also set you apart from your competition.
With that, here are some tips to consider when sending your thank you note:
- Send your thank you note to every person involved in the interview. Each one should be personalized. Make sure to get a business card or necessary contact information before you leave.
- Nothing beats a hand-written letter, but in this day in age this can be too slow of a response. If you chose to send a thank you note in the mail, send an email as well. Email is perfectly acceptable and is commonly used for thank you notes.
- Be sure to send your thank you note or email no later than 24 hours after your interview.
- How you write your thank you note makes a difference. Try to make each one original and provide 3-5 sentences thanking them for their time and expressing your enthusiasm. Also, include your contact information should they have questions or want to follow up.
Now I’d like to hear from you. Did writing a thank you note ever separate you from other candidates? Did failing to do so ever prevent you from getting the job?
5 Reasons Why You Should Join a Professional Association by Guest Blogger Sydney Arnett, Marketing Specialist, DCA
Professional associations are perhaps one of best untapped resources for career development. Regardless of what industry you’re in, there is likely a plethora of associations, organizations, groups, and societies dedicated to broadening the knowledge base of their members and facilitating communication and growth within their industries.
Over the past several years I have discovered how beneficial it is to be a member of a professional association. From being a college student to a young professional, I have experienced much of the spectrum of how professional associations can aid in career development. I’ve attended workshops, used job boards, social media, stayed up on the latest news by reading publications, participated in webinars, etc.
So, as someone who has taken advantage of many of the services and resources that professional associations provide, I’ve come up with a list of my top 5 reasons you should consider joining one too:
1) Networking: One of the best things about joining a professional association is all of the people you get connected to. Associations provide unparalleled networking opportunities, allowing members to connect with other people in their industry. From peers, to mentors, to industry leaders, professional associations give members instant access to all different types of people in their industry. Also, members shouldn’t forget to attend their professional association’s annual conference, as it will offer them the opportunity to meet and network with the largest gathering of people in their industry.
2) Continued Education: Especially in the Healthcare IT industry (which is constantly evolving) continued education is a must. Fortunately, most professional associations offer their members unlimited opportunities to broaden their industry knowledge. This is typically done through seminars, conferences, workshops, online courses, etc. Also, professional associations usually send out quarterly, if not monthly, newsletters which can help members to stay up on trends and latest industry developments. In addition to newsletters, most associations also provide access to an enormous amount of research information such as case studies, articles, white papers and books written by industry experts.
3) Resume Builder: For recent college graduates with limited work experience, professional associations can be a fabulous resume builder. Being extremely active in the association can possibly help to make up for some of the work experience college graduates may be lacking at this point in their careers. However, even for someone who has a job and isn’t searching for a new one, professional associations can provide members with opportunities to build their resume as well. Examples of how established professionals can build their resume include obtaining leadership positions (e.g. being on a committee or the Board of Directors) and having articles published in the association’s publications.
4) Job Searching: The majority of professional associations have job boards that members can use. Often, members can even submit their resumes so that employers and recruiters can see them when they are searching for new talent. Working at a staffing and consulting firm, I can say for certain that recruiters do look at these websites for resumes! Another reason why joining a professional association can help with job searching is because of the amount of events available to members and the opportunity they offer members to get their name out there in the industry.
5) Save Money: Although it costs money to join most of these associations – they also help you save money! Memberships in many associations include free subscriptions to the association’s publications, discounted prices to events, and not to mention the priceless contacts and relationships you make. Some associations also offer members discounts on CDs, journals, videos/DVDs and other materials.
Additionally, belonging to a professional association isn’t just a good idea for individuals – it can also be useful for employers. Employers can, and should, utilize professional associations for recruiting purposes, business development, networking, continued education for its employees, exhibitor opportunities, visibility, branding, etc.
If you are looking to join a professional association, here are a couple suggestions for the Healthcare IT and the Recruitment industries: Healthcare IT Professional Associations: Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS), and American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). Recruitment Industry Professional Associations: Ohio Recruiters Association (ORA) and National Association of Executive Recruiters (NAER).