Top 5 Lies on Resumes by Guest Blogger John Yurkschatt, Recruitment Manager, DCA

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.

7 Factors That Influence Whether You Get Hired or Not by Barb Miller, DRI

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.

Positive Attitude.
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

BLN469_CHRIS HESSON_C WEBYou’ve found it.

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!

Leaving Your Job on Good Terms

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.

When It’s Time to Leave Your Job

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.

7 Things Successful People Have in Common

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!

Direct Recruiters Celebrates 30 Years of Success!

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Direct Recruiters, Inc. is proud to announce that we have achieved a significant milestone by reaching our 30th Anniversary in the Executive Search Industry.

Reflecting on the past 30 years, Shel Myeroff, CEO, President and Founder commented, “It’s hard to believe that 30 years have passed since we first opened our doors in 1983. Over these last 30 years, we have seen so many changes in the recruiting industry and we not only managed to keep pace but continue to have record sales each year. In addition, our continued growth has created many jobs for top talent in the Cleveland area.”

According to Dan Charney, Managing Partner, “We have so much to be thankful for and our success can be attributed to our loyal clients, trusted partners and our awesome DRI team. I can’t say enough about our people who strive to give their best every day and in return, we have created a positive work environment motivating them to stay. We also encourage our team to refer their professional peers our way. DRI is a great place to work.”

DRI has grown from a start-up firm to a company recognized as an INC. 5000 Honoree, Weatherhead 100 Company, NorthCoast 99 Company and NEO Success Award winner.

For more information, contact Dan Charney, Managing Partner, 440-996-0589 / dcharney@directrecruiters.com or Barb Miller, Marketing Manager, 440-248-3370 x101 / bmiller@directrecruiters.com.