New Year Resolutions for the Job Seeker

Photo Cred: …I promise by Carmella Fernando.

I read a great article about the lies applicants say during job interviews. You can find the link to the article below.

While it’s pretty entertaining to read some of the responses, it’s sad to think that people will go to such extremes to get a job. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve always been honest in job interviews. I’ve been fired before and know how nerve-racking it is to sit in an applicant’s chair and answer the dreaded question: Why did you leave your previous employer?. Usually my response would be vague so I didn’t have to get into details and announce that my employer invited me to leave the company to explore other options. That was definitely one of those rehearsed answers.

Whether they are “white” or “off-white”, they are lies. Sure they might land you a job, but at what cost? Would you really be ok with a 2-hour commute one way or be willing to work on weekends? If you’re not, why would you agree to those requirements? The employer is not asking them to see how great of a person you are; they need someone who is reliable and will be available when they need them. I know it’s tempting to tell them one thing in the interview and hope that it won’t be a problem in the future, especially when you’ve been out of work for a while but the reality is that if it’s an issue today, it will still be an issue tomorrow.

Instead of ending up in a job that you’re really not willing to take, I’ve come up with a few resolutions that I encourage you as a job seeker, add to your list.

1. List only the truth on your resume and answer truthfully in interviews. If you say you know something, then know it. If you don’t know it but want to, then learn it. Just don’t lie. There are plenty of free ways to learn marketable skills on youtube or by searching for specialized blogs. Remember that what you say in the interview will be expected of you if hired. When you tell an employer that working in groups is not a problem but you’re much better when you’re working alone, it will show. Lying is inconsiderate to the employer, recruiter and everyone else involved.

2. Don’t list References Upon Request. You applied for the job so we know we can do a background check, including checking your references. List them out from the start and save some time. Also, make sure your references know they’ve been listed and that their contact information is accurate and up-to-date. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to call or email people and finding out their info is incorrect or they don’t respond. An employer will move on to other applicants if it is too difficult to go through the process to hire you.

3. Make it a priority to be more thoughtful of others. Along with telling the truth, do the research for the company you’re applying to prior to an interview, show up on time and write thank you cards. Don’t get the idea that you are entitled. Sure you might be an excellent candidate for a position, but that won’t matter if all you are concerned with is you. There are plenty of options that the employer has to choose from, so make them want to hire you by thinking of them. They will be more impressed with that than any skills you list on a resume.

4. Don’t play the victim. If you were terminated from your job, do not talk about how you were given an unfair situation. I’ve never heard of anyone saying that they were rightly let-go from a job. Kind of like you never find a guilty person in jail, you’ll never find a rightful termination in an interview. Fess up to your mistakes and take responsibility for them. You don’t have to go into details, but just let them know that there were differences between you and the employer. With enough practice and tweaking, you can respond to an unfortunate situation and turn it into something that could land you a job, depending on how you discuss it in the interview. Grow from it; don’t shrink away from it.

Here is the link to that article. http://www.careerealism.com/13-lies-people-tell-interviews/.

Happy 2015!

Never Lose Hope,

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