Four Big Lies Employers Tell Job Applicants

By Charles Purdy, Monster Senior Editor 

By now, we should all know that it’s dangerous to lie on a resume. But you know what? In the job search conversation between employers and candidates, a bit of fibbing sometimes happens on the employer side, too.

Often, there’s no ill will intended. While there are a few bad apples in the bunch (as with the rest of humanity), most recruiters and HR folks are motivated by the desire to put the right people into the jobs they have to fill. The trouble is that overwork and overly large candidate pools can thwart good intentions — so those little white lies meant to spare a job seeker’s feelings end up not doing the candidate any favors.
We asked some recruiting experts to name the biggest lies recruiters tell, so you can spot the untruths and be ready to deal with them.
1. “We’ll keep you in mind for future opportunities.”
Recruiters meet a lot of people. And most of them have huge candidate databases. Often when they speak this untruth, they mean it: They are keeping your resume on file. Just know that they’re doing so in a gigantic filing cabinet, and that out of sight often means out of mind.
How to Handle: Don’t assume that “no” means “never.” Once you’ve started a conversation with a recruiter, don’t let the conversation end just because you’re not offered one job. Stay in touch via professional networking sites, and stay abreast of goings-on at the company so you can be aware of opportunities before they’re posted.
Just remember that there’s a fine line between “staying in touch” and “stalking.” So contact the recruiter only when you have a genuine reason to do so. And as with all professional contacts, don’t just look for favors to ask — also look for ways to be of service.
2. “Salary depends on experience.”
Usually, the company has a ballpark figure in mind. If a recruiter asks for your salary requirements or expectations, he’s trying to see whether you’re in that ballpark.
How to Handle: In general, it’s better to wait until a job offer is on the table before moving onto salary negotiations — but recruiters sometimes use salary requirements as a way to thin out the candidate pool.
In this case, your best defense is having done thorough research. Make sure you know what’s competitive for the position, the industry and the region, combined with what’s appropriate for someone with your background. That way, you can answer the question in terms of what your research has uncovered (not in terms of what your specific needs are), and then you can add something like, “But of course a conversation about salary makes more sense when we’re discussing a job offer.” Don’t lowball your number, but perhaps let the recruiter know that you’ll weigh nonsalary compensation (vacation days and other perks, for example) with the actual salary offer.
3. “You’ll hear from us either way.”
The truth is that you might never hear — or you might not hear when you expect to. The reasons vary, but a lack of communication after an interview can indicate indecisiveness on the part of the hiring team.
How to Handle: Tackle this lie pre-emptively. Always leave a job interview knowing when you can expect to hear from the hirers. That way, you won’t torture yourself wondering whether it’s too soon to call them back. If they say they’ll get back to you by next Friday and they don’t, send a friendly email to check in. You can even use this check-in email as a chance to continue selling yourself as a candidate. If you’ve had any further thoughts about issues raised in the interview, now is a great time to touch on them again. If they need more time, give it to them — but be firm and friendly about following up.
As for a company that never follows up with you after an interview — even to say “no thank you” — that could be a sign that something is wrong at the company. Smart employers know that treating candidates as well as customers is the right way to do business.
4. “We aren’t finished interviewing yet.”
Sometimes this is true. Sometimes this means you’re the company’s “Plan B” candidate. But this statement makes it sound as if the company has at least settled on a solid group of contenders, and that’s not always the case. Sometimes recruiters use this line as a stalling tactic when they’re still looking for someone more perfect than anyone in their current candidate pool.
How to Handle: Look at this statement as an opportunity to prove yourself. If your post-interview wait time is being extended because the hiring team is “reviewing other candidates,” ask questions like, “Do you have any specific questions or concerns about my ability to handle any aspect of the job? I’d love to address them and demonstrate that I’m the perfect candidate.”
Every interaction with a recruiter or hiring manager is an opportunity to persuade them that you’re the right person for the job. If you’re getting mixed messages, asking direct questions and staying focused will help you understand what’s really going on.

Something for employers and employees to think about

Job Hopping Is the ‘New Normal’ for Millennials: Three Ways to Prevent a Human Resource Nightmare

The average worker today stays at each of his or her jobs for 4.4 years, according to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but the expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest employees is about half that.

Ninety-one percent of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to the Future Workplace Multiple Generations @ Work” survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers. That means they would have 15 – 20 jobs over the course of their working lives!

So what would all this job-hopping do for young workers’ careers? For applicants, job instability on a resume could come at the cost of the dream job. For years, experts have warned that recruiters screen out chronic job-hoppers, instead seeking prospective employees who seem to offer longevity.

Talent acquisition managers and heads of Human Resources make a valid case for their wariness of resumes filled with 1-2-year stints. They question such applicants’ motivation, skill level, engagement on the-job and ability to get along with other colleagues.

These hiring managers worry they’ll become the next victims of these applicant’s hit-and-run jobholding. For companies, losing an employee after a year means wasting precious time and resources on training & development, only to lose the employee before that investment pays off. Plus, many recruiters may assume the employee didn’t have time to learn much at a one-year job.

The Upside of Job Hopping

But for newly minted college graduates, job-hopping can speed career advancement. According to a paper out of the St. Olaf’s Sociology Department entitled “Hiring, Promotion, and Progress: Millennials’ Expectations in the Workplace,” changing jobs and getting a promotion in the process allows Gen Y employees to avoid the “dues paying” that can trap workers in a painfully slow ascent up the corporate ladder.

Job hopping can also lead to greater job fulfillment, which is more important to Gen Y workers than it was to any previous generation: A 2012 survey by Net Impact found that 88 percent of workers considered “positive culture” important or essential to their dream job, and 86 percent said the same for work they found “interesting.” Job-hopping helps workers reach both of these goals, because it means trying out a variety of roles and workplaces while learning new skills along the way.

And economic instability has erased, especially for younger workers, the stigma that has accompanied leaving a job early. That’s because strategic hopping been all but necessary for as long as they can remember. Workers today know they could be laid off at any time – after all, they saw it happen to their parents – so they plan defensively and essentially consider themselves “free agents.

If that freedom seems an undue privilege, think again. The downside to the freedom they enjoy is financial insecurity worse than any other generation in the past half-century. That’s a sufficient price to pay.

So while Baby Boomers started working with an eye on gaining stability, raising a family, and “settling down,” today’s young workers take none of that for granted. Instead, as shown by Net Impact’s survey, they are more concerned than their predecessors with finding happiness and fulfillment in their work lives

Indeed, since humans have been proven to be terrible at predicting what will make us happy (as shown by Harvard happiness guru Daniel Gilbert), it’s crucial that we find it through trial-and-error.

Very important information when sending resumes via the internet!

Creating an ASCII or plain-text resume
Abridged: International Business Times
CONCORD, NH — As soon as your resume is current. Save a copy of it in plain text format and left align all the text. Save a copy for your records before uploading it to the job boards and career sites of your choice. Don’t worry if it looks too raw, it’s supposed to look that way.

Why do you need a text resume? Many online resume banks require you to submit your resume in ASCII or in plain-text format. Many companies that allow you to submit your resume via email also require this plain text format. These companies request that your resume be sent not as an attachment, but rather as part of your email message.

Whether you create a basic list of skills or a three page resume with full disclosure, the secret to a successful online resume is less about design and more about keyword-richness and an easy to scan layout. Make the best of a non-formatted resume by using capital letters for headers and dashes or asterisks for bullets to help with readability.

Discouraged Jobseekers: 21 Tips

Don’t give up, here’s some tips to help you weather this down job market:

1. Focus on networking with your warmest contacts FIRST

2. Be clear about your objectives and what you want (and don’t want)

3. Be generous in sharing ideas, resources, contacts

4. Don’t keep score

5. Be yourself

6. Ask lots of open questions – who? what? how? when?

7. Network with a wide range of contacts outside your immediate connections

8. Ensure you have an online presence and are using social media platforms to establish an online brand (Eg LinkedIn.com, start a blog etc)

9. Take a genuine interest in other people, their challenges and their goals (and not just your own needs)

10. Be systematic

11. Listen twice as much as you talk

12. Focus on the quality of relationships rather than the number of contacts you’ve got

13. Keep asking “How can I help you?” rather than “How can you help me?

14. Share and help others without expecting anything back

15. Keep nudging yourself outside your comfort zone

16. Limit the time you spend on social media platforms. They can be great fun, but also a great drain on your time

17. Be spontaneous

18. If you’re not going to follow up religiously, don’t bother networking

19. Think long term relationships rather than short term job leads and opportunities

20. Don’t try and follow every tip on this list

21. Instead just incorporate ONE tip from above. Then another. Then another…

From Career Hub

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