Lately when I go on job interviews, they want your three references right away. Sometimes they ask for your references before you've even talked to a live interviewer on the phone! I think they forget that my references are busy people who don't want their names and numbers all over creation. They want to be my references, but they want to know something about the job I'm applying for before they start answering questions about me, and I can't tell them anything about the job if I haven't even talked with a recruiter yet.
Do I need to hand over my references at the very start of the process, when I submit my resume online? Is that reasonable or standard? You've been an HR chief, so I'm relying on you to give me the straight scoop. Thanks,
Hang onto those references until you've had at least one 'real' (face-to-face) job interview! There are scams all over the place. You may be submitting your resume, and your references, into something even worse than the
Blog Posts by Liz Ryan
Dear Liz,Read More »from When Should I Hand Over My Job References?
One of the many reasons to love the great, late TV show "Seinfeld" was the running gag about the clever ways Jerry Seinfeld handled telemarketing calls. One time, he told the guy pushing telephone services that he'd be happy to talk, but he'd need to call the guy back at home. The telemarketer, when asked for his home phone number, demurred. "Oh, I guess you don't want people calling you at home?" asked Jerry. "No," said the telemarketer. "Well, now you know how I feel," said Seinfeld and hung up the phone. The live studio audience went crazy.Read More »from Help a Telemarketer Out
I used to do stuff like that to telemarketers, too. My husband got our kids into a fit of hysterical laughter one time when he took the phone out of my hand, seeing the exasperated expression on my face. i had just gotten my first word in edgewise, cutting off the telemarketer to say, "Now, Clarence - " when me husband grabbed the phone and took over. "Is this Clarence?" he asked, in an exuberant near-yell. "Clarence, is that you?" "Uh, yes,"
- Liz Ryan | Work + Money – Thu, Oct 25, 2012 2:39 AM EDT
"Here's the problem," says the woman on the phone. "My ex-boss and I had no especially warm feelings for one another. I don't have another reference from that job, and I worked there for three years."Read More »from Get Your Job References Together Before You Need Them
"What about a co-worker of yours who doesn't work there anymore?" I asked her. "That person could be a reference for you." "There isn't anyone like that," she said. "A customer?" I asked. "Oh, yes!" said the job-seeking lady. "There's a customer who loves me. I'll use her as a reference. Thanks so much --"
"Wait one second!" I quickly interjected. "You have to talk to your old customer first. She doesn't know she's going to be one of your job references. You can't let these guys hit her with a reference call or email out of the blue. You have to call and prepare her."
"Wait," said my caller, suddenly sounding dejected again. "That customer who loves me would be a great reference, but I don't have contact info for her. That means I can't call and ask her to be a
Every year, local news outlets publish or broadcast lists of their regions' best employers. The best-employer awards are essential PR efforts, because an employer has to complete an application in order to be considered for honors. The application form is likely to ask questions about family-friendly programs in place at the organization, the level of turnover, and fun facts about the company or institution. There's only one problem with the standard best-employer-award methodology, but it's a big one: nobody asks the employees what they think.
For contrast, consider the case of Dish Network, recently labeled the country's worst employer by employer-review website Glassdoor.com. Glassdoor (get it? People who don't work for the company can see in) lets current and past employees of any firm log in and leave reviews praising or bashing their workplaces. Dish Network won (?) the Worst Employer award by having the lowest overall satisfaction rating of any of the thousands of employersRead More »from Is DISH Network the Country's Worst Employer?
10 Phrases That Can Sink Your Resume by Liz Ryan Here are ten of the deadliest resume phrases in use ("massive overuse" would be more accurate) and replacements for each one. You'll rewrite the replacement phrases to reflect your own accomplishments--and that's the key! We can't expect a timeworn piece of resume boilerplate to stand in for our own pithy, personal examples.Read More »from Ten Phrases that Will Tank Your Resume
Kill this: Results-oriented professional Replace with your own version of this: I love to solve thorny supply-chain problems
Kill this: Excellent team player Replace with your own version of this: At Acme Dynamite, I partnered with Engineering to cut our product cost in half
Kill this: Bottom-line orientation Replace with your own version of this: My accounting-process overhaul saved the company $10M in its first year
Kill this: Superior communication skills Replace with your own version of this: I led a two-day offsite that yielded our 2010 product lineup and a $40K cost savings
Kill this: Possess
Dear Liz,Read More »from What Does a Human Resources Person Do?
I'm graduating from college in the spring and I'm thinking that Human Resources might be a good career for me to pursue. I love managing projects (I'm a Resident Advisor and do a lot of program planning in that job) and I like untangling interpersonal issues. Can you help me understand what HR people do?
How exciting a time this must be for you! I love your idea of exploring HR career paths. I've been an HR person since about six years before you were born, and I'm always happy to recruit people in the HR profession.
When you read about HR positions and their responsibilities, you'll see a lot of references to employee benefit plans and recruiting systems and policies and guidelines and other stuff like that. Most of those things will show up at some point in every HR career, but they are strictly tools and means to an end.
If you were to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, they'd teach you about roof trusses and downspouts and other things you
Dear Liz,Read More »from Help! I'm About to Hire My First Subordinate
I graduated college two years ago and I've been having a great time in my first job at an ad agency. They just made me supervisor of a smallish account and the new grads in our department are already assigned. I get to hire a new person - exciting but scary! Any tips for me?
How cool for you! This is a great event for your development, for your employer and its clients, and for the person the universe ends up sending over to work with you. Try not to stress! Here are a few tips to make your first-hire-as-a-manager experience less daunting and more fun.
The first thing to remember is that although you will dream up the picture-perfect, rainbows-and-unicorns new employee in your head, that person is unlikely to actually walk into an interview with you. Real people are imperfect and lumpy and bumpy in various ways, but they are awesome. You're better off with a real, imperfect person than with your dreamed-up fantasy new hire, anyway, so don't
- Liz Ryan | Author Blog Posts – Mon, Sep 17, 2012 12:38 AM EDT
Just Who is Committing What, to Whom?Read More »from Should I Tell My Employer I'm Committed to My Part-Time Job (When I'm NOT)?
I finally received my degree last month. With the economy in such bad shape, full-time entry level positions in my chosen field are scarce, so I have applied to and received an interview invitation for
a part-time position that would help me gain valuable experience and provide a great jumping off point for advancement or future professional positions.
How should I address any concerns about my commitment to this part-time position? I don't intend to stay there in this position for years, and I will state that, but I also don't intend to jump
ship at the first available opportunity. Like I said, this will be a great time to gain experience and I won't be actively searching for a new (and full-time) job for a little while. How can I turn this around so that I would be a good hire for the organization? I have the skills that this position requires. The manager has already asked me about my level of commitment and I feel that I have to
- Liz Ryan | Work + Money – Sat, Aug 25, 2012 9:19 PM EDT
Dear Liz,Read More »from Talent Doesn't Grow on Trees: How to Get Hiring Managers to Value Candidates
I am an HR person who spends a lot of time coordinating job interviews in our company. Often the hiring managers take their time giving me feedback about candidates, or they just send me an email message to say "No thanks." It can take weeks to get that much out of them. The job specs they create are sometimes based on air. They want a person to move mountains for $30,000 a year. It's really hard for me to be in the middle. I would say the three biggest problems are:
1 - Hiring requirements versus salary levels are unrealistic based on the market, especially if they want good people (which they do).
2 - Managers get a job req approved, give it to me and then lose interest. I have to chase them down just to schedule interviews, and after the interviews as I mentioned it is hard to get any feedback. I am stuck having to try to explain to the candidate what's going on.
3 - Managers don't value the candidate's time and experience. They seem to think that talent grows on
Thank you for using CenturyLink.com. A CenturyLink Sales and Service Consultant will be with you in just a moment. Your account information is confidential and protected by law. Advise our agent if you prefer that we don't use it to market products or repair your services. This has no effect on the service we provide you.Read More »from Thank You for Using CenturyLink
Thank you for contacting CenturyLink. My name is Joe(xxxx). How may I help you today?
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Liz Ryan: I am okay - they just lifted the pre evacuation order due to fires so we get to stay in our house tonight. I got CenturyLink service last Friday and I am sad to say it's pretty much been a nightmare so far. This is my third interaction with CL since then. Right now I guess I need an access code to dial my sister in law in Seattle.
Liz Ryan: I have had phone service of course for ten million