Monthly Archives: October 2008

…dealing with “bruised credit”

we hear it weekly…candidate gets into the finals of the interviewing  process…is told they are a finalist…will have their references and credit checked…

then, oh my, the candidate reveals that they have “bruised” credit…this can be everything from very, very bad credit to poor credit…

in these difficult economic times, it is not suprising that many people’s credit is “bruised”…slightly to very badly..

these days, employers are more prone to check credit on most candidates, even if the position is not a financial oriented job….it use to be that a candidate’s credit was checked only when the job had to do with financial positions…i.e. where money was involved..

these days, though, hiring authorities have a hard time checking references with previous employers, who, more often than not, adopt a “we don’t give references of any type” policy…so, they resort to other objective reports like criminal records and credit reports…

the assumption is that, if your credit is poor, you are a poor employee…

it does no good to argue this issue…if you have bruised credit, best assume you will be eliminated from most any financially oriented job…we even had a candidate lately who was eliminated from an insurance adjusters position because of his poor credit…

we recomend not sharing a poor credit issue unitl you find out that your credit will be checked…(by the way, you can’t refuse this being done without immediately being eliminated from contention)..

once you are informed, tell the hiring authority that your credit has been bruised and ask him or her if that will be an issue…you might share with them the reasons for the situation…we had a candidat a few years ago whose identity was stolen and she was still “recovering” from a poor credit issue through no fault of her own…

some hiring authorities may be able to work with you if they really like you…sometimes they may not have any choice depending on company policies..

you want to be sure that, if you find that a credit report will be reviewed and you have had challenges, the employer does not find out from the credit report itself…especially if you are told that the report will be part of the screening process…

if an employers thinks you are withholding information from him or her, you won’t get hired…

…a little thing you never thought of

your voice mail on your cell phone….make sure is says somethng like, “this is (your name) leave a message and i will return your call.”

why?…well, when people calling you hear a simple number like “214-823-9999…leave a message at the tone” they don’t know for sure if it is your cell phone…and many people ..especially potential employers…are reluctant to leave a message on a voice mail this way…

three years from now, one of those hiring authorities may pull your resume out of the file and try to call you..they won’t know if you still have that number or not…if they get simply “214-xxx-yyyy ..leave a message” they won’t do it

sooooo, record your name on your voice mail…you are missing some great calls 

…till your butt’s in the chair

two weeks ago, one of our candidates got a verbal job offer…$150,000 plus commissions, etc…start date, end of november..maybe december…maybe the first of the year (..almost 3 months away)

i said, “that’s really strange….doesn’t make sense…” …i told him not to trust it…he should keep looking and not stop..he marginally agreed…but he was convinced he had found a job

friday, they call him and tell him the position has been put on hold..we feel so badly for him but there is nothing anyone can do.

lesson: don’t count on anything in this job market…until your butt’s in the chair (…and even then) …don’t stop looking for a good opportunity… keep interviewing…even if you get a written offer…once you start a job…and have been there a while, then shut the process down..

…snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

candidate is in the finals..down to him and one other.. he is going to interview with the CEO and the president…it is a small, $100 million firm..

so, thinking he can wow them, he comes up with an elaborate “future” plan about how he has contacts to help them expand and double their size by adding lines of products he can bring them…instead of interviewing, he comes across as though he wants to create partnerships for them….bad move..

they agree to pass on him…they were simply looking for a sales person, not a new business….he oversold and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory..

lesson: sell yourself to get the job you are interviewing for..don’t try to make it more complicated than it is

…the risk of relocating for a new job

heard from a recent candidate of ours…he took a new job in Florida …the deal has not worked out and he is trying to get back to Texas…and it is really hard to do

it is hard for him to come interview…he’d love if someone will help him out with relo expenses…he is really in a tough spot…the competition for the kind of thing he is looking for is very keen….

lesson: not good to take a new job with a new company and immediately relocate…as much as no one will admit to this, new jobs do not work out 20% of the time…and you are stuck in a new city with no job or having to look for one and you don’ t know many people…all your contacts are “back home”..

so, if you have to relocate for a new job, commute to it for six months or so to see if it is a good fit…then relocate.., also try to get the company you are going to work for to agree to help you get back home if the situation doesn’t work out…do this before you take the new job…

…elementary

this seems so elementary, but one of our candidates went to the interview without a hard copy of his resume…the hiring authority didn’t have it on his desk, asked the candidate for one and the interview went down hill after that..

the hiring authority searched his computer for ten minutes… finally found it, had to print it…well, you get the message… bad interview

always, always have multiple copies of your resume with you..don’t assume the hiring authority will have one even if you emailed it…

this week one of our candidates went to his interview…he was confronted by a group of three people in the interview.. he sure looked prepared when he handed out copies of his resume to everyone that didn’t have one..

…monday morning interviews

..DON’T do it…stay away from monday morning interviews…the pressure of monday morning is mostly caused by people’s interruption of their cercadian rhythms that they established over the weekend…they slept later, did fun things, relaxed..and now it is interrupted by monday morning..

if you have to interview on a monday, make it after 1pm or later in the day..

also try not to interview in airports, restaurants, starbucks, at conventions, conferences, social engagements…the day before thanksgiving, christmas or new year’s eve…late at night, i.e. after 7pm

…so, life and interviewing are unfair

..interviewing and hiring are staged, contrived events…they aren’t reality…but, like churchill said about democracy, it’s the worst form of government after all the others have been tried..

candidates complain that hiring authorities ask very unfair questions, that have nothing to do with the job (i.e. “why are manholes round?”…”what is one thing about you, you don’t want me to know?”) …and employers get hung up on one or two answers that aren’t the way they would answer the question..(i.e. define “consultative selling”)…

we have seen candidates and hiring authorities get hung up on the smallest, most silly things that really have nothing to do with a candidates ability to do the job or the quality of a job opportunity…

no sense in getting mad or disappointed about things like this…when they happen, the situations are unfair…not right…just unfair

but, so is life…get over it and move on…you’ll hardly ever rectify or change the situation…accept what you may not understand …move on..

…the long distance job search

we get a number of calls every day from folks trying to find a job here in dallas from some distant city…it is so hard to explain that unless you are in a very narrow, well defined profession where there a many job opportunities, trying to find a job when you aren’t here is virtually impossible..

what folks don’t realize is that there are lots and lots of people already living here that are competing for those jobs…and if an employer can hire someone already here, they simply eliminate the risk of the candidate not being able, for any reason, to move here after they are hired…

now, if you are an accountant, engineer, or IT professional, you may be able to come to town and stay for a while and find a job before you move..

but if you are gainfully employed and are not in the rare class of candidates that can get hired almost immediately, the idea that you might come to town for one or two interviews, then come back for subsequent interviews..and then do it again if the first opportunity doesn’t work out…simply isn’t practical

even coming to town for a week or two, expecting to land a new job is unrealistic…short of a miracle, finding a job that quickly isn’t likely