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Monday, February 28, 2011

5 Ways to Conduct a Secret Job Search

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I used to love my job. To make a long story short my boss (who is fantastic) has a new boss (who is not-so-fantastic). The culture of my team and the things I loved about my job are vanishing and I feel the need to make a move. I am in sales in an industry which functions like a very small town. If I send out a resume with my name and/or my company I will be able to measure in nanoseconds how quickly the news that I am looking will get back to my boss. Other colleagues “caught looking” have been summarily fired and I don’t want that to be me. Is there a process for submitting resumes to open positions with either my name or my current company marked confidential without appearing that my current company is the CIA? Do recruiters just pass over such resumes in favor of someone who offers full disclosure? Please help! Thanks.

5 Ways to Conduct a Secret Job Search

Friday, February 25, 2011

Job Hunting Secret: They Desperately Want to Hire You

It's true that hiring managers and recruiters have so many applications that they'll reject you for small problems. So here are some hints on making yourself the right candidate.

Job Hunting Secret: They Desperately Want to Hire You

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

6 Reasons You Shouldn't Quit Without Notice

Your boss is a jerk and now you have a new job lined up. She wouldn't hesitate to fire you without notice, so why should you give two weeks' notice? Because it benefits you.

6 Reasons You Shouldn't Quit Without Notice

Friday, February 18, 2011

When Should I Tell My Boss That I Quit

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I have a verbal offer for a job at a new company with a specific start date. I want to give my current employer as much notice as possible. Would I be taking a big risk if I let my manager know informally now, and turn in a formal letter tomorrow? This would be about three weeks notice.

When Should I Tell My Boss That I Quit

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Screening Out Unemployed Job Seekers? You May Be Breaking the Law

As reports of employers screening out unemployed job hunters have grown, the EEOC is studying whether these practices constitute illegal discrimination.

Screening Out Unemployed Job Seekers? You May Be Breaking the Law

Can You Make a Bad Employee (or Boss) Better?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

Do good managers really have the ability to fix bad employees? In my experience, the only person I have the power to change is myself. This happens to be the same person I least want to change.

Can You Make a Bad Employee (or Boss) Better?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Smokers Need Not Apply

More and more companies–especially hospitals–are not just smoke free campuses, but want smoke free employees. The New York Times reports:

[E]mployees who smoke cost, on average, $3,391 more a year each for health care and lost productivity, according to federal estimates.

“We felt it was unfair for employees who maintained healthy lifestyles to have to subsidize those who do not,” Steven C. Bjelich, chief executive of St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo., which stopped hiring smokers last month. “Essentially that’s what happens.”

Keep reading at
Smokers Need Not Apply

Friday, February 11, 2011

Can I Say No to Health Insurance and Get a Raise Instead?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I’m retired from the Navy and, therefore, covered by military health insurance. When the economy took a dive I declined the company paid health coverage. In three years of not paying for this, the company is saving around $16,000. This summer will make three years since I’ve had a pay raise. Is there a tactful way for me to mention the amount of money the company has saved, and ask for a raise based on that? Or is that horribly tacky? I’ve done a lot of good things for the company, and just based on the fact that I’m still employed, I know I’m appreciated. At this point I would just like a little more tangible proof!!

Can I Say No to Health Insurance and Get a Raise Instead?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

How Do I Make My Boss Recognize My Productivity?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I have been working at my job since the building opened about 5 months ago. I was usually working 5-6 shifts a week (35-40 hours) & have recently been cut down to 2-3 shifts a week (15-20 hours). My work ethic/pace has not changed at all, but my manager keeps telling me that I work too slow. I know for a fact that that is not true and I have tried asking the other managers and even the General Manager for help, getting the same response from all of them: “That’s not my department, talk to YOUR manager” He also seems to blame me for things that I didn’t even do and has called me names like idiot or moron on several occasions. I have tried contacting my works HR, but never received a response. This is my only job, and I work hard to ensure I keep it. Now I feel like the manager is threatening my job security with false accusations.

How Do I Make My Boss Recognize My Productivity?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Graduate Degrees and Ivy League Pedigrees Are Highly Over-Rated

Just because he has an MBA from Harvard doesn't mean that guy in the next cubicle knows more. So when are managers going to wise up and stop valuing credentials more than knowledge?

Graduate Degrees and Ivy League Pedigrees Are Highly Over-Rated

Would You Like Your Resume Reviewed by An Expert?

UPDATE:  I've gotten an overwhelming response to this post, so for right now I'm not accepting any more resumes.

 Lots of people claim to be resume experts, but have only seen a few resumes and rarely hire anyone. Wouldn’t it be great for someone who has seen hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes to look at yours and tell you how to make it better?
I’m looking for resumes to publish on BNET. The resumes will be part of a post that contains a critique of your resume–the good, and the bad–and how to make it a great resume. It will be critiqued by me and hiring managers/recruiters who really do know what makes a great resume.
If your resume is published it will be posted exactly as you sent it. That means if you don’t want your real name, email address and phone number splashed across the internet, you’ll want to edit it. Please leave placeholders so we know you have a phone number on your resume (For example, write home phone: 555-555-5555 instead of deleting the line.)
Send your resume as a Microsoft Word, Open Office or PDF file to Please put “Resume” in the subject line.
Important: My first guest critic is Alison Green of Ask a Manager. You know how fabulous she is, and she doesn't normally do resume reviews, so seriously, people, this is your chance! (And fellow blogging HR/Manager types, if you want to be next on my list of fabulous critics, email me.)

For further reading:

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Job Hunting Outside the US

I got this question from a reader: A friend of mine from Suriname claims that in her country job candidates should never follow up on the status of the recruitment process because doing so will make them look desperate and impatient, and will kill their chances of being selected for the job. So if, for example, she has been contacted by a prospective employer who expressed interest in her resume and at the end of the conversation told her they’d be in touch, and then two weeks later she still hasn’t heard from them, it is extremely bad form to send a follow up inquiry and to confirm she’s still interested. The same even goes for if she’s actually had an interview. She says this is also the case in Europe and Africa. I find this so hard to believe because it’s so completely contrary to the way we’re coached here in the U.S. I’m hoping that you and your European and African readers can confirm/deny the validity of her claim.

I live in Europe--Switzerland to be precise, but I've never job hunted, nor hired here. My husband has, obviously, and it was very much like a US job interview process. I will say that his company is largely expats so they probably adapt to different styles for different candidates.

I certainly can believe that different cultures have different ways of doing things. Pictures are popular on resumes here. Another reader from India said you need to put your age on your resume because job postings have age requirements.

So, tell me what you know about job hunting outside the US. Or does that vary strongly by region as well?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

How to Write a Resume: 6 Steps to Take Before You Write

How to Write a Resume: 6 Steps to Take Before You Write

It's the final installment of my resume series. But, coming soon will be a "what's wrong with this resume" where I and (hopefully) some of you blogging recruiters or hiring managers will review actual resumes. More info to come, but if you're a recruiter or hiring manager who would like to participate and who also blogs send me an email at

If you want your resume to be reviewed, hold off for a moment. I'm still working out technical details.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

How To Write a Resume: Dos and Don'ts

Want some quick tips on your resume?  How to Write a Resume:  Dos and Don'ts

I keep wanting to write Do's and Don't's but that would be wrong and if you do that on your resume that would be bad.

Carnival of HR: Food Edition

Chocolate beetroot brownies

Welcome to the Carnival of Human Resources. It's a good thing it isn't performance appraisal time because none of you sent me brownies. Or any food, for that matter. But, the truly high achievers managed to incorporate food into this carnival, which makes me happy and hungry.

It seems like most of you were too busy writing about the stuff you actually do, and I realize why it's so difficult to answer the question "Just What Does HR Do?" because if you look at the topics, you'll realize it's a smorgesboard of HR Delights. But still, no brownies.

First, the people who win gold stars and will be given an above average performance rating, which will mean they'll get twice as many humorous e-mails from Shauna Moerke, who runs this fabulous carnival. (Okay, I didn't run that statement by Shauna, but I'm sure she'd love to do twice the amount of work, right? Oh dear, I may get myself deleted from her list and then I'd be sad.)

First the Food Posts

Food in the office: Robin Schooling from HR Schoolhouse writes Feasting with the Masses. Helpful hits about food at work. And remember, HR doesn't plan company picnics.

photo by blmurch
Correcting our Focus: The HR Introvert writes My Name is Remington and I Am Your HR Resource This Evening. Are we highlighting the bad and downplaying the good?

Decision Making: Dwane Lay at Lean HR writes Weighted Decision Matrix. Now, what is anything lean doing in my carnival? Where's the Funnel Cake HR?

Assumptions: Judith Lindenberger at Women of HR writes Legacy, Assumptions and Ginger Nut Biscuits. Yes, I realize Judith has two posts and it's not just because she's fabulous, it's that Lisa Rosendahl, who edits Women of HR, submitted this post. Plus, someday I want to work for Judith.

Photo by Cameron Cassan
Workplace Relationships: Ben at Upstart HR writes Working with Nuts, Fruits and M and Ms. I think we all know where I stand on this post.

Food and, well, Eating: Paul Smith at Welcome to the Occupation writes I'm Hungry. Me too Paul. Me too.

Change: John Jorgensen at HR Tailgate writes Are You Expecting Steak or BBQ?

Whining: Jennifer Miller at The People Equation writes Want Some Cheese with that Whine?

Breastfeeding laws: Michael Haberman at Omega HR Solutions writes Boobs and Babes in the Workplace which isn't what you think, but it will still give me strange hits off Google. But it also gives me an excuse to post my favorite baby picture.

And now for the rest of you who write fabulous and informative posts, but should think about this: Last night I had a women tell me about her recipe for Stinging Nettle Soup. If you don't do what I say in the future, I'll send you the ingredients.

Learning: Tanmay Vora from QAspire Blog writes Creating a Learning Organization: 10 Actions For a Leader

Mentoring: Judy Lindenberger from Unlock Your Full Potential writes Interview with a Mentor. Ever wondered what a mentor does or doesn't do?

Talent War: Erik Samhdal from Productivity Blog writes i4cp Study: Companies are Gearing Up for the Coming Talent War

Respect for people: John Hunter from Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog writes Respect for People Doesn’t Mean Avoiding Any Hint of Criticism

Expectations: Steve Brown at Everyday People writes What Do You Expect??? He reminds to remember the 90% of great employees, instead of putting all our effort into the 10% who are whiners.

Technology: The Devon Group writes Now that you’ve made a Technology Purchase, does your Corporate Culture Support its Adoption? Good things to think about--culture and strategy need to match.

Branding: Michael Vandervort at The Human Race Horses writes The Mythology of Your Brand. It appears Michael and Gautam have been talking because

Future: Gautam Gosh at Organization 2.0 and HR writes Future of Employment is Not Employment. Turns out your brand isn't the be all end of all of existence.

Praise: Wally Bock at Three Star Leadership writes How Do I Praise Thee? With food, duh, Wally.

Sacrifice: Dan McCarthy at Great Leadership by Dan writes 10 Things Boomer Managers Shouldn't Have to Give Up. Dan also wants to remind all you young whippersnappers to GET OFF HIS LAWN.

Physical Facilities: Naomi Bloom at In Full Bloom writes Eagles, Cattle and Gators--Welcome To HQ.

Employee Engagement: Karen at The Rising Sun writes How Much are Disengaged Employees Costing You?

FMLA: Kristen Frasch at HREOnline's The Leader Board writes Your Attendance Policies Could Buy You a Lawsuit. Frankly, I'd rather buy a brownie.

When to Quit: Lynne Dessert (who didn't write about food, but should have, given her name) at Elephants at Work writes Quitting or sticking: Smart decision or competitive advantage?

And When Never to Give Up: Mark Stelzner at Inflexion Advisors writes Don't Let Them Break You.

Company Culture: Prasad Kurian at Simplicity at the Other Side of Complexity writes Placebos, Paradoxes and Parables for Culture Change.

Video Interviewing: Laurie Ruettimann at the Cynical Girl writes Video Interviewing: Only the Good Looking Need Apply which tells me that I'll never get a job if I'm up against Laurie.

Humor: Andrew Tarvin at Humor that Works writes 5 Reasons to Use Humor in an Interview.

Compassion: Eric Meyer at The Employer Handbook writes A Compassionate Employer? Why Not?

Phones and Futures: Anders Northeved at Talented Apps writes Feb 21, 2012- Are You Ready? I'm not quite sure I'm ready for Feb 21, 2011, there Anders.

Talent Management: Amit Bhagria at Young HR Manager writes Talent Management Part II--Has Your Company Got Talent?

Succession Planning: Amy Wilson at Shiny and Useful writes Get your succession plans ready--2011 Will Be a Year of Change.

Thanks everybody! If I missed your post or spelled your name wrong or something, send me an e-mail and I'll fix it.