Job Search

Tell Recruiters The Truth

Individuals looking for employment need to be honest with the recruiters they are going to for help. All recruiters will ask why you left past employers.  Just be honest and talk about it. Most recruiters, HR people, and hiring managers understand layoffs. Describe the situation in a way that’s most beneficial to you. 30-50% of your group being laid off is significantly different from 5%. If you were the sole person laid off in your group, that is not a layoff.  Surviving multiple layoffs and getting caught in a third or forth is something to point out to the interviewer.  

Lying on your resume or during the interview process is a major mistake, especially in the age of information, where most information is verifiable. Don’t exaggerate your resume with information that has no truth behind it.  Seasoned recruiters and hiring managers will find out and they will follow up with questions.  Even if you don’t like what the recruiter has to say, be patient, because they are just trying to help you. Do not burn these important bridges by lying or purposely misleading recruiters. You will be most successful in your job search if you listen to what your recruiter has to say. They normally know more about the client at hand than you.  

Biggest mistake: telling lies in an interview. All of the below have been used for years. You aren’t the first.


The Education Lies

  • “I had all the credits, I just didn’t graduate.” If you have the credits, you have the degree.
  • “I did all the classes, I just need to pay the fees to graduate.” Who would take the time and spend the money to attend and complete a college degree and then not graduate because of fees. It’s an unbelievable story.
  • “I graduated from X but it was a long time ago, I don’t know why they can’t verify my degree.” Degrees are verifiable.

The No-Show Interview Lies

  • “My car broke down.” If your car does break down, make a call and reschedule. There is no excuse for not showing up.
  • “I couldn’t find your location.” Researching the location is one of many things you need to accomplish during your interview preparation. Everyone with a smart phone has a map.

The Termination Lies

  • “It was a mutual decision that I left.” It is assumed that you resigned because you were going to be terminated. Break-ups are always initiated by one side. If the job wasn’t a fit for you, state that and explain the specifics. An A-player at one company can be a C-player at another. Success is a by-product of many things.
  • “I was in a bad accident and they fired me for not showing up to work.” Bad accidents are written up. This can always be corroborated. Make sure it happened and you notified your employer if you make this claim.
  • “I didn’t like the people I worked with.” This might be true, but it is never appropriate to bad mouth a former employer or co-worker. The person sitting in the interviewer chair doesn’t want someone to bad mouth them. You don’t want to give the impression that that is your character.  


Surviving Today’s Job Market

Yahoo! Finance’s The Daily Ticker posted an interview recently with John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems. DeJoria, now with a net worth of nearly $4 billion, and his business partner, Paul Mitchell, started their business in 1980 with $700. Coming up with the start-up money forced DeJoria to live out of his car for a couple of weeks. He admits he’s heard the common ‘but it was a different time then” phrase and disputes it by breaking down the inflation, unemployment and interest rates America experienced in the early 1980’s compared to the same numbers today.

Throughout the “Rags-to-Riches” interview, DeJoria shares several tips people should keep in mind when looking for work. The economy is tough and unemployment is high, but there are opportunities available if you look hard and are willing to work hard. Below, I’m going to break down DeJoria’s tips for surviving the job market.

Don’t give up.”
DeJoria talks about a charity he supports in Los Angeles called Chrysalis. In this story, he shares how approximately 3,000 unemployed homeless people came to this charity last year looking jobs. Of the 3,000, 1,600 were able to find work through sheer dedication to the process. He also talks about 10,000 jobs available in North Dakota that cannot be filled simply because “there aren’t people to fill them with.”

Moral to the story? Be diligent in your job search. Don’t give up when the road gets a little bumpy; finding a job is a full time job in itself and you have to be dedicated to the search and the entire process.

Be prepared for a lot of rejection.”
Surviving today’s economy means facing a lot of rejection. Most people won’t find their perfect job or career choice on their first interview. Being prepared for rejection ahead of time will help you push through the disappointment and be just as enthusiastic for the next interview.

Be the person who pushes through the rejection and understands you may not get offered the job of your dreams, but you can always prove yourself and work your way to the top.

You can start a minimum wage job.”
A previously employed or college educated person doesn’t want to take a minimum wage job most of the time. Don’t let a minimum wage job deter you. Take the opportunity enthusiastically and let your employer know you intend to prove yourself and advance in the company. This goes for a position as a janitor or the intern and a large corporation.

Employ the same work ethic you would show in a career of your dreams to the minimum wage job. Treat each opportunity you find as a stepping stone to your dreams and your hard work ethic and dedication will pay off in the end.

It’s getting a job.”
Taking the minimum wage job or the job you don’t think is worthy of your time isn’t beneath anyone. DeJoria says “it’s not lowering your standards, it’s getting a job.” He talks about time he spent as a janitor and how he enjoyed it so much he received a quarter an hour raise. His excitement about this job was evident in his tone of voice as he told the story, he even brags that he was a really great janitor.

DeJoria stresses, once you take the janitor job, let everyone know you plan to work hard, succeed and do everything you can to help grow their business. Take initiative and let your boss come to you with the opportunity of advancement.

Successful people do all the things unsuccessful people don’t want to do.”
Be the successful person who is willing to work hard and get your hands dirty in order to find the job you’ve always dreamed of. Ask your employer what more can you do, prove to them you are willing to put in the time and earn the success you are looking for. “Don’t let [rejection] get to you,” says DeJoria. “If you’re prepared for it you’ll stay enthusiastic. The jobs are out there…you can get them.”

For the full interview, visit Yahoo! Finance The Daily Ticker.