It’s short answer Sunday — six short answers to six short questions. Here we go…
1. Are interviewers Googling me and not liking what they find?
I have applied for many jobs starting at the beginning of this year. About 20% of the time I will get to the first interview, which I consider a feat in itself, but I never get past that point. I never get called back for a second interview even though I’ve felt like all of my interviews have gone well.
What I am wondering is if the hiring managers are Googling me and discovering something they don’t like. I own a domain name that is my name on which I have posted a personal statement of sorts. I do not put this on my resume or cover letter, but if you Google my name it will come up in the search results. Do you think hiring managers consider this gimmicky, tacky, or otherwise in bad taste?
In general, that’s possible, but I looked at yours and it’s wholly inoffensive; I can’t imagine that’s turning anyone off. What I think is more likely is that it’s (a) math — there are far more qualified candidates than there are openings, so even though you’re getting interviews, there might have just always been someone more qualified, and/or (b) your interviewing skills aren’t serving you well. It’s impossible to say from here, of course, but one option is to try asking for feedback from any interviewers who you felt particular rapport with. You could also check out my (free) interviewing guide and see if anything there helps. Good luck.
2. Coworker has naked photos displayed in his cubicle
My husband can’t figure this one out. Context: he works for a small tech company and is the most junior-level employee there. He has a coworker who has a cube right across from his. This man is senior to him, but not in a mangerial role. The man is a white guy in his late forties and has what can only be described as nudie pics as his desktop background and also as his calendar, which is all Playboy-like beach scenes of naked women basking on sandy shores. Whatever. I told him that this is rude and innappropriate. There are three women who work there, but they are all in their forties and fifties and seem resigned to the adage that “boys will be boys” or something like that.
By law, all my husband has to do is report this behavior to the HR representative and indicate that this behavior makes him feel uncomfortable (because it weirds him out). Yet, the HR rep is also the company CFO…and my husband does want to move up in the organization and would rather not jeopardize his role in front of an exec. What would you advise he do?
Does your husband really think that’s he’s going to jeopardize his future in the company by saying, “Hey, Bob has photos of naked women hanging in his cubicle — can someone ask him to take them down?” It’s a rare company that’s going to take a stand against someone who points this out — more likely they’re going to appreciate the heads-up before it becomes a bigger problem with someone else.
3. I want my old job back
I became interim director of my department in a large hospital almost a year ago. There has only been one interview for the director’s position in all that time because of the scarcity of the particular talent needed. I did not want the position. I have increased the size of the department during the time I have been interim and we still can’t keep up with the work. Part of it is because our organization has had one regulatory survey after the other which requires my department’s particular expertise. I am working 6 and 7 days a week, usually 10-12 hour days. I am exhausted and sick of this but don’t want to bail out on the organization. I keep waiting for us to get done with surveys or to hire a director so I can go back to my position and my life, but after a year and 4 big surveys with 2 even bigger ones to go, there is no end in sight.
The company has hired a consultant team to help us get ready for the upcoming surveys, but it has resulted in a lot more work because a revamping of our structure was needed. The director’s work is very different from the work I was doing, so I am having to direct preparation efforts for a large organization with a very small staff, keep the usual tasks of the department going, AND master the information and tasks of a really critical director’s job as I go. The consultant team recommended the hospital hire a professional interim for the director’s position but the hospital has elected not to do so. I’d like to keep my old job, or at least get my weekends back. What are my best options?
Ask for your old job back. Say that you can’t keep us the hours that are required in your interim role. Say that you can do it for two more weeks (or whatever) but that you can’t continue beyond that. If they tell you that you have to, then explain what you’ll be able to get done in X hours (fill in however many hours you’re willing to work), and let them know that they’ll need to make different arrangements for the other items (which you should list for them).
You might also start looking at other jobs, in case this goes on indefinitely.
4. Explaining you’re moving because of a spouse’s new job
My husband is finishing graduate school this May, and we are planning to relocate to either Los Angeles or NYC to support his career. I am in an awkward position with applying for new jobs. My field has been hit hard by the recession, but luckily last March I was finally able to land a job. I feel it looks bizarre to be applying for another job so quickly and that it needs to be addressed in the cover letter. How is the best way to state it? I have been using this line in my first paragraph after expressing my interest in a position — “In late spring, I am relocating to New York City to support my spouse’s career. I will not need assistance in traveling for interviews or for moving.”
That’s the general idea, yes, but I probably wouldn’t say “to support my spouse’s career.” Even though it’s accurate, it puts a little too much emphasis on supporting his career rather than your own. I’d instead say something like, “I’ll be relocating in New York City because my husband has accepted a job there.”
5. How do employers look at distance learning?
After I graduated from college, I immediately entered the work force as a retail manager while I looked for work in my field. Years later, I’m still working that same job and realizing I need to pursue a Masters degree to move into the field I want to be in. I don’t have the ability to quit working full-time to go back to school and have been looking at schools that offer distance learning degrees. I’m particularly interested in a university that is based in Ohio with brick-and-mortar schools but an extensive online presense. Because I live on the West Coast, I am concerned about how it will look to future employers to have a degree from a school from one state despite working and living in another. I am also curious what the general opinion of hiring managers is when it comes to distant learning. This school is a private, not-for-profit university that is accredited, not a for-profit like University of Phoenix.
It depends on the hiring manager, but in general distance learning is being more and more accepted, as long as you’re doing it through a program connected with a brick-and-mortar school (and, for many hiring managers, at one that has a recognizable name).
6. Recruiter contacted me about a job I’ve already spoken to the employer about
I am unemployed after recently graduating, and desperately looking for work in a certain field. I have been applying through job sites, but I know exactly which area of the city I want to work in so I have been researching big companies I might like to work for.
Today I got a call directly from a company that I applied for — sort of a pre-interview thing. We chatted for a few minutes and then he said he’d pass my info on to the hiring manager. I was super excited because it’s a great role, and I’m thrilled to finally speak to a “real” person as opposed to recruiters. But then literally 15 minutes later I received an email from a recruiter with info on a job I had applied for, asking for my thoughts and for me to contact her. I opened the document…and it’s the SAME company!
Have I made a huge mistake? I’m not applying for hundreds of jobs so this isn’t a case of resume bombing, but I’ve been seeking out really specific roles so when I find them, I apply. Did I commit a huge error by somehow not recognizing a similar job description? Do I tell the recruiter what happened? Wait until the hiring manager from the company calls me? I have never searched for a “real” job before so I’m not familiar with recruiter etiquette. What do I do? I really want this job!
Just let the recruiter know that the company has already contacted you directly about the job. You can then continue with the process you’ve already started with the company itself. No need to do anything more than that. (The recruiter will bow out at that point, because you’re already a “direct” candidate with the company; she won’t get paid for placing someone who they located themselves.)