terse answer Thursday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

It’s terse answer Thursday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…

1. How soon is too soon to reject a candidate?

I have a question about hiring timelines. Sometimes we screen a candidate, and know pretty much immediately that the person won’t be a good fit. But I feel like it might be discouraging to be on the other end of such a situation (to interview and be declined the same day). Right now, I’ve been waiting a day or two before passing on a candidate in these cases. Does this seem like an acceptable timeline, or should I be sucking it up and letting a candidate know right away that they haven’t made the cut?

I usually wait a week, because I agree — many people find it insulting to be rejected so quickly after an interview. The reality is that very few candidates require days of consideration before you decide they’re a no — the people who make it to the end-stages often do, but early on in the process, you often know as soon as the phone interview is completed (or during it) that you won’t be moving the person forward. I’d love to be fully transparent and tell them that immediately, but too many people feel slighted or argue the decision or just feel dejected (like “I’m so awful that they didn’t even have to think about it”). So I wait a week, which seems like a perfectly reasonable amount of time.

(And I know that some people will object to hearing that and think I should tell them faster, but a week is not an unreasonable amount of time to hear back — and plenty faster than many places.)

2. CEO gave my personal cell phone number to clients without my permission

I’m a production coordination trainee at a small company. I’ve been working for them for a little over 1 year, and although I’m still a trainee under the contract, I have business card and email signature with “Project Manager” as the job title which I’m forced to use. Besides that, I also do sales related jobs such as communicating with some clients, submitting quotes/invoices and getting new jobs because actual account executive for those clients is also the company CEO and he can’t do everything.

The CEO gave my personal cell phone number to clients without my permission. He told me afterwards and said I should be prepared to receive calls anytime. His email to the client listed my cellphone number and noted that they should contact me directly on my cell especially after 5 pm (our office operates 8-5). I have direct number at my desk during the day, and I’m not allowed to work overtime without prior permission from my supervisors. Is it ok for a company / boss to provide an employee’s personal phone number without her permission? I have a feeling this is not illegal and only an ethical issue, but I’m wondering if there is anything I can do about it. Clients indeed call me on my cell and it is becoming a part of stress I feel from the job.

No, that’s not cool. Legal, but not cool. But if the CEO isn’t willing to budge, then the message here is that this is a job that requires you to be on call. You’ll have to decide if you want that job or not.

However, if you’re non-exempt (and it sounds like you are), you need to be paid for any time spent answering these calls. Start tracking your time, and since you’re supposed to get advance permission for overtime, ask the CEO how he wants to handle this since you can’t predict in advance when calls will come in.

3. Forgot to bring copies of my resume to an interview

I just had a second round interview today for a position I’m really interested in. I prepared all night for the interview, and in my rush to get out the door the morning of the interview, I forgot copies of my resume! When the interviewers asked if I had a copy, I said no but I could speak to it and then just proceeded to discuss my experience. Totally my fault, but is this a deal breaker? In my thank you email I sent immediately after, I attached my resume and said please reach out with questions. I’m so upset I may have lost this opportunity due to this silly mistake!

This irks the hell out of me — at them, not at you. It’s ridiculous that they came into an interview without copies of your resume, and that they didn’t offer to find your resume in their system when it became clear you didn’t have them either. Yes, bringing your resume is a nice thing to do, but it’s not your responsibility — it’s theirs to have it, and they should have reviewed it before the interview anyway. The only way this is okay is if they were pulled into the meeting at the last minute and given no time to prepare.

It shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, especially since you immediately emailed it to them afterwards.

4. Hiring contact has left the company

I’m a retail sales and merchandising professional who wanted to respond to a job posting on a website for a position with a design company. The job description lists an email address/specific contact to send a cover letter and resume to, which I promptly did. Being my investigative self, I looked up the contact on LinkedIn. Her LinkedIn profile states that she ended her tenure with this company in 2013 and lists her occupation as “Seeking Next Opportunity.” I would really like to work with this company, but does this mean my application just got sent to oblivion if she no longer works there? Should I contact her via LinkedIn to inquire whether or not I should try to contact someone else about the position?

It’s possibly that someone else is handling her email now that she’s gone, but you can certainly call the company’s main number and ask who is now handling the hiring for that position. I would not contact the former employee; she no longer works there and no doubt doesn’t want to field questions about their hiring process.

5. Where’s my raise?

I started a new job back in December. When negotiating salary, I was told (via email, so I still have it) that it is company policy to provide a small raise along with obtaining licensure. My licensure paperwork came through the end of January, and I have been waiting for something to happen — but nothing has. The HR manager told me that the paperwork I sent her was what she needed to make the raise happen, but now 4 pay periods have passed with no changes. I contacted payroll to ask how long those changes usually take, and she told me that she has heard nothing about it and that she would be able to make that change instantly. I’ve emailed and called HR, but she is not responding to me (it has been almost 2 weeks since my last email). Should I try to track her down in person? She is at a different location than me, which is why I haven’t done it yet, and I am so nervous about coming off as a crazy person. Then again, perhaps I am expecting this to move too fast.

Talk to your manager, not HR. Your manager can advocate to push this through more forcefully than you can.

6. Using “sic” on a resume

I had a friend look over my resume and he was confused with my use of the phrase/grammar shorthand “sic.” Two of the companies I have worked for used lowercase letters in their names as a stylistic choice, and my resume reads like this:

tiny teapots (sic); Anytown, USA; Chocolate Design Engineer
Teapots R Us; Anyville, USA; Chocolate Engineer

I had to look up how to credit a lowercase company, but I want it to be clear that I am not submitting a resume riddled with typos. Is (sic) a dated or confusing term? Is it acceptable in some fields but not others (for instance, academics might recognize it, but it stumped my architect friend)?

I’ve been surprised on a few occasions by people who didn’t know what it meant, so your better bet might be to simply go ahead and capitalize the name. You wouldn’t do that in an official publication like a newspaper article, but it’s not a terrible crime to do it on your resume. (Unless you’re applying for a copyediting job, and then maybe it would be. Fortunately you design chocolate teapots instead.)

7. Applying for a job when I want more than the posted salary

I’m interested in applying for a position but the top of the salary range is still $3,500 under what I would like. Should I still apply for the job? Is there any hope of maybe getting them to offer more outside of their top range? (If it helps, the highest salary offered is only $2,500 more than the lowest salary they offer.)

Sure, you can try negotiating for more. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get it, but it’s not crazy to try. It would be if what you wanted was significantly above their posted range, but $3,500 isn’t that much.

But speaking of that, $3,500 a year breaks down to about $218/month after taxes. It’s not going to make a huge difference in your paycheck.

{ 165 comments… read them below }

  1. bob

    #3: It might not be a deal breaker for them but it might be a red flag warning for you if that’s how disorganized they are all the time.

    I had an interview once where the interviewer was 10 minutes late for what turned out to be a scheduled 30 minute interview and the clown hadn’t even looked at my resume before the meeting which was at 6pm (also weird). It’s the 1 and only time I wanted to say thank you for your time then get up and leave. And I missed out on dinner with my g/f for that boondoggle.

    1. Marie

      #3 – I wouldn’t sweat it too much if you forgot your resume. However, I would estimate that in maybe 30% of interviews that I conduct, people don’t bring their resume (and they don’t say they forgot it, they just say no, I didn’t bring one). Is this common now? I always look at a candidate’s resume before we meet and have questions prepared based on their experience, but I typically ask them if they brought a copy with them. Just wondering if this practice is outdated or if my asking is reflecting poorly on me!

        1. Marie

          A couple reasons (right or wrong): One, I can’t think of an interview that I went to when I wasn’t asked for my resume, and I’ve observed this when sitting in on interviews that other people are taking the lead on. I never inferred from that question that the interviewer was disorganized/unprepared. Two, I work in a field where I’m usually expecting to also see someone’s portfolio so it seems natural (to me) for someone to have both the portfolio and the resume. Three, as you mentioned in your response, I’ve been asked to conduct an interview if a colleague was unavoidably detained (not ideal but understandable in my field and it does come up here and there). I have printed people’s resumes when they didn’t bring them for me. Anyway, that’s why I was surprised to read your response that this doesn’t reflect well on the manager. I’m glad to get a different perspective and will definitely think about that the next time I’m hiring someone!

        2. jj

          I don’t usually ask candidates for a copy, but I do like it when they offer one. The main reason is that our automated system gives us an ugly mess of text that once was their resume, so if they have a nicely formatted one, I’d much rather look at that. A second reason is that if they have since updated any of the information on the resume, I’d rather have the more recent version to reference when I am reviewing my notes later. Maybe that is more common in creative industries or where candidates may have been working a series of temp jobs… or perhaps it is just a reflection of how long it takes my org to hire. Still, we’ve have some candidates offer us a more recent version, and I do find that useful.

    2. Jes

      I am a hiring supervisor for a city (this is the part where you all groan in sympathy). All of our candidates have to fill out an online application. This system gives the option of attaching a resume, but here’s the catch- the hiring supervisors never see any attachments, only the online application. SO, the hiring supervisors might not be slackers or unorganized, but this might not even be information they have access to. Emailing the resume directly after the interview was a perfect choice in this situation.

  2. Rana

    #2 would upset me, too. Even if I was okay with taking client calls outside of work, I wouldn’t want my personal number being given to random people without my permission. In this situation, if I’d had the choice, I’d have set up a Google Voice number so I could get the calls without giving clients open access to a personal phone, but the CEO didn’t give OP#2 that option, which I find rather high-handed and careless of the OP’s privacy. For me, it’s not just the assumption that my time and money (for the phone service) are the company’s to hand out as it likes, but the complete disregard to the various reasons one might wish to keep their personal cell restricted to friends, family, and emergency use only. (Especially if one is female!)

    1. Lynne

      I think OP#2’s company really ought to reimburse them for part of their cell phone bill, in addition to paying for the time spent on those calls…

      …and yeah, I too would be disturbed if my boss were giving out my personal cell phone number to a bunch of people without even discussing it with me first.

      1. Frances

        Yes, that was my biggest concern. If the calls are using a chunk of the minutes you pay for, I think it you should at least raise the possibility that the company cover upgrading the number of your “anytime” minutes — or maybe issue you a company cell phone if it is that important that you be on call after hours.

    2. TheSnarkyB

      I agree that this is totally not cool. OP, in terms of what to do now about your phone, look into Google Voice. I assume you don’t want to try and change your number or give your friends different info or start screening super carefully, so maybe there’s a way to set things up so that you can start to filter clients into a certain mailbox or something. (I don’t know how Google Voice works, I just know that some tech whizzes can do really amazing and convenient things with it.) Perhaps Lifehacker may have more info on the subject!

      1. -X-

        Do you mean filtering clients so you answer their calls right away? Or to avoid them? If the latter, it’s just running from the issue – not dealing with it.The issue is the boss wants the person on call after hours. The phone aspect is just a detail

        1. Lisa

          I think its more to know that only clients will use the Google Voice number. Just cause CEO-clueless gave the cell number out, doesn’t mean OP must answer every telemarketer call that bothers her. Clearly marking the clients with this filter allows OP to ignore other numbers that she doesn’t know.

          1. Josh S

            Not to mention that after the OP leaves this job (whether it is next week or 10 years from now), those clients may still be trying to call her on her personal number. Not cool.

            A Google Voice number, even set up simply, can be turned off after the OP leaves the company (or even forwarded to the company’s main line, if they’d really want). And then the OP can keep her personal line without worrying about whether some client of her former employer will call out of the blue.

    3. AP

      Re #2 – I can’t tell for sure, but it seems like you might be in the film/advertising world. If so, this is unfortunately 100% par for the course, your CEO is following established business norms, and you need to get used to this now if you want to continue on. I know this is not normal for most jobs, and there are maybe 1 out of 100 companies that don’t work this way, but most of them do and honestly, the people who go along with it are the people who do well. You are always on call. One thing to remember is that your boss is too – he’s giving out your number to deflect some of the calls he’s getting, so he’s well aware.

      Your boss should have told you he was doing this, but again in this field it’s such an everyday thing he probably didn’t think twice. I like the google voice idea for differentiating callers and hiding your true phone number if you don’t want it out there.

      As for money – if they’re not allowing you to work overtime you should point out that taking calls and emails all night are indeed overtime, and ask him how to handle that. You might be able to get a phone reimbursement but in my experience, even when I feel like I’ve been talking for ages to people, it’s never come out to more than $10 or so.

      Producing is a life choice, not a career, so you may as well figure out now if it’s for you.

    4. Ashley

      This is #2 here, thank you all for the comments and Google Voice input here.

      Although I know that all (actual) sales employees using their own cell phone at work, it really bothered me that he didn’t discuss it with me. Phone bill is not my concern – it’s not like 3 hours everyday – but I really wanted to keep my number private and it’s not great to receive calles from numbers I don’t know.
      I will look into Google Voice, I should at least have a choice to pick up the calls only from the client with the possible emergency on ongoing jobs.
      By the way, I’m working for printing company who makes catalogs and manuals and such.

      Anyway, thank you again :)

  3. Noah

    #1
    At my company we usually send out a letter by mail as soon as we decide. Gives it a few days to reach the applicant that way but it is also not forgotten in the hiring shuffle. Not sure this is the best way, but I figure we at least let them know something.

    1. -X-

      Do some people apply by mail? If not, it seems strange to me to use the more expensive, slower means of communication to get back to them.

      1. Noah

        In our applicant tracking software you can either turn on automated emails by position or turn them off. You cannot change the content. If I’m going to have to print, scan, and upload an attachment to the database I might as well send a letter instead of printing an email to a PDF and uploading it.

        I have a base form letter, but I always add a few notes about why they were not selected and how the interview went. Sometimes I also include a business card with an offer for them to call or email me in the future.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          That is a LOT of work if you do more than the most occasional hiring. Are you only doing this for people you interviewed in-person, or for everyone?

          1. Noah

            Just in person. I only hire one or two people per year though. For the applicants that are not interviewed, or don’t pass a phone screen, they receive a bulk email at the end of the hiring process. Like I said, not a perfect system, but we spend way to much effort working around a stupid bit of software.

            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              Ah, got it. I agree with the personal note to people you interviewed, when the context calls for it. I’m talking more about rejecting after phone interviews, when you quickly know that a lot of people are wrong for it.

    2. patchinko

      A friend of mine once got a (form, obviously) rejection e-mail *while* he was still doing the phone interview! Like the interviewer hit some “reject” button in her HR program or something.

      1. Lillie Lane

        Wow, that’s pretty bad. A rejection letter the next day looks pretty good after that!

        1. patchinko

          Yeah, he basically said “Oh. I just got a rejection e-mail from you” and she said “yes” and he said “I guess we’re done then” and she said “yes” and ended the interview. Awkward!

      2. ThatHRGirl

        So… Now I don’t feel as bad about the time when I was drafting an offer letter while someone was interviewing and accidentally hit “send offer”, effectively sending it to his email with all of the offer information before the decision was even fully made.
        The best part? He hit “decline – salary too low” from his phone in the lobby and told the front desk attendant he was leaving.

    3. Jazzy Red

      Do you know how dejecting it is to get a rejection letter that’s dated the same day as your interview? At least date the letter the next day, so the job seeker thinks you considered them.

      1. PEBCAK

        I’m not sure I understand this. If it’s not a good fit, wouldn’t you want to move on as quickly as possible? Further, I feel like I could use that information, as a job seeker, that it was a bad fit, not just something where I lost out to a better candidate, and then I could think about why.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          PEBCAK, I think your response is the logical one. For a lot of people, though, I think it’s more of an emotional thing than a strictly logical one. (No slight intended to Jazzy Red or anyone else who feels that way. Emotions are valid, although I’d argue not as helpful in this case.)

        2. Natalie

          Aside from the emotions aspect, not everyone has that luxury. It’s absolutely a crucial thing to do if you are in a position to say “no”, but unfortunately not everyone is in that position.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            I think PEBCAK meant, wouldn’t you want to know you’ve been rejected as quickly as possible so that you can move on, plus if you hear it right away, you get to know that it was something about your candidacy or fit (as opposed to someone else just being the better candidate).

            1. Min

              I was once told that I wasn’t right for the job as we all stood up at the end of the interview. I will say it stung and left me almost speechless, I think I pasted on a sickly smile and thanked them for their time, but it did at least save me from days of hoping and waiting to hear back. It was really uncomfortable, but I appreciated their honesty.

      2. Noah

        I can’t think of an instance where it has been the same day. For people who are a “no way” I generally wait 24-48 hours before making the final decision to see if I change my mind. Others normally fall into a “maybe” category and I generally wait until we’ve interviewed other applicants.

  4. TheSnarkyB

    RE: response to #7 – Whoa, I think it’s wrong to say it’s not that much. $218 can cover all of my food for the month when I need it to – I think without knowing what the salary range is like, you really can’t say.
    (at $28,000 ish, it makes a huge difference; at $85,000, not so much)

    1. Anon

      Exactly. As a single parent of a toddler $218 a month would be worth negotiating for to me. We’re not going hungry or anything, but having the extra might let me actually save a little, or treat my son (or myself) occasionally.

      1. Anon

        Me, too! (and I make ~$85K, but I live in an expensive city, and I’m the main financial support for my family)

    2. Lillie Lane

      Just like the expiration of the payroll tax holiday earlier this year — “small” amounts do matter very much if your salary is low.

    3. Sarah

      Yes, I’d like to tell my company I want a $3500 raise and justify it by saying “it is only a few hundred a month, surely it can’t impact the company’s bottom line that much” :)

      I get the sentiment, but it is the wrong way to decide whether or not you should negotiate a salary!

    4. Kay

      I was just going to say something like this. An extra $218 a month is a car payment, is three weeks’ worth of groceries, six weeks’ worth of gas… even in income brackets that aren’t at the lowest of the low, it’s not a tiny piece of chump change. Seeing anyone be dismissive of that as if it shouldn’t matter frustrates the heck out of me.

    5. snippet

      Yes, $218 a month is quite a significant number! As a family of 4 who budget for every penny, this would be quite impactful to our situation. I was surprised to see AAM be so dismissive of that amount! I see, by the amount of comments on this, that I am not alone. :)

      1. mel

        count me in as well! That’s like, half a paycheque right there.

        But only a week’s rent for a slum. Two days rent in a decent home. It’s funny how money can be so significant and insignificant at the same time!

        1. ThatHRGirl

          Ouch! You must live in an expensive area – I don’t envy that. $218 is a little under 1/3 of my mortgage payment for a month!

          1. Holly

            Your mortgage?! I need to get a house. That’s less than one third of my rent payment for a one bedroom.

    6. Holly

      So glad others chimed in on this. My food budget’s 150 bucks – my gas is 80 bucks. If I had another 215 bucks in my paycheck a month, it would make a huge difference.

  5. MentalEngineer

    #2: To me, it sounds like you’re not much of a trainee any more – you’re pretty close to a full-blown PM. You must have shown strong abilities in this job, or they wouldn’t have given you this amount of responsibility. If you’ve made it to that level, I suspect you’re a) not really in a non-exempt role any more and b) probably deserving of a hefty raise – I know the gap between the coordinator and PM positions at my company is substantial. N.B. – if you want to have the raise discussion, don’t have it as a follow-up to the phone call thing, have it about the level of responsibility you’ve assumed and the quality of your work. Asking for a raise over being placed on call could easily come off as whining.

    1. Ashley

      Thank you for the comment-
      There is definetely a gap between what company actually wants me to do and what they want my job title to be. So the description of my job and my responsibility changes day to day.

      Thank you for the tip about the raise discussion. My former co-workers and friends have been suggesting that I should receive way more for what I’m doing :) Time to draft what I need to say..

      Thanks!

  6. Yvi

    As for #1, when I have been rejected after interviews, it’s always been within 24 hours and that was more than fine with me. I see no reason to leave the applicant wondering for a week.

    1. Recently Rejected Anon

      Agreed. I’d rather know sooner than later. In fact, I received an early (the interview process is still in play) rejection the other day. Though I was disappointed and a little insulted, I appreciated that the hiring manager didn’t make me wait. She was very nice about it, too, which helped soften the rejection.

      1. Yvi

        I once had a rejection in my inbox when I came home from the interview (about 3 hours later). That was completely fine – I expect interviewers to talk about me after the interview and then decide whether they would like to offer me a job.

        1. twentymilehike

          Yvi … I agree with you. I’d like to know as soon as possible, especially since I’m the type of person to involuntarily agonize over anything uncertain.

          The person who got the rejection letter during the phone interview? I’d have probably either been completely floored and speechless, or had a couple of cents about it. WTH?!

          1. Tax Nerd

            I cam home to a rejection email in grad school campus interviewing. It was pretty offputting, though.

            (Then again, I’d asked in the interview if I would be expected to do audit work, and was told yes. I was getting a Masters in Tax, so the idea of auditing wasn’t appealing at all, and I knew at that point that I wouldn’t take the job. Still left a bad taste in my mouth.)

  7. Anonymous

    “(Unless you’re applying for a copyediting job, and then maybe it would be. Fortunately you design chocolate teapots instead.)”

    I laughed.

  8. kristinyc

    #2 – When I read that question, I interpreted “production coordinator” as something in the film industry. In that case, peoples’ cell phone numbers always go on call sheets, since most people nowadays don’t have a landline, and their cell is the best and only way to reach them.

    But yeah, if you’re paid hourly, you shouldn’t be expected to take calls outside of business hours without compensation. Can you ask to get a company phone, and to be compensated for time spent on it (which you’d be able to clearly document on the phone bill). If they balk at the cost of that, maybe that will at least start the conversation about why distributing your phone number wasn’t a good idea.

  9. JT

    On #6 – It’s sad that many people don’t know what sic means.

    And it really annoys me when companies use all capital letter or all lower-case letter in their names. All capital letters is shouting and obnoxious. All lower-case looks terrible if the company name starts a sentence. Any form capitalization is fine in logos – that’s a visual. But in writing the name, all caps and all lower-case are bad.

    1. College Career Counselor

      That’s why I like small caps (Upper Case Letters in lower case script)! Best of both worlds….

      1. JT

        All caps for names is still obnoxious even if it looks smooth typographically – it’s saying “Our name is more important than normal so treat it special.” Names are already treated specially in English by capitalizing the first letter of words.

        To say nothing of the fact that many typefaces lack small capitals.

        Also, I don’t mind all capitals for names that are abbreviations, such as IBM. That’s an honest name and it shows how it’s spoken.

        1. Henning Makholm

          Yes, exactly.

          If I had ever worked for a company whose marketing people got such cute ideas about insisting on nonstandard capitatlization of the company name in running text (i.e., outside logos and the like), I would simply and proudly ignore their directives whenever I write something (such as a CV) that’s not on behalf of the company.

        2. Josh S

          I keep waiting for the makers if the iPad, iPhone, iPod, and soon-to-be iWatch to change their name to aPple or something like that.

          Seriously, when iPhone starts a sentence, how are you supposed to capitalize it?

          1. JT

            “when iPhone starts a sentence, how are you supposed to capitalize it?”

            Yeah, it’s annoying. If you have time or if it’s for something very important, you can change the phrasing of the sentence so the weird word is not first.

          2. Rana

            iPhone. /doffs editor’s hat

            (Yeah, it looks weird, but it is what it is. Capitalization for names takes precedent over sentence capitalization.)

  10. tangoecho5

    Regarding #7: I’d be thrilled with an extra $217 a month. Considering my last raise was $227.00, which equals a big a $18.92 a month, $217 a month would make me do a happy dance.

    1. A Teacher

      As many posted above, that’s about what my student loans amount to each month, or my cable/internet/cell phone bill…$218 would go a long way.

  11. Lizabeth

    #2 if your CEO wants you to be available after hours, the company should provide you with a phone for that purpose and pay for it. Good luck!

    1. The IT Manager

      This is really not the case any longer, I think in part, because most people don’t want to carry two phones (a personal phone and work phone). Given the prevelence of unlimitted calling plans, for many the work calls don’t cost any extra. The new expectation is that people (knowledge worker types) will use their personal cell phone to take work calls.

      the company should provide you with a phone for that purpose and pay for it
      I don’t think this is the stand a person wants to take. Not that he shouldn’t get something, but does he want to end up carrying around an extra phone and answering it whenever? Non-exempt people should take a stand on working off the clock, and everyone can take a stand against being on-call all the time.

      1. Katie in Ed

        Also, certain industries require you to release your work phone records to the company or the public (I’m thinking of public schools here, specifically). If you’re not so interested in the government/your boss knowing who you call at 2 am on a Saturday, keeping a separate work phone might be a good idea.

    2. Sarah

      it depends – if it is somewhat infrequent, sure. However, if it is a regular thing, most of my colleagues and friends at other companies still have blackberries. (My job only requires infrequent use of a cell phone, so I haven’t asked for one.)

      1. A Teacher

        I just claim any business calls I make on my taxes per my accountant. It doesn’ t amount to much but I don’t use my phone for that many business calls either.

    3. Ashley

      Thank you all for commenting, this is #2 here..

      Since the company is not providing phones or paying for work related calls to anyone in the office, I’m not expecting the situation to change. But it really upset me that my number was provided without preor discussion. I rejected the idea of putting my cell phone number on my business card before and I made it clear why.

    4. Victoria Nonprofit

      I have a work-issued BlackBerry to go along with my personal iPhone, but that’s unusual for my organization. Everyone else just adds their work accounts to their personal phone.

      This blows my mind. I oversee two states for a membership-based organization. I love our members (and know many of them personally, see them socially, etc.) but… there’s no damn way I’m giving them all my personal phone number.

  12. College Career Counselor

    #7. I agree with Alison that you should apply/negotiate if you receive an offer. I don’t necessarily agree that $218/month is not a “huge difference” in your paycheck. If you’re pulling in 6 figures, it’s not. But for someone who is making considerably less (and many people are), $218/month is a car payment for the vehicle that you need to get to your job. Or a week’s worth of groceries, etc.

    The other issue is that the higher your starting salary, the more you will make with a percentage raise subsequently. And fairly or not, the salary at your previous job can have a bearing on your next offer. (Why else do so many prospective employers want your salary history?)

  13. Joey

    Alison,
    I noticed that you tend to break down questions on raise amounts to monthly or weekly figures. I’m not sure if you realize this, but to me it comes across as an attempt to minimize the amount. sort of like when used car sales people try to focus on the monthly payment instead of the full price.

    1. Mike

      I think it is a useful thing to do. When I was talking salary for my current job we were initially about $5k apart and when I broke it down and saw it was about $275 a month after taxes it helped me put the number into the proper context.

      1. Joey

        Of course it is. But if the focus becomes the monthly or bi weekly or hourly amount most raises would seem insignificant.

        1. Laura L

          I live by the mantra that more money is always better than less money. Although, I wouldn’t negotiate over what I consider to be smaller amounts of money, if I’m getting a COLA raise or something, I’m definitely happy to have that extra money, no matter how small.

        2. Jamie

          I always break it down to what it means per pay period (after taxes) because it puts it in perspective. Like Laura I think more money is always better than less money – but breaking it down shows clearly whether its lifestyle changing money or incidental – and what would be incidental would vary depending on each persons circumstances.

          Studies have shown that increases have less of a tangible effect on your life after basic needs are covered. If you’re juggling bills and unable to cover expenses then getting to the point where you can pay everything completely and on time is huge – and every little increment that moves you towards that is a very big deal.

          But it’s important to keep the long game in perspective and breaking it down really helps with that. If you’re weighing jobs or options and the difference is a couple hundred a month is still a small enough sum that most people should look at which option gives the best long term prospects. And extra $200 a month now or the opportunity to make 10k a year more w/in 5 years? Breakdowns help in decision making.

    2. K

      I actually had the opposite reaction here – $3.5k/year was hard for me to conceptualize and I shrugged; $218/month seems like a good chunk of change to me.

      1. Ellie H.

        I feel exactly the same way; I have a way harder time understanding a yearly figure than a monthly amount. With a monthly amount, I can compare it to my rent, student loan payments, etc. The yearly figure seems really abstract. I had always worked extremely variable hourly-wage positions until last year, and even though I’m good with numbers I never had a sense of what yearly amounts meant until I calculated my weekly income into what it would represent for a year.

    3. Ask a Manager Post author

      That’s not my intention — it’s to make sure people realize what it will mean in their paycheck, since often people are surprised to realize.

      1. the gold digger

        I was shocked at my first professional job paycheck. I had divided $20,000 by 26 and that’s what I expected in my first check. This was a job where the employer paid 100% of all insurance premiums for everyone, yet I still got a good deal less than $20k/26. That was when I started to understand why people complain about taxes.

        1. Rana

          Heh. Try dealing with your freelance taxes for the first time. It can run as high as 40% of your income! (You do have more leeway with regards to deductions, but that first tax form is a shock.)

    4. KayDay

      A lot of people also tend to think about their monthly budget more than their yearly budget. (Similarly, the amount would look even smaller if she gave the per/day amount, but most people don’t think of their daily budget so it isn’t very useful).

      1. Anonymous

        I hate the idea of breaking a budget down to a daily amount. My dad does this with my younger brother who has just started his first salaried position. It makes things more stressful when your “daily allowance” doesn’t cover one of your bills (car payment, rent, etc), but looking at your funds from a monthly or even bi-weekly perspective is much more reasonable!

  14. Kay

    I’m a bit surprised that “sic” is unknown by some. It’s such a useful word and it’s kinda the closest we get to having a sarcasm button/font/punctuation.

  15. Mike

    Re #6, does it really matter for the company name? If I thought there might be a misspelling or something I’d just Google the name of the company and see. Given all of the variation in capitalization and spelling of company names it doesn’t seem like something I’d really focus on.

    1. Ellie H.

      I certainly know what (sic) means and use it often enough (and I love Kay’s point about about its unique capacity to convey tone) but I don’t think it would occur to me to use it on a resume; I’d just render the company name as is. I feel like it would be apparent from the rest of the resume that it’s not a typo.

      1. The Snarky B

        I feel like since typos are usually here-and-there, I could still easily see myself reading it as a mistake. In this case, I’d just write it out as if it weren’t different from other companies. In my fields, special junk like that isn’t common so I certainly wouldn’t think “way to preserve the typography!” before I’d think “Snort! Idiot.”

    2. KayDay

      I’m not sure all employers would take the time to google it–I can certainly picture some people going, “OMG, this person didn’t even capitalize their employer’s name. Transh!” Particularly if in the OPs industry it’s uncommon to have such stylistic names and/or if the company is not well known.

      I sort of feel like it’s a lose-lose-lose situation. It either looks like a typo, is actually a typo (albeit, and intentional one), or people think it’s strange that “(sic)” is on a resume. (I agree with Ellie, that it wouldn’t occur to em to use (sic) on a resume).

      Maybe if the OP uses the company name in lowercase in the cover letter, they can put in parenthesis “(company name is always lowercase)?”

  16. Meg

    #7: The difference between 2,500 and 3,500 is a difference between around $150-165/mo and $217/mo though. If the company does not budge on the salary, is $50-65/mo a deal breaker for YOU?

    1. Wilton Businessman

      Oh boy, prepare to be jumped on by the baristas and the book store workers. As I found out in another thread, that extra $50 is worth more than their life apparently.

      1. Heather

        Nice that you don’t have to worry about a $50 difference. That doesn’t mean you should snark on people who do.

        1. Xay

          I love this board, but it drives me crazy when we get into these discussions about the relative value of a dollar. The fact that +/- $50 is a big deal when you don’t make much money is not a shocking concept. Just like the fact that you can have a full time, professional office job that requires a degree and have a salary where +/- $50 is a big deal.

      2. Esra

        Yes. Because that is exactly what happened in that thread.

        You make a good point, Meg. The way it was phrased it seems like 0$ vs 3 500$. If it’s what you said, that’d be more like 1 000$ off their range which offers more flexibility.

      3. Natalie

        I have a lot of responses to this comment that aren’t really appropriate for this blog, so I’ll just go Carolyn Hax-style: Wow.

      4. Ask a Manager Post author

        All right, let’s not pile on Wilton for this. He has his point of view, others have theirs, and it’s already been debated in another thread.

    2. K

      I think the poster said that the difference between the top and bottom of the company’s range was $2,500 and the difference between the top of the range and her minimum was $3,500 – so she’s looking at a $3,500 to $6,000 difference, not a $2,500 difference.

      1. Forrest

        I’m OP #2 and that’s what I meant. It was also why I asked AAM the question – I hadn’t seen a salary range so “tight” before and was wondering if it was worth it to try for a little higher outside of the range. (I was uncertain because I didn’t want it to be a case of ’employer is being honest and interviewee may be misleading by not being ok with the salary from the get go.’)

  17. Jubilance

    #1 – Totally anecdotal, but everytime I’ve gotten a job, they’ve called me the day after my interview to make me an offer. Anytime I didn’t get a job, it took awhile for me to hear back. So if I got a call from an interviewer the day after, I’d assume that I was getting the job, given my track record. I think its fine to wait a week or so & let a candidate know that you’re going in a different direction.

    #2 – I bet that if you go to the CEO outlining that you are non-exempt & thus must be paid for the time you’re taking these after hours calls, and that your overtime must be approved in advance, will get him to change his mind about wanting you to take calls after hours.

    1. Lisa

      CEO doesn’t need the logistics, he wants it this way. Needing approval from the supervisor is a BS reason why the CEO decision of course will get overturned. Jubilance, come on… the supervisor task of approving overtime will never outrank the CEO decision.

      Now for the non-exempt issue, CEO doesn’t remember who is and who isn’t. He prob has no clue that you will have to be paid overtime. He may not care, because he wants you on call. He is prob willing to pay. He won’t be willing if some clients take advantage of this and you get boat loads of overtime.

      What would be interested is if OP suddenly get massive overtime, and the CEO suddenly wants to designate the OP as exempt to avoid paying that extra salary. Are there laws that prevent an employer from pulling a bait and switch with exempt status because they don’t like the overtime they have to pay them?

      1. -X-

        My boss, and even I, “overrule” the CEO all the time in our organization – he doesn’t know the details and costs/risks of what he asks for. We try to get him what he needs, but not always the way he asks since he doesn’t know the details.

        1. CoffeeLover

          +1
          It’s almost the job of people below the CEO to “overrule” or inform them if what they’re asking for doesn’t make sense when you break it down logistically. Also, to me it sounds like the OP works for a small company (since the CEO is the one directing clients to him/her). I think in smaller companies the CEOs care a lot more about the logistics of the situation. If OP feels more comfortable with the manager though, then they can bring it to her attention and have the manager fight the logistical battle with the CEO.

          1. Lisa

            True. I have to stop assuming too much with these letters. CEO does not mean big company, and some CEOs do want the details even with large ones. I should prob not comment for awhile, until I can keep myself in check.

            1. CoffeeLover

              Haha I don’t think you have to go so far. We all have a tendency to think CEO = madmen style big-wig with no time for us lowly grubs. My current job reports to the “higher ups” so I think I may have been disillusioned. :P

        2. Noah

          Agreed. The CEO can ask for whatever they want, but that doesn’t mean it always makes sense or that it will happen. For instance, our CEO wanted to buy huge 4WD Chevy Suburbans for our fleet vehicles because that is what he drives and feels safe in. We ended up with much smaller AWD Jeep Patriots because they have way better gas mileage and are plenty big for our employees. It just took showing him the costs of the vehicles and fuel over the three year lease.

      2. Jubilance

        CEO’s don’t have carte blanche to do whatever they want & overrule their own companies policies. My guess is that the CEO simply wants to please clients & hasn’t given any thought to the fact that he’s going to have to pay the OP for their time dealing with these clients after hours, and how much that will affect their bottom line in terms of labor costs.

        1. Joey

          Why not? Unless there’s a board or some other higher authority above them. CEO’s can do whatever they want although not without consequences. In the end its up to them (usually) to determine whether the consequences are worth it. Your job is just to make sure they know the consequences and give them a recommendation based on your expertise.

      3. ExceptionToTheRule

        Yes, there are laws establishing exempt vs. non-exempt status in the US, they’re established by the Fair Labor Standards Act and can be found on their website.

        The CEO can’t just wake up and decide “I’ll make Wakeen exempt today” without the potential consequence of violating the law.

      4. Elizabeth West

        In my experience, CEOs like making money, but they don’t like spending it. And they don’t usually handle timekeeping, so it’s entirely possible he’s clueless about it.

    2. Ashley

      Thank you all for your comments, this is #2 here..

      Our company is small with about 20 employees, 12 in the office location, and I’m the only one of 3 who are paid non-exempt.
      (When I came to the office, everyone was exempt, and it was advised to change at some point. Interesting thing is, when I was exempt, the CEO clearly asked me for longer time of work, but after I was switched to non-exempt, he advised me that I should be able to handle everything without overtime although the work load and job tasks didn’t change. There is a gap between what they want me to do and what they want my job title to be.)
      The CEO is also one of my supervisers = one of who has to approve my overtime or anything else. With the small company with no clear office organization structure, and because my tasks falls into different departments, I have two bosses.

      Anyway, it is a good point that I have to remind him that I need to get paid for after hour call, and he may changes his mind. There was one time when he didn’t realize that he has to pay me for all the time dedicated to a business trip, not only the actual time I worked on site, and he was really upset.

  18. Sydney

    1. I give the candidate about two days before sending a rejection email.

    The only time I will do it on the same day is if the candidate ignored my clear and simple directions before the interview. I always ask people to look at our website (since we are a new type of business) and get a feel for our service and what we do. If a candidate shows up to the interview and says “No, I didn’t have time to check out your website,” I will send them a rejection email that day. I won’t reject for that reason alone, but it has always coincided with other reasons for not hiring that person.

  19. Joey

    Alison,
    #1 Is your perception that people will feel slighted, argue, or feel dejected if you reject them immediately? Or are you basing that on experience. I’m just asking because I sometimes reject at the end of the interview day or next day and I really haven’t noticed a difference.

    1. Marmite

      I recently went to an interview that involved work based task tests in the morning and a traditional interview in the afternoon. Only a small number of candidates went through to the afternoon, those that didn’t were rejected on the spot in front of the other candidates. I made it through to the afternoon, but it was the weirdest, most awkward way of interviewing.

    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      I’m basing it on replies I used to get in the past when I rejected within a day or so (not tons, but enough to make me not feel like putting up with it), as well as comments people have made here over the years about feeling slighted/offended when it happens. I know not everyone feels that way — probably not even a majority — but it seems to be enough that I like my one-week rule now.

      Plus, I’m often hiring for positions that have applicants that “know” the organization, and the organization cares about preserving the relationship, so there’s a desire to avoid that kind of thing.

    3. Anon

      I have never done hiring, but I used to work at a publisher that accepted unsolicited proposals. It was my job to reject the ones we didn’t want to publish. Sometimes after reading a 3 paragraph email a would-be author sent to our website, I knew there was absolutely no way the project would be a good fit for us and knew not to waste any Acquisitions Editors time by forwarding it.

      I learned the hard way to still wait a week to email the rejection. Otherwise I was accused of not giving it enough consideration, and sometimes I was called names, too.

  20. Wilton Businessman

    #1. A couple days is max for me. If I know they’re not going to work out, why stretch it out? Let them move on to the next thing.

    #2. If you are non-exempt, you have to get paid for that time. Every time your phone rings, think of it as making money. I would talk to the CEO and let him know your situation. He will most likely want to convert you to exempt. If they do, make sure you are compensated for the change.

    #3. If they are that unprepared, do you really want to work there?

    #4. I’ve got nothing.

    #5. Yes, talk to your manager. Sometimes it takes a bigger hammer for payroll to start listening.

    #6. I will have to disagree with AAM on this one. If I used to work at “tiny teapots”, I will think you look like an idiot if you put “Tiny Teapots” on your resume. The company name is the company name, I wouldn’t even put (sic) in there.

    #7. You can try, just don’t be surprised if they don’t have very much flexibility.

      1. Jamie

        Prt of the distinction is how much autonomy and personal discretion one has in carrying out their duties and if the OP is dealing with clients directly it may well qualify as non-exempt.

        Many jobs are misclassfied, often out of genuine ignorance.

      2. Wilton Businessman

        Sure you can. You’ve been promoted from Jr. Whatever to Sr. Whatever with XYZ duties and that’s a non-exempt position.

    1. Tamara (OP #5)

      Seems like a lot of people didn’t have much to say about my question but AAM answered it perfectly well. My company (a large department store) has had issues communicating with this designer before so the breakdown in communication should have been expected. For some reason, in the fashion/merchandising/retail world when someone leaves their “post” there are major hiccups in communication for sometime.

  21. Sascha

    #1 – I would THRILLED if I received a rejection within a week! The last three jobs I applied for, the rejection notice came several months after the interviews.

    On a practical note, I know that we often will know within a short time if we are going to reject a candidate, but I think it’s helpful to give yourself a few days to consider why. Unless there was something just totally egregious – showed up hung-over or was totally rude – then I need some time to think about why I’m rejecting them. It’s a good exercise for me because it helps me understand the disconnect. Did the candidate just not seem to understand the purpose of the job, or emphasize certain skills that we don’t consider integral? That could mean the job description is not written clearly, or we need to revise our screening strategy.

    This is if the candidate makes it to the interview stage, of course. In our system, if they are not selected for an interview, they get a form email rejection.

  22. CoffeeLover

    I recently got a rejection email from the company I applied with months ago saying they had hired a candidate. It was weird because I had no other contact from them. Usually I only expect a rejection if I’ve actually talked to someone from the company (through a phone or in-person interview). It seemed a little unnecessary. I mean I had already forgotten I even applied with them!

    1. patchinko

      Eh, I’d rather hear from them than not. And you may not have thought much about this job, but someone else might have been REALLY excited about it and can now cross it off their list. I *have* been offered a job months after I interviewed (actually after I was rejected for it!), and I actually just got an interview for a job I applied for 2 months ago, so I never completely discount a job unless I get rejected. They probably just reached the end of their hiring process and sent out a rejection to everyone who applied. I think that’s considerate.

  23. Jubilance

    Speaking of rejection letters, I recently received a rejection email for a position I submitted my resume to (but never interviewed for) about a year ago. What made it funny is that the company is the company I’ve been working at for the past 6 months! Of course I’m in a different role, but I found it funny that the automated systems still had to reject me. Good thing I wasn’t holding out for that position huh?

  24. Anonymous

    #6 – I also disagree with AAM. The name of the company IS tiny teapots. There’s no need to include “sic” because the name is not spelled wrong.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      The issue is that on a resume, many people are likely to think it’s a mistake and penalize the OP for sloppiness — more than are likely to look up the company name, see that it’s lowercase, and care that she capitalized it.

      1. Anonymous

        Or many people will be familiar with the company and know the correct spelling and think it’s a mistake by spelling it with capital letters.

          1. K

            I’m not even convinced that’s incorrect. If you were using the name as a trademark, you’d use the capitalization the company uses, but in other text, it seems reasonable to use standardized capitalization to me.

            1. Kelly L.

              The example I’m thinking of is Facebook–it’s “facebook” in their logo but “Facebook” when people write an article about it. I don’t think it’s incorrect either.

          2. Anonymous

            I respect your opinion on the spelling. However, I do think that in the original resume, using “sic” seems pretentious.

      2. AmyNYC (#6 OP)

        Thanks for all the feedback!
        I hadn’t really given it too much though until I confused someone, but I think I’ll keep (sic) for constancy – one of the company is large enough that most people in my industry can recognize it, the other is not.

        1. AmyNYC (#6 OP)

          oops, “thought”
          THIS is why I’m afraid of typos – I’m too dependent on Spellcheck!

    2. Esra

      Sic is not used solely for misspelled words. It’s also used in cases like this, where that may be the company name but it’s not the standard way names are spelled.

    3. JT

      ” The name of the company IS tiny teapots.”

      Actually, in the case of many companies, it’s often both Tiny Teapots and tiny teapots. They might be incorporated one way (perhaps even with an Inc. or LLC etc in the legal name) but for branding purposes write it another way.

  25. Anon

    So…. I received a degree in Technical Communication and took piles of editing and writing classes in college.

    Until today, I thought (sic) was some sort of computer generated symbol for when the computer didn’t know what you were writing. I sincerely thought anyone who used it online didn’t know what the heck they were doing…

    Good to know – but yea – if someone in Technical Communication doesn’t know what it means, I suspect many many people don’t know what it means.

    1. ThursdaysGeek

      I was about to be surprised at that, and then realized that a lot of what I know was not learned in school, and I learn new things every day, including and especially things related to my career. Unless you have a incredible memory for this day of discovery, in 10 or 15 years when someone asks what ‘sic’ means, you’ll be surprised that they don’t already know that, because you’ve always known it. :)

  26. cncx

    I got rejected for a job once five minutes after pressing send on the email.
    I figured they had just closed out the candidate choices or made a selection or forgotten to take down the ad, but I still felt the burn.

    1. -X-

      What about getting rejected in advance? A company sends you an email saying “Don’t apply.” That’d be wild. Maybe the future will be like that? With science and technology and rejections in advance. Big Data yall.

      1. patchinko

        I actually know someone this happened to. It was an internal job though, and it was a human who told him not to bother applying! Still, ouch.

  27. Chinook

    #2 – I would think that, by handing out your cell phone number, the CEO has implied that he has authorized any overtime that you would work answering it, especially since he has told clients to contact you after hours.

  28. some1

    Regarding #1, semi-related but if you haven’t gotten back to a candidate a week or two after the interview, and the candidate emails you once looking for a status, I think it’s courteous to respond promptly if you know at that point you’re moving on to other people (or have moved on). Obviously this is a little different if a candidate checks in too soon after the interview or is emailing &/or calling repeatedly.

  29. Anon

    #3-Don’t feel bad. AAM is right all the way on this. If it helps, I remembered to make copies. Had them in my little leather folder thingy. Then completely forgot to give them to the interviewers. Had a complete meltdown in the car when I realized that. But then they called me for a 2nd interview. They then canceled that to call me during vacation and offer me the job. So, worked out pretty well. In my defense, I had to give a writing sample, a PPT presentation and “sell” them a pink pen during the interview. Nerves shot.

  30. Forrest

    I’m OP#7 and I want to thank everyone for their feedback, and AAM for answering my question. While $218 would make an impact on my life, I took AAM’s point that, in the grand scheme of things to consider when taking a job, that amount may not be where I draw the line.

    (Esp. since the lowest salary offered would still be an increase from what I’m making now – I do want to try for more though and believe I could make a great case for why I am worth that amount.)

  31. C

    #6 – Actually, a newspaper probably would capitalize the name. I’m a copy editor with a journalism background, and we’re taught that “creative” capitalization is a stylistic choice rather than a grammatical one – sort of the same way you don’t see Yahoo’s name printed with the exclamation point. Bill Walsh has some great thoughts on this topic at http://www.theslot.com/webnames.html.

  32. Dave33

    I’m sure you did not intend to be insensitive, but $218/month after taxes is a big difference. For some people that could be the difference between saving nothing and saving $200/month. It could be the thing that just tips you over into a nicer apartment. It could be the only thing that allows you to have an entertainment and dine-out budget for yourself. It could enable you to upgrade your car. I think people who make really good salaries don’t quite get this. Even $100/month makes a difference if you’re only making $40k/year (which is more than most people in this country make to begin with).

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