Your workplace's culture has a huge impact on your happiness and success, which is why it's important to suss out a company's values, norms, and practices before you take a new job.
To do this, Adam Grant, a professor of management at Wharton and author of the forthcoming book "Originals," writes in The New York Times that you need to ask one important question: "How is this organization different from all other organizations?"
The answer, he says, should come in the form of a story.
"Ask people to tell you a story about something that happened at their organization but wouldn't elsewhere," Grant suggests.
When listening to stories about what makes a company unique, it's crucial that you zero in on the values illustrated, or as he puts it, "the principles people show are important through their actions."
Grant says there are three in particular you should listen for in each story:
1. Justice and fairness: Job seekers should be able to see if the organization they're interviewing is a fair place to work.
2. Safety and security: They should be able to tell if it's safe to work there.
3. Control: Job seekers should be able to determine if they can shape their destiny and have influence in the organization.
George Costanza once said, “It’s not a lie if you believe it.” That may be decent advice when trying to calm your nerves or rationalize an embellishment, but when you’re looking for a job, a lie can leave you unemployed and living with your parents.
First impressions are critical during a job hunt. Seven in 10 employers spend fewer than five minutes reviewing a résumé, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. In fact, half of employers spend fewer than two minutes reviewing the document that could determine your financial future. In order to make a strong impression, many applicants feel the need to lie on their résumés.
More than half of the employers in the survey have caught a lie on a résumé, including an applicant claiming to be a former CEO of the company he was applying at, and one applicant claiming to be a Nobel Prize winner. Making matters worse, most hiring managers are willing to overlook a lack of qualifications to some degree, but if they find a blatant lie on your résumé, kiss your chances goodbye.
“Job seekers have the unenviable challenge of grabbing – and holding – a hiring manager’s attention long enough to make a strong impression,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, in a press release. “Embellishing your résumé to achieve this, however, can ultimately backfire. Most hiring managers are willing to consider candidates who do not meet 100 percent of the qualifications. Job seekers can increase their chances for consideration by proving past achievements that exemplify an ability to learn, enthusiasm and cultural fit.”
Let’s take a look at the five most common lies employers find on résumés.
1. Embellished skill sets
George: Steinbrenner wants everyone in the front office to give a lecture in their area of business expertise.
Jerry: Well what makes them think you’re a risk management expert?
George: I guess it’s on my résumé.
Trying to impress the hiring manager with skills you don’t really have can be embarrassing when the truth comes out, and the CareerBuilder survey reveals the truth about skills is often discovered. Sixty-two percent of employers found embellished skill sets on résumés. Perhaps the most “creative” skill was an applicant who claimed to be fluent in two languages — one of which was pig Latin.
If you feel the need to lie about your skill set, it may be time to acquire some new skills. Education and certification programs are located across the country that can help you stand out from the crowd. While many programs require money, free classes do exist if you look hard enough — from learning a new language to learning how to manage a project. Remember, the best time to acquire skills is before you absolutely need them. Trying to find a job and learning new skills to appeal to potential employers can be daunting.
2. Embellished responsibilities
Having impressive job responsibilities help you feel important. If you were important to your old company, maybe a hiring manager will feel like he needs you. But if you don’t have noteworthy responsibilities on your résumé, you shouldn’t simply take the easy route and lie about your qualifications. CareerBuilder finds that 54% of employers discovered embellished responsibilities on résumés.
Instead, employers said they really wanted the following when looking for attractive job candidates and résumés:
- A résumé that is customized for their open position: 61%
- A résumé that is accompanied by a cover letter: 49%
- A résumé that is addressed to the hiring manager or recruiter by name: 26%
- A résumé that includes links to the applicant’s online portfolio, blog, or website: 21%
3. Dates of employment
Knowing when you worked at your previous job is an important detail that helps show hiring managers your experience level. It may also help show them how honest or detail-oriented you are. Thirty-nine percent of employers have found incorrect dates of employment on résumés. Some of these may not be bold-face lies, but having anything incorrect on your résumé is a strike in the eyes of a hiring manager.
The worst offenders in the survey included an applicant whose job history had him in three different companies and three different cities simultaneously. Meanwhile, another applicant for a driver position claimed to have 10 years of experience but only had a driver’s license for four years.
4. Job titles
Nothing can convey importance like a job title, but that still doesn’t mean you should embellish your role at a previous employer. A hiring manager can easily check with your references and find out if you are lying. Thirty-one percent of employers found lies on résumés about job titles. The difference between what you believe and reality can be significant. For example, one applicant simply claimed to have worked in a jail. The truth? The applicant was really there to serve time.
5. Academic degrees
Having a college degree was once seen as a ticket to the middle class and more. Now, it’s practically a requirement just to get a foot in the corporate door. If you don’t have a degree, it’s not as easy as making up your own college. At least one hiring manager in the CareerBuilder survey said an applicant claimed to have attended a college that didn’t even exist. Overall, 28% of employers have caught a résumé lie about academic degrees.
From Business Insider
You're probably a pretty intelligent person. But you could very well be acting in ways that make you look like a complete idiot.
To help you create the best impression possible among coworkers and clients, we rounded up nine common behaviors that outside observers may associate with low intelligence.
Chances are you've been guilty of at least one, without knowing that it could be hurting your reputation.
November darkness descends, the ground begins to tremble and the gates to Retail Hell will open! Grab your holy water, dig a trench and send a prayer to Thrognar! The Black Friday assault is close at hand.
Our next survival tip is about Safety.
For decades now we have see Black Friday violence at its worst. Over the last few years, it's calmed down a bit, as there is better crowd control now and less trampling, but the fights over merchandise will never end. Sometimes those fights will occur hours after being open over a last item.
Even though Black Friday is your job and yes, you have to give great customer service and for the most part the neurotic customer is always right (even when their not), but you do not have to involve yourself with people who have Black Friday rage in their eyes and they want to verbally abuse or assault you over the last $10 Coffee Maker.
If an altercation breaks out with custys and they are not stopping or have threatened you, your best plan of action is to call for backup. Let management handle it or call the police if the custys are really out of control. We've seen time and time again, stores that don't support workers protecting themselves by fighting back. The abusive Black Friday custy's ridiculousness is not worth you losing your job or God forbid getting injured. Remove yourself from the situation by taking no action and call someone else to handle it.
Before the sale starts, you should absolutely request or know management review all Black Friday protocols and procedures with you and your co-workers. Everyone needs to be on the same page to ensure this very hectic day runs smoothly (or as smoothly as possible!).
Specific information on these topics should be covered:
- How lines will be managed
- How many people will be allowed in the store at once
- Return, exchange and discount policies
- And how to handle complaints
Know your responsibilities, what decisions you're authorized to make and how to quickly get management assistance.
If you have a question or concern, ask. Chances are, if you're unclear, your co-workers are, too. If you have a suggestion, speak up. You know the job, and your opinion is valuable. Give management a chance to hear and respond to your needs. Explain why an extra coffee pot in the break room or a backup person at the register is important.
Be sure you know who your "relief" person is so you can schedule much-needed breaks. Check in with your relief before the day begins to set up a plan. Agree on break times and signals to communicate effectively. Be pleasant and helpful -- you'll need each other!
Learn the names (if you don't already know) of all employees working on Black Friday. This includes porters, managers, supply personnel (shelf-stockers, inventory, back-of-store workers), security, greeters, cashiers, sales.
You never know who or what you may need. Get to know everyone, so you can help each other. Know where fire extinguishers are, where first aid kits are, and what to do in the event of someone getting hurt. Your store will have policies for both customers and employees. Review both.
This year's Black Friday also comes with added fears about terrorists and crazy people with guns. It's always good to have a plan if something should happen. Know where all the exits are in your building and which way you will hide or run if something bad is going down.
Be safe on this Black Friday RHU!
Black Friday Thanksgiving Countdown Survival Tips For Retail Workers: #4 Make a Lunch and Break Plan and Don't Let Black Friday Sale Ruin Your Thanksgiving
Besides staying hydrated and taking care of your feet, when you work a long sale day in Retail Hell make sure you get time to eat and enjoy your breaks. That may sound like a given, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to get swept up in sale hell madness and before you know it, it's been 7 hours and you haven't eaten or taken a rest, and you're starting to feel the effects of Retail Zombie take over your body.
Some managers are on top of scheduling and the moment you walk into the store you know when your breaks and lunchtime will be. However, there are those Bad Managers who are not as organized and not only do they not know what time your breaks and lunch will be, there's a good chance you might not get them at all. Even though it's illegal to do that, never depend on a disorganized manager to get you out the door for your breaks. If there is no plan for them try and get one going early on in the shift so you don't find yourself in that Zombie predicament begging to be released from your register prison. Some managers need a kick in the pants when it comes to scheduling breaks.
And when those break times arrive, use them to your full advantage. Give your feet and brain a rest and make sure you do eat something for lunch -- coffee and chocolate are not going to keep you going. They will lead you down the road of nausea, fatigue, and headache. And as mentioned in the hydration post, try not to eat a heavy lunch on long sale days, as it will only slow you down and make you want to find a napping spot in the stockroom. This may be hard because our sale weary hearts want burgers and pizza! And in times of chaos, sometimes that is the best medicine. So if you do decide to go with comfort food lunch, the trick to not feeling really bloated and sleepy afterwards, is not eat too much of it. Eat smaller portions and save the desert for your break later on.
If everyone's busy, chances are no one's going to take time out just to tell you to grab your break—you have to look out for yourself. Decide in advance when you're going—ideally a longer lunch or dinner and a few 15 minute breaks or short breaks over the course of your shift—and get a buddy to agree to cover for you in advance (and you can cover for them). Let your supervisor know when you plan to take them early; that way they can't feign ignorance when the time comes and you need to go. Set a timer or alarm on your phone and keep it in your pocket while you work. When your phone vibrates, you know it's time to slip away. Give your buddy the signal and bail.
Often times during busy retail schedules, there is no time to even go out and order food. With some lunch and dinner breaks only being 30 minutes and breaks being 10 minutes, you may never get through that long line at Sbarro.
A great tip in getting nourishment at lunch is to appeal to your friends and family to help you in your time of need. They may be out shopping anyway, or they may just be in your corner because they have no intention of fighting over half-price Blu-rays.
See if they're willing to bring you something to drink from time to time, or a snack—maybe lunch. Even a cheerful face can mean a lot. Those big shopping days and long shifts can make it difficult to get away even to grab a cup of coffee or a sandwich. Plus, when you do, you could watch half of your lunch break evaporate while waiting in line at a fast food joint along with all of the other people out in the madness of the holiday rush.
Instead, ask your friends to brave the crowds—not to shop, but to do you a solid and bring you a hot cup of coffee so you don't have to waste your break in line, or a lunch you all can eat while you people watch. You'll get the benefit of something good to eat or drink, good company, and you'll get to actually enjoy more of your break instead of wasting part of it running from place to place or waiting in line for food.
Alternatively, you can also bring something from home and keep it stashed. If your workplace doesn't have cold storage of any kind, a king sized Snickers bar, trail mix, beef jerky or other snack mixes that don't have to be kept cold can be lifesavers. Get something with nuts or, if allergic, meat protein like a jerky. You want something that will stay with you for an extended period of time so your stomach isn't chewing on itself by your next break.
However you do it, by hook or by crook, make sure you get some time away from the hustle and bustle that comes with long hours, busy shifts, and tons of people. Even the most extroverted among us need some time away from the crowds and the noise to recharge a little bit.
Besides, unless you work somewhere where your manager or teammates will really appreciate you not taking breaks (and if you do, that's probably the same type of place where they'd all make sure you got them anyway), you'll only be hurting yourself by working through them.
For the last 5 years we have watched department store corporations and malls follow Macy's, Target, and Toys-R-Us down the path of being open on a cherished American holiday and destroying it for millions of people. All because they want to have increases over last year's sale and they think they can get it by being the early bird. Sadly it's only going to get worse in the coming years as stores open earlier and earlier attempting to beat last year's numbers. Thanksgiving has been lost for most retail workers and will never be recovered.
So we have to adjust and not let those greedy corporate executives ruin our holiday. If you are one of millions who have to work The Black Friday Sale on Turkey Day, we want to tell you:
DON'T LET YOUR STORE RUIN YOUR THANKSGIVING.
If you are missing out on a big family/friend get together, we feel your pain and it may seem like Thanksgiving is already ruined. But the best thing to do is make other plans and find a way to have an enjoyable dinner with good company. Canceling everything and doing nothing will only make you feel bad and you'll take that energy into Black Friday Sale. It will just make you hate retail life even more. If it doesn't look like you are going to be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal before the start of your Black Friday Sale schedule, be proactive in the coming days to plan your Turkey Day holiday if it means something to you. Make plans so that it works out in your favor. Try and get family members to move the day or time of Thanksgiving dinner. I once celebrated Christmas with my family on December 9th because I was a manager and there was no way I could get the day before or after off to travel. It ended up being one of the best Christmas' ever! Inside we were in pajamas having a party, outside it was a Tuesday in early December. It doesn't matter when you celebrate, only that you celebrate, if it's something that brings you joy.
Retail Corporations may have stolen the "day" of Thanksgiving but thankfully they can never take its spirit.