It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. Should it take me this long to write a resume?
I want to draft the perfect resume, but it keeps taking me longer than expected. I’ve made three versions of my resume in the past five months. Every time I make a new one, it takes me about three hours. I create my resume and then I send it to friends/family to look at it. I correct it and send it back to those friends/ family. Everyone has a different comment or things to add. I want a great resume but sometimes it takes me hours just to finish it. And then I have to create another resume for a different job. Am I spending too much time on my resume?
Yes, probably. Three hours isn’t too long, and it’s not a bad idea to have a couple different versions of your resume, but you shouldn’t need to keep doing it over and over. (It’s also smart to have one long master resume that you then shorten for individual jobs you’re applying for, by picking out just the stuff that’s most relevant for that particular job.)
But it sounds like you’re too invested in involving friends and family in the process. It’s fine to get feedback from people, but you should take that feedback with a grain of salt. Different people will have different feedback for you, and it won’t all be useful. In fact, if you send your resume to 10 different people, you’ll probably get a bunch of conflicting advice. And if you’re seeking advice from people who haven’t done serious hiring themselves, they’re not well positioned to give you useful advice anyway. Pick one or two people who have substantial hiring experience and whose judgment you trust, send it to them once, and be done with the process.
Don’t crowdsource this.
2. My manager is enforcing his own sexist dress code
I work on a team with three other people. At the end of last year, our manager and one of my coworkers retired and two new people were hired to replace them. Our new manager is doing something I don’t think is right. My new coworker follows the dress code, but our new manager is constantly commenting about how she is dressed improperly. She dresses the same as women in other departments though. The standard he is using is not the dress code but the religion he follows.
Our other coworkers and I are men and he never says a thing to any of us but he will comment to her that he knee-length skirt should go to her ankles, her elbow-length sleeves need to go to her wrists, or her neck should be covered and not showing. On hot days, my coworkers and I will wear short-sleeved dress shirts under our jackets and we’ll take off our jackets if we don’t have meetings and he doesn’t say anything to us and in fact does the same thing. But he’ll tell my new coworker she needs to cover her arms because it is not “modest” or “proper.” He doesn’t comment when one of our male coworkers bikes to work in a t-shirt and shorts (and changes into a suit before work starts) but my new coworker was told by our manager that if she jogs to work, she has to change before she comes into the building because her workout clothes (shorts and a t-shirt, same as our male co-worker) are not proper and she shouldn’t be wearing them anywhere at all.
This is my coworker’s first job after college and her first time working in an office. I can tell these comments upset her but she doesn’t say anything back to our manager. Is this any of my business? Should I talk to my coworker or our manager about it?
My new coworker does not belong to the same religion as our manager and our work doesn’t have anything to do with any religion or church.
Your new manager shouldn’t be managing anyone. He’s way, way out of line here and he’s subjecting the company to legal liability for harassment and discrimination.
Encourage your coworker to talk to HR. Tell her that what your manager is doing violates the law and that your company would almost definitely put a stop to it if they knew about it. If she doesn’t feel comfortable talking to HR, I hope you’ll do it yourself; there’s no reason that you can’t report what you’re witnessing, and it’s clearly discriminatory.
3. I have to hire my replacement at a much higher salary
I head up the HR team at a medium-sized, fast-growing business. Recently, I accepted an offer to take a new role overseas in the same business, which I’m really excited about.
My problem is about recruiting my replacement. We have a new CEO (who I report directly to) and she wants me to hire the new head of HR, who will be taking my role — same job title, same job description. As background, I was hired into the role two years ago with only three years of experience in the industry, but in my time at the company I’ve grown the team from just me in a standalone role to a team of 10, and implemented everything from scratch — policies, processes, you name it — with very little support. I have consistently received good feedback.
Now, they want to hire someone with a bit more experience (two to three years more than me), which I understand, given where the business is now (it’s about tripled in size since I started). However, the salary they are offering is almost double my current salary. I can’t help but feel insulted, especially after working so hard to get things where they are today, which the new candidate will be walking into as a starting point. I just don’t really feel comfortable interviewing candidates to replace me, knowing they’ll be earning so much more than I have been!
Am I being unreasonable to ask that other managers do this recruitment instead of me?
Well, you’ll look very prima-donna-ish, which isn’t a great thing, especially since you’re staying with the company.
They’re hiring someone with more experience than you, for a job that you came into without a lot of experience. It makes sense that they’d be paying that person more. It also may be a signal about the profile of candidate they’re looking to attract — like maybe someone with more formal training and credentials, or someone with HR experience at a company of this size, or all sorts of other things.
I’d take this as useful data about the market for your field. But don’t refuse to do part of your job; that will look childish and will impact the impression you leave them with.
4. Hitting up references with a sales pitch
I work as a recruiter with a staffing agency. Recently, my company has been putting an emphasis on sales and revamped the recruiter position to include sales as well. I enjoy my job and am willing to adapt (despite my background being HR), but I am very uncomfortable with one of my new duties.
Before we place a candidate, we call two of their references. My company is now asking me to use candidate references as sales leads and when I do a reference check, introduce them to our business. To me, this feels like solicitation and breach of trust between us and the candidates. The candidate gives me the references for one purpose … to check their work history and help them get a job.
I expressed my concern about this to my superiors, and I was offered coaching on how to make these calls in a “non-aggressive” way, but it still seems like a bit of a violation. I offered a compromise and said I would feel more comfortable making these calls if I could get consent from the candidates first and was told that I wasn’t allowed to ask them. I would love to get your thoughts on this.
Eeewww, yeah, this is a breach of trust and is going to be really annoying to everyone you do it too. If I was giving a reference for someone and the reference-checker started trying to pitch me on their services, I’d be pretty angry and quickly cut them off, and then I’d let the candidate know what happened. Your company is going to look terrible to candidates and references alike.
5. My former coworker lied on his resume
Recently I inherited a former colleague’s email archives. While going through the files, I discovered his resume. In addition to a few whoppers where he embellished the work he did in the department, I discovered that he also lied about his title. The title he put indicates that he worked in an entirely different department. I would love to go to his current employer and inform them of this lie, as he was a horrible person to work with, but I won’t. I know people embellish, but this is ridiculous. Do companies check this sort of information when they do a background check? How could this slip through the cracks? Can I expect to hear that he’s been fired shortly (fingers crossed)?
Some companies check this sort of info in background checks and some don’t. Some do reference checks and never think to ask what the person’s title was. Some don’t do much checking at all.
I wouldn’t count on this leading to him being fired. It’s definitely possible that it could, if they find out at some point. But it’s more likely that it’s not going to come out. But who knows, if he’s truly horrible, he could get fired for all sorts of other reasons.
it’s taking me too long to write a resume, boss is enforcing his own sexist dress code, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.