Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Avoid Half-Truths


Don't lie? Well--duh. You know better than to tell a deliberately misleading untruth, something this article warns you against doing.

But stuff you may believe is innocent could be perceived as a lie by a prospective employer. Be sure you are communicating clearly! Here's what I mean:

  • Dates: Make sure date ranges on your paperwork accurately communicate how long you worked. If you work a couple of months that happen to span different calendar years, include the month (not just the year).
  • Reason for leaving your last job: No, you don't need to put it in bold type in your cover letter. But if asked, tell the truth. If it's less than flattering, work out phrasing ahead of time.
  • Drug and background screening: Know ahead of time how to respond to the question "Can you pass a background or drug test?"
  • References: Your referees can become your professional friends--but your friends shouldn't be your referees. 
  • Skills & talents: If you can do something well, be sure to promote it. If you haven't mastered Excel, or French, or whatever, then you may fairly claim interest, but don't claim to be an expert.
Thanks & a tip of the hat to Joyce Tesar.

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