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New Survey: Employers Share Most Memorable Lies They’ve Caught on Resumes »


TORONTO – 22 October 2014 – Job seekers know how important it can be to make a good first impression, and some are even willing to bend the truth in order to succeed. Over half (55 per cent) of Canadian employers say they’ve caught a lie on a resume, and 40 per cent of these employers say they’ve been catching more lies post-recession.

The Canadian national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of from May 13 to June 6, 2014 and included more than 400 hiring managers and human resource professionals and more than 400 workers across industries and company sizes.


The Review Process

Job seekers may not realize how much their resumes are likely to be scrutinized by prospective employers. While 34 per cent of employers say they take less than a minute reviewing each resume for a job they’re hiring for, 30 per cent take between a minute and less than 2 minutes, and 36 per cent spend at least 2 minutes with each resume.

Additionally, 90 per cent of employers say that, on average, more than one person looks at a candidate’s resume, including 61 per cent who say resumes are viewed by at least 3 people.

Over a quarter (28 per cent) of employers say they typically receive fewer than 25 resumes for an open position, while 31 per cent receive between 25 and 50. Twenty-seven per cent get between 51 and 100 resumes, and 14 per cent say they usually receive over 100.


Fitting the Crime

Employers are split on whether lying on a resume is grounds for immediate dismissal, with 52 per cent saying they don’t automatically take a candidate out of the running. Forty per cent of employers said it would depend on what the lie is, and 15 per cent said they’d overlook a lie if they like the candidate enough.

“Our data shows that, while some employers may be willing to look past some lies, job seekers who are dishonest on their resumes run a significant risk,” says Mark Bania, Director of CareerBuilder Canada. “Employers are looking for people they can trust and depend on. Keep your resume accurate, and emphasize relevant skills you’ve developed through actual work experience.”


Common Lies

Among those employers who have caught lies on resumes, the most common ones seen include embellished responsibilities (60 per cent) and skill sets (57 per cent), followed by previous job title (42 per cent) and dates of employment (36 per cent). Candidates have also tried to sneak in lies about the companies they’ve worked for (30 per cent), academic degrees (30 per cent) and accolades and awards (21 per cent).


Uncommon Lies

Some people get a little bolder with their fib-telling. When asked what was the most memorable lie they’ve caught on a resume, employers responded:

  • A 32 year old applicant with 18 years of experience on resume.
  • Applicant said he worked at a company for 2 years. He worked there for 2 days, got fired, and was unemployed for 2 years.
  • Applicant claimed responsibility for fundraising $750K when only $500K is accounted for.
  • Applicant claimed to have “attention to detail” and spelled “attention” incorrectly.
  • Applicant faked an entire academic profile with supporting documents, all of which were faked.
  • Applicant said he was Prime Minister during ‘90s.
  • Applicant claimed to have been in the Marine Corps, despite living his whole life in Canada, where there is no Marine Corps.
  • Applicant said he had been a VP at Microsoft in 2010. He didn’t graduate university until 2012.
  • Applicant got his name wrong between the cover letter and resume.
  • Applicant claimed to have worked for the Olympic Committee.


Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within Canada by HarrisPoll on behalf of among 431 Canadian hiring managers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) and 422 Canadian employees ages 18 and over between May 13 and June 6, 2014 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 431 and 422 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results among Canadian employees have sampling errors of +/-4.71 and +/-4.77 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.


Career-Builder-LogoPNGAbout is a leading job site in Canada. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), the Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), powers the career centers for more than 250 Canadian partners that reach national, local, industry and niche audiences. Job seekers visit every month to search for opportunities by industry, location, company and job type, sign up for automatic e-mail job alerts, and get advice on job hunting and career management. For more information about products and services, visit

Stopping the spread of your boss’s bad behavior »

Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder writer


Not all bosses are horrible, but many bosses have horrible moments. Times when their budgets have gotten out of control, their staff is acting irresponsibly or projects have gone off track. Some bosses are better at holding in their anger or frustration, but others can act like loose cannons and fire off rants and tirades at the slightest problem. This management style can become especially burdensome when it turns commonplace at work. Soon employees began to imitate this negativity or censor their ideas.


Fortunately, there’s a way to stop the toxic environment.“You can help stop the spread of this bad behavior by the way you interact with your bad boss,” says Dr. Noelle Nelson, author of Got a bad boss? Work that boss to get what you want at work.” She says, “When a supervisor creates a hostile atmosphere in the workplace, employees are not able to come up with their best work, much less innovative ideas. Just as one bad apple spoils the entire barrel, a bad boss can spoil the entire team.”


So, how can you stop the spread of your boss’s bad behavior?


Be the change you wish to see

If you’re capable of spotting your boss’s inappropriate conduct, you’re already on the way to changing the office’s environment. The key is to recognize these actions and reject them, instead opting for positivity and assurance. “To stop this spread, workers need to go against their natural responses,” Nelson says. “We tend to model the behavior of those in front of us. If the boss is modeling bad behavior, then people that report to him allow themselves to show their worst instead of their best. If the boss encourages yelling and is always irritable, employees will follow.”


But you don’t have to let this happen to you. Nelson says, “Instead of accepting your boss’s hostile attitude, turn it around. See yourself as helping with your boss’s success, which will help advance your own career. Make a conscientious effort to not let your bad boss get to you.”


Find solutions Internship set career path

Instead, find ways to help your boss get to a better place. “If your boss is always blaming others – particularly you – when things go wrong, be his or her problem-solver,” Nelson says. “Don’t let this insecure finger pointer cause you to start yelling at your colleagues. Stay calm and immediately offer to help. Then follow through. Eventually, your boss will see you as a much-needed ally to make him or her look good, which is what most bad bosses want in the first place. The temperature of the workplace will go down.”


Co-workers and bosses in particular are apt to overreact when the situation already feels out of control. By keeping the emotional climate in a steadier place, along with assisting when things get tough, you can help stop the spread of your boss’s bad behavior and even unleash a better boss.


“Most people are essentially good and want to do their best at work,” Nelson says. “Sometimes, they just get caught up in a negative work culture.”


Find jobs | Post your résumé and EMSI Reveal the Most Concentrated Industries by Metro »

Ever feel like the jobs you’re looking for are all located in another city? To help workers get an idea of where the jobs are, Job or and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. looked at some of the most concentrated industries for each of the top ten most populous metropolitan areas in Canada.


A region’s location quotient, which is a measurement concentration, provides a representation of what industries are unique to a given region. Location quotient is found by taking the percent of the total employment in the region an industry makes up and dividing it by the percent of total national employment the industry makes up. So, hypothetically, if bakeries made up 10 percent of employment in Toronto, and 5 percent of employment at the national level, the location quotient for bakeries in Toronto would be 2.


The higher the location quotient, the more concentrated the industry is in that area. A location quotient of 1 means the industry is exactly as concentrated in the selected region as it is nationally (i.e. the industry isn’t particularly unique to the region), and a location quotient of 2 means it’s twice as concentrated locally as it is nationally.


“Much like vibrant local cultures, Canada’s biggest cities are each home to a local economy that is uniquely theirs,” said Mark Bania, Director of CareerBuilder Canada. “These variations help drive economic growth, foster innovation through specialization, and can even factor into the local culture and personality.”


Toronto, ON

  1. Funds and other financial vehicles
  • Location Quotient – 2.75
  • 2014 Jobs – 3,604
  1. Data processing, hosting, and related services
  • Location Quotient – 2.63
  • 2014 Jobs – 8,849
  1. Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investment and related activities
  • Location Quotient – 2.23
  • 2014 Jobs – 47,604
  1. Personal and household goods merchant wholesalers
  • Location Quotient – 2.05
  • 2014 Jobs – 37,939
  1. Motion picture and sound recording industries
  • Location Quotient – 1.85
  • 2014 Jobs – 10,611


Montreal, QC

  1. Clothing manufacturing
  • Location Quotient – 3.07
  • 2014 Jobs – 7,006
  1. Personal and household goods merchant wholesalers
  • Location Quotient – 2.64
  • 2014 Jobs – 31,810
  1. Motion picture and sound recording industries
  • Location Quotient – 2.08
  • 2014 Jobs – 7,800
  1. Electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing
  • Location Quotient – 1.84
  • 2014 Jobs – 7,937
  1. Textile mills
  • Location Quotient – 1.76
  • 2014 Jobs – 1,530


Vancouver, BC

  1. Water transportation
  • Location Quotient – 3.92
  • 2014 Jobs – 3,481
  1. Air transportation
  • Location Quotient – 2.46
  • 2014 Jobs – 13,225
  1. Warehousing and storage
  • Location Quotient – 1.92
  • 2014 Jobs – 6,031
  1. Motion picture and sound recording industries
  • Location Quotient – 1.81
  • 2014 Jobs – 4,231
  1. Data processing, hosting, and related services
  • Location Quotient – 1.73
  • 2014 Jobs – 2,365


Ottawa, ON

  1. Monetary authorities – central bank
  • Location Quotient – 18.86
  • 2014 Jobs – 1,718
  1. Federal government public administration
  • Location Quotient – 7.93
  • 2014 Jobs – 120,465
  1. Computer and electronic product manufacturing
  • Location Quotient – 2.47
  • 2014 Jobs – 6,411
  1. Heritage institutions
  • Location Quotient – 1.75
  • 2014 Jobs – 1,574
  1. Postal service
  • Location Quotient – 1.62
  • 2014 Jobs – 4,735


Calgary, AB

  1. Oil and gas extraction
  • Location Quotient – 10.27
  • 2014 Jobs – 29,860
  1. Pipeline transportation
  • Location Quotient – 9.66
  • 2014 Jobs – 2,895
  1. Petroleum and petroleum products merchant wholesalers
  • Location Quotient – 4.84
  • 2014 Jobs – 3,360
  1. Support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction
  • Location Quotient – 3.98
  • 2014 Jobs – 18,562
  1. Rail transportation
  • Location Quotient – 2.27
  • 2014 Jobs – 3,919


Edmonton, AB

  1. Pipeline transportation
  • Location Quotient – 5.09
  • 2014 Jobs – 1,448
  1. Support activities for mining, oil and gas extraction
  • Location Quotient – 3.17
  • 2014 Jobs – 14,045
  1. Heavy and civil engineering
  • Location Quotient – 2.77
  • 2014 Jobs – 19,833
  1. Rental and leasing services
  • Location Quotient – 1.94
  • 2014 Jobs – 5,587
  1. Petroleum and coal product manufacturing
  • Location Quotient – 1.86
  • 2014 Jobs – 1,668


Quebec, QC

  1. Provincial and territorial public administration
  • Location Quotient – 4.24
  • 2014 Jobs – 31,886
  1. Insurance carriers and related activities
  • Location Quotient – 2.83
  • 2014 Jobs – 15,488
  1. Furniture and home furnishings stores
  • Location Quotient – 1.44
  • 2014 Jobs – 2,762
  1. Electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing
  • Location Quotient – 1.40
  • 2014 Jobs – 1,334
  1. Transit and ground passenger transportation
  • Location Quotient – 1.39
  • 2014 Jobs – 4,611


Winnipeg, MB

  1. Rail transportation
  • Location Quotient – 5.24
  • 2014 Jobs – 5,163
  1. Farm product merchant wholesalers
  • Location Quotient – 3.80
  • 2014 Jobs – 1,231
  1. Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investment and related activities
  • Location Quotient – 2.35
  • 2014 Jobs – 7,453
  1. Insurance carriers and related activities
  • Location Quotient – 2.12
  • 2014 Jobs – 11,877
  1. Air transportation
  • Location Quotient – 1.97
  • 2014 Jobs – 3,846


Hamilton, ON

  1. Primary metal manufacturing
  • Location Quotient – 6.32
  • 2014 Jobs – 7,034
  1. Building material and supplies merchant wholesalers
  • Location Quotient – 2.11
  • 2014 Jobs – 5,119
  1. Couriers and messengers
  • Location Quotient – 1.95
  • 2014 Jobs – 1,818
  1. Fabricated metal product manufacturing
  • Location Quotient – 1.55
  • 2014 Jobs – 4,655
  1. Ambulatory health care services
  • Location Quotient – 1.50
  • 2014 Jobs – 12,906



Kitchener, ON

  1. Computer and electronic product manufacturing
  • Location Quotient – 8.56
  • 2014 Jobs – 8,816
  1. Insurance carriers and related activities
  • Location Quotient – 2.98
  • 2014 Jobs – 10,112
  1. Transportation equipment manufacturing
  • Location Quotient – 2.70
  • 2014 Jobs – 7,331
  1. Fabricated metal product manufacturing
  • Location Quotient – 2.60
  • 2014 Jobs – 6,497
  1. Motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories merchant wholesalers
  • Location Quotient – 2.51
  • 2014 Jobs – 2,533


EMSI.jpgAbout EMSI

Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., a CareerBuilder company, turns labor market data into useful information that helps organizations understand the connection between economies, people, and work. Using sound economic principles and good data, EMSI builds user-friendly services that help educational institutions, workforce planners, and regional developers build a better workforce and improve the economic conditions in their regions. For more information, visit


Career-Builder-LogoPNGAbout is a leading job site in Canada. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), the Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), powers the career centers for more than 250 Canadian partners that reach national, local, industry and niche audiences. Job seekers visit every month to search for opportunities by industry, location, company and job type, sign up for automatic e-mail job alerts, and get advice on job hunting and career management. For more information about products and services, visit


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How much does your major matter? Not as much as you think »

Kate Silver, writer Degree little to do with job

When Marie Artim considers potential hires for 8,000 positions each year with the management training program at Enterprise Holdings Inc., she’s not necessarily looking for people who opted for a business or management career track in college. Rather, Artim, who is vice president for talent acquisition with Enterprise, says she’s more concerned with the goals, skills and experiences of each person.


“We don’t really look at the major so much as what someone is looking to do career-wise, and also what they’ve done along the way,” she says.


While the program has a definite business slant, Artim says that she offers positions to many liberal arts majors, communications majors, math majors and others who graduated without a clear career track. “We really look for people that are interested in learning to run a business, they’re entrepreneurial in nature, they want to deal with people,” she explains. “It’s a training program, so it allows us to really kind of open that up at the top and welcome all different backgrounds and majors.”


Communicating experience is key

This hiring strategy is just one example of what can matter to employers beyond a candidate’s education. Artim says she values “soft skills,” including a proven history of teamwork, customer service experience, project management, leadership, multitasking and critical thinking. But it’s not just important to have those skills. It’s vital that a prospective employee can communicate what he brings to the job.

“Practice and really spend some time getting help understanding how to best articulate those transferable skills,” she recommends. “That’s what we find the most, is that the history major doesn’t know how to articulate the things that they’ve done that would be good for them in a world like ours because they don’t know how to connect the dots.”


Although it might not feel like it to every job-hunting recent grad, there is a wealth of opportunities for students who opted for a major that doesn’t feed into a direct career path, according to Mimi Collins. Collins is the director of communications with the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a professional association based in Bethlehem, Pa., that connects colleges with companies that are interested in hiring new graduates. She says that retail, the service industry, insurance, teachingmarketing, information services, writing, editing, graphic design and sales are just a few of the common industries she sees hiring recent grads. And the hiring process, she adds, goes far beyond academic record.

“With anyone, there are so many factors at play. No. 1 is the personal qualifications of the candidate,” she says. “There’s so much beyond just major.”


NACE’s research, which hones in only on pre-graduation data, finds that students hired while still in college generally had two things in common: They held a paid internship, and they made extensive use of the career services center on campus. “Students who use things like the interview practice workshops with the career center seem to do better than their counterparts who haven’t done that,” Collins says.


In-demand skills can pay offG

Other research shows that acquiring technical skills can increase the appeal of a new graduate to potential employers and even increase starting salary. Burning Glass, a labor market analytics company in Boston, analyzes a database of jobs to determine what’s trending, where the emerging jobs are and what skills are needed to get them. According to Burning Glass CEO Matthew Sigelman, recent research has shown that non-career-aligned majors have access to more job openings if they learn a technical skill or pursue an area of specialization.

“What we find is that the core foundational skills that somebody accrues through a liberal arts program, things like analytic skills, research skills, writing skills, are on the top of pretty much every list,” Sigelman says. “Here’s the thing though: Employers are also looking for graduates to bring with them a range of more specific work skills or technical skills. So people who don’t have those are at a disadvantage in the job market.”


Sigelman’s advice to college students is to take advantage of their college career center early on to find out what skills are in demand. He said students can also figure this out on their own by studying job boards to see what kinds of skills hiring companies are after.


He also emphasizes the value of an internship. “If you want to be able to convince employers when you graduate that you’ve got those kinds of skills, it’s good to be able to put them on your resume,” he says. “It’s even better to be able to say that I’ve done that work with those skills.”

Kate Silver writes for This article was originally published on


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The Career Advice to Take – and the Advice to Ignore »

Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder writerInternship set career path


Career advice has serious implications if you follow it – either for the better or for the worse. This means that good advice can advance you to the next step, and bad advice can sabotage your professional life.


The advice to follow

Good advice either brings clarity to a situation or reveals all the factors involved in a decision. For your career, this often means looking at the big picture or accepting the conditions of your current circumstances.

Sarah Skirpan, media strategist for Dick Jones Communications says that she’s received two helpful pieces of advice that have stuck with her throughout her career:

  • “On my first day of college, in my first class, my professor told the class, ‘In four years, when you leave this institution, there will be millions of other job seekers with the same degrees applying for the same jobs. Spend your four years here doing something that will make you stand out.’ Although he was speaking to our years in college, the same holds true for every job I’ve had since graduation. With that perspective, I’ve spent the past 12 years developing myself professionally so I can stand out from my peers.


  • “I had a co-worker who got along really well with her boss and considered her a friend. And when my co-worker was offered another position at a new company – with more money, she was hesitant to accept it, because she didn’t want to disappoint her current boss or leave her in a scramble to replace her. Our friend reminded her that her current boss, although very nice, would let her go without a second thought if it were good for business. She said, ‘Business is business. You can’t worry about hurting your boss’s feelings, because if layoffs come around, she wouldn’t worry about your feelings or circumstances when she shows you the door.’”

Taylor Schulte, certified financial planner and founder/wealth adviser of Define Financial,shares some of the best tips she’s received when it comes to finding the right job and furthering your education:

  • “Don’t look for the perfect job. Accept an offer that fits within your general guidelines, give it 120 percent and network within your new company and your new list of contacts. You might be surprised who you will meet that will lead you to your next role and potentially your dream job.


  • “[Don’t go] back to school just because you are having a difficult time finding a job and don’t know what else to do. Furthering your education is great but it’s also very expensive and time consuming. Unless you have a very targeted plan for continuing your education, I think there are better uses of your time and money than getting another degree.”

The tips to turn away Workplace fears_MSN

Not everybody’s meant to give advice, but people still do. However, when it comes to your career, bad advice can have a real impact on your life. Nearly six in 10 executives surveyed by The Creative Group say they have received bad career advice from co-workers. Another 54 percent have been steered in the wrong direction by their bosses.


Survey respondents were asked to describe the worst career advice they’ve ever received. For many, this was the recommendation to play it safe. Answers included:

  • “I was advised to keep quiet when there were problems.”
  • “They told me to stick with what I know, but all growth is the result of developing and learning, especially in this economy.”
  • “I was told to look for safe opportunities rather than striving for challenges.”
  • “They told me I was as high as I was going to go in this organization and should stay put.”

Others were encouraged to make overly risky moves:

  • “I had someone tell me to walk into the CEO’s office and say, ‘We need to talk about my salary today.’”
  • “Someone told me to jump into a start-up company, and six months later the firm went out of business.”

These next professionals were presented with guidance that benefitted the advice giver, rather than them:

  • “My former boss discouraged me from going to work for a competitor, saying that I wouldn’t last, but I did. I later found out that he had made a wager that I wouldn’t join that firm, and that was why he discouraged me to work there.”
  • “A co-worker wanted me to take her job so she could take a new position. It wasn’t a good idea. I wasn’t ready to fill that job.”


Learning how to decipher the good advice and ignore the bad is itself a huge accomplishment for your career. To do so, consider the person giving you the advice and their own interests, as well as how often their advice is sound. Then carefully review the context the advice was given in and how it directly or indirectly applies to your situation. Finally, it’s up to you to decide if that advice is right for you to follow.


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Email etiquette: Bad habits to break and new rules to follow »

By Robert Halfinbox icon


Email is the most common form of office communication — used more than meetings, phone calls or instant messages. But precisely because it’s such a workhorse, email is prone to abuse. Professionals sometimes get lazy and allow bad habits to creep in. Even worse, emails gone awry or astray can leave you looking unprofessional.

You’ve been using email for years, but are you doing it right? Here are some bad habits to watch out for — and break right away.


Not proofreading

A work email is just a business communiqué sent electronically, yet people frequently don’t bother to check for errors. Sloppy messages reflect poorly on the writer, so make it a habit to reread every email — no matter who it’s to or what it’s about. This is especially important if your email has an autocorrect function. Rereading also helps reduce the chances you’ll forget an attachment or send something you’ll later regret.


Being too informal

The tone of the message should reflect your relationship with the recipient. However, watch your level of informality lest you come across as unprofessional. Be judicious in your use of exclamation points, emoticons, colored text, SMS shorthand (“u” for “you,” “ur” for “your” or “you’re”), all lowercase or caps and fancy fonts.


Going too long

Lengthy blocks of text are hard on the eye – better to break them into short paragraphs. Bullet point and numbered lists are also easier to digest. Use bold and italics — but sparingly — to highlight important parts of your message.


Going too short

On the other extreme, avoid one-word replies. For example, if you get an email that requires a simple answer, don’t write just “yes” or “no,” which some may interpret as abrupt. Tap out at least a complete sentence and add a signoff. Why? Tone is difficult to convey in writing. Therefore, the shorter the response, the more the recipient can come away with an unintended meaning.


Sending megafiles

Attaching 10MB files is a breach of email etiquette. Some servers don’t handle large attachments well, and your huge .pdf, .ppt or .mov file either won’t go through or could wreak havoc on the recipient’s inbox. Better to use an online service such as DropBox, Hightail (formerly YouSendIt) or DropSend, or your company’s internal file transfer program.


Hitting “reply all” unnecessarily

Emails are a great way to communicate with a large group. Unfortunately, that’s also one of their downfalls. Email storms start with a message to the entire list, snowball when several people reply-all, and really get out of hand when others reply-all asking to be taken off the list or telling everyone to stop. A simple email etiquette rule: The more recipients there are, the more careful you should be before hitting “reply all.”


Mixing work and personal

Using company email for personal reasons is not only annoying, but it’s also poor workplace etiquette. If you have jokes, memes or video links you’re just dying to share, send them to your co-workers’ personal email addresses from your personal account. Above all, never send NSFW (not safe for work) content via work email. Transmitting racy or objectionable messages could land you in hot water and possibly cost you your job.

Now that you know which bad habits to break, here are two new email etiquette rules to follow.


Make the subject line countDos and donts of online search

An email with “Hello” as the subject says nothing and might even be filtered out as spam by some systems. If a message is worth writing, it deserves a descriptive header. If you want the recipient to revise the Q3 report by Friday, a subject line of “Please revise Q3 report by Friday” is much more effective than just “Report.”


Write with authority

Some office workers want to avoid coming across as brusque or demanding. But in their effort not to offend, their emails sound weak and apologetic. If you want to be taken more seriously, make it a habit to write courteously yet with authority:

  • Don’t apologize when asking for something you have every right to ask for.
  • Be sparing in your usage of “I feel …” or “I think …” Get to the point rather than dance around it.
  • Don’t automatically close with “Thanks” unless you’re asking someone to do something. “Regards” is a polite, professional and neutral signoff.


Basic email etiquette boils down to being professional and putting yourself in your recipients’ shoes. Treat your emails as you would business letters, which they are, and you can be confident your messages will be signed, sealed and delivered professionally.


Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 400 staffing and consulting locations worldwide. For more information about our professional services, visit For additional career advice, read our blog at or follow us on social media at

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QUIZ: Are you enthusiastic, or are you a kiss-up? »

Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder writerQualified for job


Do you use a lot of exclamation marks when you send an email?! Is the status report of every project you’re working on “Great!”? Do you have a handshake that could give whiplash to someone’s wrist if you’re not careful?

Some people are naturally more energetic, positive and enthusiastic than others, and then there are the people who channel those emotions and actions into advantageous relationships, also known as kiss-ups. While it’s fine to be a hard worker and bring your enthusiasm to the role, you risk your reputation and relationships with co-workers if your behavior more closely resembles manipulation, and nobody wins in that scenario. Avoid the drama and take this quiz to find out if you’re simply enthusiastic or acting like a kiss-up.


1. Have you ever brought in coffee or snacks for your boss?

  • A. Yes, but they were also for the department to enjoy.
  • B. No, that’s not part of my job.
  • C. Yes, every Monday morning I bring her favorite coffee and muffin from the café across town.


2. How often do you volunteer for the projects nobody wants?

  • A. I’ve stepped up and taken projects that weren’t my favorite — but it felt good to get the work done.
  • B. Never…other people usually end up taking them and I’m fine with that.
  • C. As often as I can! I know my boss will notice and reward my efforts.


3. Who do you usually talk to at the office holiday party?

  • A. My co-workers, the boss, my co-workers’ guests, the cleaning staff, the caterers…
  • B. The same people I talk to at work and maybe their guests.
  • C. My boss and her husband, her boss, human resources and any other important power players.


4. Do you ever stay late or work weekends if there’s a bigger workload?

  • A. Sure! If the work can’t get done on normal hours, I don’t mind taking the extra time to do it right.
  • B. I’ve had to, but I wouldn’t volunteer my time if I could get the deadline moved to accommodate the workload.
  • C. One time I didn’t while my boss was on vacation, but most of the time I’m the first to volunteer to stay late.


5. Your boss made a major financial mistake and the department is in serious trouble. What do you do?

  • A. If the mistake can be fixed, I’ll try to help. Otherwise, there’s not much I can do.
  • B. Nothing — it wasn’t my fault, right?
  • C. I confidentially tell my boss that I can take the blame for this mistake if it means I’ll be rewarded for my loyalty later.


Mostly A’s: You’re enthusiastic The energy you bring to your job is contagious, and your co-workers are likely glad to have you around. From helping with unsavory projects to being social at company parties, you’re a strong member of the team and when you’re not around, people miss your presence. There’s never a quiet brainstorm session when you’re in attendance, and waiting at the microwave in the break room isn’t too awkward, thanks to your steady stream of conversation. All in all, your enthusiasm is a valuable asset to your career. Just make sure your emails aren’t solely punctuated by exclamation marks.


Mostly B’s: You’re a killjoy You don’t need to have a smile on your face every day to do a good job at work, but your morose attitude isn’t doing you any favors. It doesn’t seem like you’re networking within your company or outside of it, and your refusal to lend an extra helping hand is likely preventing you from establishing new relationships or earning the trust of your co-workers. Remember that extra work and achievements are the way to move forward in your career, and the attitude that you have during those accomplishments is what sets you apart — for better or for worse.


Mostly C’s: You’re a kiss-up It’s great that you’re so eager to help a team member or be there to support your boss, but it’s clear that you’re out for the approval of upper management instead of letting your achievements speak for themselves. In fact, what achievements do you have? If you’re more memorable for always standing in the boss’s shadow than for the successful project you headed last quarter, it’s time to rethink your priorities and establish a game plan that puts you and your hard work front and center.


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When your co-worker earns more than you »

Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder writerSalary


Though a debate is growing around whether companies should make pay information transparent, the status quo is currently to keep individual pay a private matter between the employee and HR. This is why it can come as quite a surprise if you happen to learn that a co-worker whom you thought you held the same rank as is actually earning more than you.

So what are your options besides feeling inadequately compensated? Several HR and pay experts weigh in on how to change your compensation, improve your career path and the steps you should avoid taking.


Don’t turn to your co-workers for information

If your first instinct is to ask your co-worker what qualifies him to earn more, or to ask other co-workers how your pay is determined, stop right there. Deb LaMere, vice president of HR strategy and employee engagement at human capital management services and technology firm Ceridian, says, “Speaking with co-workers about their pay level in relation to your own often results in negative consequences. This type of conversation can lead to resentment and anger, effectively changing relationships for the worse between co-workers, project teams and possibly with direct management.”

While transparent pay information would resolve the secrecy issue that can trigger problems at work, it holds true that compensation levels can vary widely for valid reasons. “There are many factors to consider when it comes to evaluating individual pay, especially length and type of experience,” LaMere adds. “Having a salary comparison conversation with a co-worker is not constructive to understanding ones’ own pay rate and possibly influencing changes to individual pay and compensation levels.”


Research compensation trends and standards

Instead of turning to your co-workers for information, rely on outside sources and garner as many points of data as possible. “Lots of information is readily available through salary surveys and websites, industry associations, recruiters/headhunters who place candidates in your industry and space and through actively networking with colleagues and developing real meaningful professional relationships… so that delicate topics like salary, bonus and benefits will be discussed openly and shared comfortably,” says Roy Cohen, career coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival’s Guide.” “You also need to be absolutely clear on what the numbers represent. Are they for equivalent positions and for equivalent performance?”


Prove your worth

Once you have a well-researched idea of the pay level you could and should be on, gather evidence for your boss that echoes those numbers. “One option is to volunteer for and take on visible, challenging initiatives and then manage them successfully,” Cohen says. “That is just half the battle and it is often where the process breaks down. While a project is underway and once it is completed, key stakeholders must be made aware of your significant contributions both during and after…the gift that keeps on giving. It is helpful to have a mentor within the company who can advocate for you and enhance your visibility as well as serve as a sounding board for advice on how to approach your boss.”

Whether you have office backup or you’re presenting on behalf of yourself, it’s important to prove to your boss that a pay raise is deserved because of your merits, not that you’ve simply learned of the pay discrepancy.


Take it to your boss A

You’ve done the research and ensured that your request will be backed up by proof of your hard work. So how do you begin this conversation with your boss? Katie Donovan, a salary and career negotiation consultant, equal pay advocate and founder of Equal Pay Negotiations LLC, says, “Start the process of discussing a raise or salary adjustment with your direct manager. I recommend asking for help, not demanding a raise. Say something like, ‘I recently discovered that I am paid below the market value for this job. What can we do to rectify it?’ This makes it a collaborate discussion and gives management the opportunity to come up with a solution, which might be better than you anticipated.”

Heading into the meeting, “bring with you the research you did on pay for the job so you can discuss your research,” Donovan says. “Also, be prepared to highlight your contributions to the company as reasons you deserve to be paid on the high end of the pay range for the job. If you can, compare it to the lesser results of co-workers. Very effective reasons are contributions that saved the company money or generated revenue for the company. Do not expect a solution in this first meeting but do ask for a response in a certain time so this does not drag on forever. Something like ‘Can you get back to me by Friday on this?’”

Negotiating pay is a tough part of advancing in your career, but receiving the compensation that you deserve is well worth the time.


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5 ways your job posting is turning off jobseekers »

Part time jobs 

Are you struggling to attract candidates for vacancies or get applicants of the standard you require? If so, it could be time to take a closer look at your jobs ads. Read on for five common mistakes recruiters make and how to write jobs ads that stand out from the crowd.


1. You don’t give specifics

You (hopefully) wouldn’t buy a vehicle from an advert that read, “Nice car, four doors, red,” yet a lot of employers give a similarly brief description of the role they want to fill.

Recruiters who think less is more are shooting themselves in the foot, according to Corinne Mills, managing director of Personal Career Management and author of “Career Coach.” “Sparsely worded job adverts make it difficult for candidates to see whether the role is a good fit for them or not,” she explains. “Provide as much information as you can to encourage suitable candidates and dissuade those who don’t fit the bill.”

Leah Freeman, recruiter and team manager at PFJ Media Recruitment, agrees, adding that it’s a common complaint amongst the applicants she sees.

“Lots of candidates at the moment are finding that job ads are very generic and so they aren’t able to tailor their CVs appropriately,” she says.


2. You don’t disclose salary

Not only do some adverts only offer a brief description, some don’t mention salary either – a sure sign that employers think they’re benefitting from a buyer’s market when it comes to finding staff. You might think that playing it coy will give you a broader range of candidates to choose from, but not disclosing compensation can have the opposite effect.

“Adverts which don’t indicate a salary level are a turn-off for candidates, as they won’t know whether it’s at an appropriate level for them or not,” Mills says. “Try to include at least a salary range to give them some indication.”

Freeman agrees, adding that a lack of salary information is a common gripe amongst jobseekers. “I talk to candidates every day, and the thing that frustrates them most is companies that don’t advertise salary,” she says.

If you don’t want to mention numbers for commercial reasons, consider indicating whether the package is “competitive” or even “generous” in comparison to the market rate. If the package isn’t competitive, be sure to promote non-monetary benefits, such as flexible or remote working or the opportunity for quick promotion.


3. The job title is misleading

Most industries use a common set of terms to describe roles, so make sure the job title is matched to the actual role. You may be looking for a “marketing ninja”, “brand warrior” or “computer programming magician,” but how many candidates will be searching for those terms?

Similarly, mix up your “Web developer” and your “Web designer,” and your posting could turn out to be an expensive waste of time.

“Job titles vary hugely, so be aware that candidates may miss your job if they’re using different job title search criteria,” Mills explains. “Wherever possible, use a commonly used job title, or make reference to alternative job search titles within the job posting so that your job will surface when they search for vacancies online.”

And if you’re looking to hire someone with specialist skills, research the market thoroughly and get the terminology right.


4. You’re being too fussy

Of course you want to find the right person for the job, but including an exhaustive list of requirements is a sure way to turn off candidates.

John Lees, career coach and author of “Secrets of Resilient People,” suggests stripping the advert back to the core skills and experience required and then cherry picking your preferred candidates for an interview.

“Don’t over-sell the role, asking for qualifications and experience you don’t really need,” he warns. “Ask yourself what really matters to making the job successful, and get that list down to a maximum of eight must-haves, which should feature in the job ad and the interview plan.”


5. You don’t think big enough

To really sell the role, give candidates an idea of the kind of projects they can expect to work on, the responsibilities they will have and the contribution they will make to the company.

“Today’s candidates are looking for career advancement, not just a job, so tell them about the opportunities for promotion and training and development you can offer,” Lees advises. “Give candidates an idea of the kind of future they could have with the organisation, if successful in the role, and they will be far more likely to apply.”


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How to call meetings that are worth everyone’s time »

Good bossBoring, circular and unproductive meetings are all too common in the workplace. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Before you call your next team huddle or cross-department gathering, read these tips on how to run a meeting everyone will be glad they attended.

1. Be prepared

When it comes to holding meetings, it pays to think like a boy scout.

“Planning is essential,” says David Shindler, performance coach and author of “Learning To Leap.” “Who needs to be there? What is their role at the meeting? When? Where? What is the focus? What needs communicating in advance? Ensure both the task and people’s needs are going to be met.”

Corinne Mills, managing director of Personal Career Management and author of “Career Coach,” also advocates establishing clarity about the meeting from the outset.

”Meetings need to be purposeful with a clear objective communicated in advance,“ she says. “This will keep everyone on track and avoid the ’mission creep’’ that often results from poorly-managed meetings.”

2. Hold different meetings for different purposes

Meetings that veer off topic or get hijacked by an attendee with an agenda of his own can be frustrating – but there are methods you can use to keep yours on target with laser-guided accuracy.

The best time to start laying down the law is before you send out attendance requests.

“Hold it for the right reasons – be absolutely clear about the aim and hold different meetings for different purposes such as deciding strategy, sharing information or creating ideas,” Shindler advises.

Mills suggests heading off potential trouble before it can start. “Tackle any sensitive issues or tricky individuals before the meeting takes place,” she says, “especially if there is a danger that they could derail it.”

Consider having a quiet word with any challenging attendees, perhaps to ease their concerns and reassure them that the issue on their mind will be addressed at a later session.

3. Be entertainingS

Who said productive meetings had to be dull? Raise the energy in the room and you’ll get more out of any meeting, especially if you’re leading an idea-generating session.

“Fill your meetings with passion and fun,” Shindler advises. “Being focused, disciplined and action-oriented doesn’t mean being boring.”

He recommends keeping the mood light in order to get a positive result from disagreements by harnessing the creative tension. “Creativity can come from healthy contention if managed well,” he explains. “Don’t be opinionated, deal with the issue not the person, be curious, be flexible and bring enthusiasm to the table.”

He advises using creative facilitation techniques (such as ice-breakers, energising tasks and brainstorms) and thinking creatively in terms of meeting location – getting out of the office can help people step outside their normal mindset and see old problems from a new perspective.

4. Work with the group dynamic

Getting a meeting going and keeping it running smoothly is an underestimated skill, but fortunately not a difficult one to develop with research and practise. “The chair is the guardian of the process,” Shindler says.

Mills agrees, adding that a good chair will strive to get the best contribution from each attendee, even if some are naturally more reticent than others. “Encourage contributions from attendees so that they feel they can help shape decisions and therefore their presence is useful,” she advises.

Pay attention to the group dynamic. If there is an individual who is dominating, stop her and encourage members who are withdrawn or seem bored to join the discussion. In larger meetings, it can help to divide into smaller groups for brainstorming sessions.

5. Keep control

On the day of the meeting, ensure that key decision makers can be present. If a delegate is attending in their place, make sure that person has the authority to make decisions. It’s better to postpone the meeting than waste everyone’s time.

If you need to hand out information and reports, consider sending this by email before the meeting – standing in front of the room and presenting takes up valuable time.

“Remember to delegate the job of recording the minutes and actions, so you can concentrate on facilitating,” David adds. “Or the owner of the meeting may choose to delegate the role of facilitator in order to focus on content.”

David also suggests moving any other business to the start and keeping meetings on time by ending five minutes early.

After all, when was the last time someone exited a meeting only to complain it was too short?


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