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Monday, July 21, 2014

Have You Ever Lied On Your Resume?

You're writing your resume and decide to say, 
"I was responsible for growing the business from 100k to 2 million dollars in 1 year." 
Impressive. But, you didn't mention that your company bought another company with 1 million in sales or that you worked within a team of 10. Is this an embellishment or a lie?   

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"When Do Exaggerations and Misstatements Cross the Line?"
When public figures are caught embellishing their accomplishments or qualifications, whether by exaggeration or misstatement, people everywhere express outrage. Indeed, as more and more politicians, CEOs and other big names these days try to make amends for fudging their resumes, incorrectly relating the details of a story or otherwise playing fast and loose with the facts, the general reaction from an increasingly jaded public is: "What were they thinking?"
As it turns out, what they were thinking isn't much different from everyone else.

Embellishment is part of human nature, experts say, and almost everyone is guilty of it at one time or another.

Left unchecked, however, exaggerations that seemed innocuous at first could result in serious, potentially career-ending consequences. "[Getting caught] can be devastating; I think it can ruin a person," says Alan Strudler, a professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton. That's unfortunate, he adds, "because embellishment is just a human frailty. But once you're caught in a deception, even if it's a common deception, people won't trust you. And once the bond of trust is lost, it's terribly hard to recover."
    In today's work environment, where no one comes in for a job interview without being Googled first -- and where small talk in the elevator or comments made at a staff meeting are just a Twitter post away from reaching a global audience  --  it's easier than ever to get caught in an exaggeration, Wharton experts and others note.

    But the temptation to embellish has also never been greater, they say, as recession-weary workers feel pressured to justify their worth and a 24-hour news cycle demands that leaders have an immediate, sound-bite-ready answer for everything. 

    "The questions come when something happens that breaks the social facade that we're all honest and we're all trustworthy," says G. Richard Shell, a legal studies and business ethics professor at Wharton. "When someone is revealed to have done something selfish, there's a crack in the facade and then everyone has to figure out what that means. Does the crack reveal some sort of venal person, or does it reveal the same sort of hapless person we all are underneath?"

    Finding the Line
    The type of self-deception that most people employ falls in the middle of a spectrum occupied at one end by those who are complete truth-tellers, and as a consequence are often considered "rude and socially inept -- think of a small child telling a dinner guest that she's fat," says Shell -- and at the other end of the spectrum by pathological liars, who occupy a fantasy world that they believe to be real.
    "Self deception is something that everyone is prone to," Shell notes. "There's a lot of research that says if we lack any positive illusions then that is a sign of depression.... We like to think of ourselves as being more important, more skilled and more experienced than we are. When a test comes, and someone asks what your experience is, or what your basis for stating something is, then it's tempting to make something up." Indeed, a 2003 report by the Society of Human Resources Management found that 53% of all job applications contain some kind of inaccurate information. 

    Although only 8% of respondents to a 2008 CareerBuilder survey admitted to lying on their resumes, nearly half of the hiring managers queried said they had caught a prospective hire fabricating some aspect of his or her qualifications. Almost 60% of employers said they automatically dismissed applicants caught making misstatements about their backgrounds.

    The challenge, experts say, is not to cross the line from harmless puffery to a more damaging form of elaboration. In some cases, the limits of what is accepted and what isn't are clear-cut -- few would condone amplifications that break the law, for example, or cause others serious harm. Equally prone to reproach are cases in which company executives or leaders within an organization are found to have included degrees they never earned, or positions they never held, on their resumes, according to Wharton operations and information management professor Maurice Schweitzer." 

    To see complete article and listen to audio visit:The Wharton School


    8 Tips On How to Make a Personal Connection with Potential Employers

    Guest Career Coach contributor: Mary Salvino is a highly credentialed career and business management strategist with many years of senior business management experience in both profit and not-for-profit sectors. Mary is also a freelance writer and the Senior Consultant for both SMART Career Planning and Seize the Day Consulting.Contact Mary @ e-mail .

    How to Make a Personal Connection with Potential Employers:

    You are an outstanding candidate. You know that any company or organization would be lucky to have you on their staff. Unfortunately, it isn't always enough to be just good. You also have to sell yourself and your talents/ abilities before you will have the chance to demonstrate exactly what you are worth.

    To be successful in securing your next opportunity you will have to create a connection with the HR department and the hiring manager. You can do this by bringing your personality to the interview.

    Anyone who has taken any formal sales training at all will tell you that, “People buy from people that they like and with whom they can relate.” As a job seeker, you are in the business of selling yourself and your services. Therefore, it is critical that you take the time to create a relationship when you are given the opportunity or run the risk of losing the opportunity to someone else.

    Here are some tips that can help you develop that special rapport with potential employers:

    1. Model your interaction with potential employers after ‘the old corner store’. Do you remember the days of shopping at a local business where the owner knew your name and the names of those in your family? Try to emulate that experience during the interview. Do your research on the company and those who will be interviewing you and make mental notes to remember one or two details about the background of those who are interviewing you and work those details into the conversation. You can find ways to connect through common acquaintances, clubs, schools, or professional organizations

    2. The best interviews are conversations; be sure to ask questions. Before you launch into a hard sell, take time to probe the hiring manager on the subject of the company’s problems and/or future goals. Ask questions that will help you find out what the hiring manager is really looking for. Once you know that information, it is much easier to talk about how you will be able to solve the problem and/or satisfy the needs of the company or organization. Probing is fundamental to relationship building, and the more skilled you are at utilizing open and closed ended questions, the stronger the relationship you will be able to create.

    3. Court your potential employers. Selling your skills and abilities is a lot like dating insofar as you will have to woo your potential employers and hope that they pick you over all of the other candidates out there. There is no magic bullet with regard to the number of résumés that you will be sending out before you will be granted an interview, so to get a potential employer to call you before they call another candidate, it is best that you find a way to grab their attention before your competition does. Attention grabbing tools include the following:
    Authoring industry specific articles or blogs
    Making thoughtful comments on other people’s blogs or in other forms of social media
    Taking the time to forward an interesting article to people in the same industry
    Memberships in professional organizations

    4. Talk about yourself. Reveal something about yourself. Just be sure it is something that your potential employer may find interesting, can relate to, and isn't too personal. It is pivotal to connect in a real way. In fact, according to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, if you share a birthday or a birthplace with someone, you are more likely to feel good about the connection.

    5. Talk openly about the big white elephant in the room. Take some time to address what some employers my view as potential barriers to hiring you. Some employers are reluctant to hire people who may have issues with daycare, are mature candidates, or have special accommodations that need to be met. By addressing potential barriers to employment and openly talking about the big white elephant in the room, it often puts potential employers at ease.

    6. Listen to your prospective employer with both ears. There is nothing more insulting than feeling that are being ignoring the conversation at hand. When you ask a question, be sure to listen to the response. When you try to formulate a response while the other person is speaking, you run the risk of getting the full picture of what they are telling you. You need the entire picture so that you can address potential issues, and offer suggestions and solutions to problems that may not come up during a ‘normal’ interview that has been salted with ‘typical’ interview questions. This is especially true when you are interviewing with smaller companies where the business owners where more than one hat.

    7. Step away from your computer and smartphone. While it is often much quicker and less stressful to email a potential employer, face-to-face meetings and networking are far more effective in creating meaningful connections. These meetings are still among the best ways candidates can establish relationships with decision makers. Communications should not be limited to email and phone—though both are important follow-up methods.

    8. Be patient with your job search. Like many important things in life, it takes patience to find the right fit. Fight the urge to rush the process. Take the time to explain how hiring you will benefit the company. Never make a potential employer feel rushed or hustled. Believe that they are going to make the best decision they can and that they will base that decision on the information they have. The reality is that potential employers are privy to information that they are not willing to share with people who are essentially strangers. For them, a bad hire is far worse than not hiring anyone at all and in this economy, mitigating risk is critical to the company’s future.

    Did you find this article informative or useful? Please share the article and your thoughts below.

    Dramatically Improve Your LinkedIn Profile. Start Here.

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    7 Most Important Questions About Franchising.

    FREE WEBINAR "The Advantages of Buying a Franchise that you Must Know" REGISTER HERE

    The Seven Most Important Questions About Franchising
    By Dan Citrenbaum

    There is a tremendous amount of information on franchising. From the government, from colleges and universities, from non-profit “think tanks”, and from franchise companies. That’s why people new to the exploration often suffer from information overload.
    Go ahead and google “franchise opportunities”. You’ll end up with more than 30 million hits.
    But there are some types of information that many agree are important to know. We have boiled these down to a manageable starting point: Seven questions that people most frequently ask (or should).

    1. What is a franchise?

    A franchise is simply a business structure in which one business licenses the right to use the name and business methods of another. Many of these arrangements have things in common such as training, franchise fees, royalties, and support.

    1. What types of businesses are franchised?

    If you think of a business type, it has probably been franchised.

    Most people start with restaurant (McDonalds) or retail (7-11). But there are medical businesses and janitorial companies. There are lawn care and financial consulting. There are franchises to help the young and others to help the old. There are franchises that serve businesses and those that serve individual consumers.

    The International Franchise Association counts more than 3,000 franchises in more than 75 different industries.

    1. What are the “hot” franchises?
    The franchises that are experiencing the fastest growth are those that benefit from long-lasting changes in the economy.
    Most people are aware that the senior population is growing. One business that takes advantage of this is the franchise that provides in home care for seniors who have had some health setbacks.
    We are all aware that corporate America has thinned their ranks by wave after wave of layoffs. But you might not have realized there are some franchises that benefit from these cut backs. Temp Staffing businesses, for example, have grown to assist when these too-lean businesses need some short-term additional help.
    What other trends do franchises take advantage of?
    Schools budgets are reduced, so academic tutoring franchises have grown.
    We hear that “60 is the new 40”. Many recently retired people have the time and energy to launch a business. These people need or want additional income. They just don’t want to work full-time.
    A wide range of semi-absentee businesses have come along. These can provide full-time income, with only part-time hours.

    1. How much does it cost to purchase a quality franchise?
    Franchises have a wide, wide range of investments. Some as low as $10,000, and many with a cost into the millions of dollars.
    Most people are happy to learn that the vast majority of quality franchises require a total investment of under $150,000.

    1. How do I tell if a franchise is a good one?
    By doing your research.
    The franchisor can explain the business to you. One part of this process is that they will give you a copy of the government- required booklet called the Franchise Disclosure Document. This provides company-specific information for you. You can also find lots of information by surfing the internet.
    Most valuable, you can talk to actual franchisees and hear about the business directly from them. They can tell you what to watch out for and how to be successful.

    1. How can I tell if a franchise is good for me?
    You will need to learn what is required for the particular business. What is the investment? What does is the role of the owner of the company? How many hours does the owner work?
    Then you need to do an honest and thorough self-assessment to determine if you have the qualities required to succeed in this business.

    1. What types of outside professionals should I consult during my research?
    We always suggest that you talk to an accountant and a lawyer.
    The accountant can review your projections and business assumptions. They can help you to evaluate the potential of the business.
    The franchise documents are long, complex, and (no surprise) filled with legal-ease. You’ll want to have a lawyer review them for you. But do not use just any lawyer. Make sure you choose a lawyer with significant franchise experience. If you use someone without a lot of franchise law experience they may not know what they need to look out for in order to protect you.
    Anyone else? What if you could find an industry expert who would be your advocate? Someone who helps you with all of the evaluation, who knows which franchises are the best ones, and who helps you to navigate the research process? And what if this person’s services were completely free to you? Is there such a person?
    Yes – the best advocate to help you through the entire process is a quality, experienced, franchise coach.

    Dan Citrenbaum is a Franchise Coach and Entrepreneurial Consultant, and is a franchisee himself. He has spent over 25 years helping small business owners start and grow their businesses, in order to achieve their dreams. He offers a free service to help people find an existing business to buy, or a successful franchise to start. View his company’s web site at Mr. Citrenbaum can be reached at or at (215) 367-5349.


    Saturday, July 19, 2014

    6 Career-Killing Facebook Mistakes

    "Surveys suggest that approximately 30% of employers are using Facebook to screen potential employees – even more than those who check LinkedIn, a strictly professional social networking site. Don't make these Facebook faux-pas – they might cost you a great opportunity." 

    1. Inappropriate Pictures
    It may go without saying, but prospective employers or clients don't want to see pictures of you chugging a bottle of wine or dressed up for a night at the bar. Beyond the pictures you wouldn't want your grandparents to see, seemingly innocent pictures of your personal life will likely not help to support the persona you want to present in your professional life.

    2. Complaining About Your Current Job
    You've no doubt done this at least once. It could be a full note about how much you hate your office, or how incompetent your boss is, or it could be as innocent as a status update about how your coworker always shows up late. While everyone complains about work sometimes, doing so in a public forum where it can be found by others is not the best career move. Though it may seem innocent, it's not the kind of impression that sits well with a potential boss.

    3. Posting Conflicting Information to Your Resume
    If you say on your resume that your degree is from Harvard, but your Facebook profile says you went to UCLA, you're likely to be immediately cut from the interview list. Even if the conflict doesn't leave you looking better on your resume, disparities will make you look at worst like a liar, and at best careless.

    4. Statuses You Wouldn't Want Your Boss to See
    Everyone should know to avoid statuses like "Tom plans to call in sick tomorrow so he can get drunk on a Wednesday. Who cares that my big work project isn't done?" But you should also be aware of less flamboyant statuses like "Sarah is watching the gold medal hockey game online at her desk". Statuses that imply you are unreliable, deceitful, and basically anything that doesn't make you look as professional as you'd like, can seriously undermine your chances at landing that new job." From 
    Article by Erin Joyce at
    Learn More:Use Facebook To Attract Hiring Managers.

    “How To Get Hired Faster on Linkedin": What Are You Waiting For?


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