Purveyor of High-Quality Verbiage

Lisa Vaas is a journalist who analyzes technology and job-hunting strategies.

Archive for September 2009

How to (Diplomatically) Skirt Inappropriate Interview Questions

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interviewHe was in his early 50s, and he looked every bit of it.

The questions on the job application went right to his age.

After stewing over the form and discarding his first draft, he filled out a second copy. Then, he sat and waited for his interview. As he waited, an attractive, young woman entered the room for a job interview.

She was called in before him. She wound up getting the job.

He didn’t. He did, however, receive $50,000 after filing age-discrimination claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The reason interviewers ask inappropriate questions varies. Sometimes they discriminate, as they did in the scenario above. Sometimes they need the information for internal statistics.

Most job seekers don’t want to sue over these practices. They just want to know how to deal with them diplomatically. Job seekers want to avoid appearing combative and thus jeopardizing their chances of being hired and want to avoid handing over information that can be used against them in discriminatory situations. Knowing what questions to shy away from is the starting point, and knowing how to skirt them is the next step.

To more on which questions to avoid answering and how to do so diplomatically, click here to read the full story.


“Highly Qualified” People Don’t Need to Say That in Their Resumes

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artResumeYou’re highly qualified. You’re results-focused.

You’re also energetic, confident and professional — and if you put those words in your resume, you’ve just caused a hiring professional’s eyes to glaze over.

Check out the full story for other flimsy, fluffy, weak words that shouldn’t appear on your resume.

Don’t Send Attachments With Your Resume

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annoyedSo your PowerPoint presentation holds the secret to the origins of the universe and would really, really improve your chances of being hired, you say? Doesn’t matter. Refrain from sending unsolicited attachments, unless you want to alienate recruiting professionals and risk your chances of nailing an interview. Click here for the full story.