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Omit details to potential employers
June 8, 2014, 12:29 pm

There is no shortage of people who will advise you to be scrupulously honest on your resume and to always tell the truth to employers when you’re looking for a job. Honesty isn’t so much the ‘best policy’ as strategic communication is, so here are some tips to improve your chances of getting hired, as you keep quiet about certain truths.  

Complaints about your co-workers: You probably didn’t like absolutely everyone that you worked with. However, one of the biggest mistakes that candidates make is complaining about their former coworkers, partners or clients. Even if those people actually were the problem you’re trying to get away from, you’ll only come across as disagreeable and hard to get along with if you say so. So, no matter what you really think, just smile and say it was a privilege to work with such a great group, and you’re going to miss them all.

Problems with the boss: The most common reason why people change jobs voluntarily is because of their working relationship with their boss. But that’s not the reason that you should ever offer future employers. Always say that your boss was great and that you consider it a great opportunity to have worked for them. Complaining makes you sound unmanageable and will have your potential new employer wondering what you’ll be saying about them next.

Getting away from a bad job: Employers want to hire someone who is passionate about their company and the job they’re recruiting for specifically – not someone who is fleeing a bad situation and just needs a new gig. If you were let go from your previous job, be up front about it, because the employer can confirm that. If it’s your choice to leave, no matter what your real reason for jumping ship is, say it’s because of this new opportunity. The role with the employer that you’re speaking to is just the chance that you’ve been looking for to take your career to the next level.

Discussing weaknesses:  Everyone has some genuine weaknesses, but a job interview isn’t the time to confess them. It’s also not the time to say, “I’m a perfectionist who works too hard.” That’s not a lie, it’s a cliché that will only annoy your interviewer. Rather invent some innocuous weakness that sounds plausible but doesn’t impact your ability to do the job at hand. Then explain how you’re working on improving the situation. This shows that you are proactive, self-aware and willing to learn.

Taking about your dislikes: Some things that your potential employer asks you to do might sound like they’re not at all a part of your job description and would be a major annoyance to work on. That’s when you keep quiet, and accept the challenges. Almost all career growth comes from doing things that aren’t part of your regular job description. Being a team player, showing initiative, and going above and beyond are the ways to get ahead.


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