Today on LinkedIn, one of their recommended stories was “How Job Candidates Lie, and the Best Lies They Always Seem to Tell.” It’s somewhat ironic that such a post is featured on a professional networking site that’s packed full of lies (or liars, depending on how you want to look at it). I often come across over-stated titles, inflated skills lists, and requests to endorse connections for abilities they completely lack. When I do, I long for a big, red, flashing “LIAR” button.
It seems strange that people would pad their online resume and then anxiously connect with past and present co-workers that would instantly recognize their overstatements and omissions.
“Wow, you’ve been a Vice President for ten years at the same company? Impressive! But wait, what about those seven years you spent as the assistant there prior to your promotion?”*
“Oh hello former assistant. Glad to see you’re in the job market again. Wow, you worked for me until June of this year? That’s strange, I remember firing you in October…of 2005!”*
*Titles and situations have been altered to protect the guilty.
In the article I mentioned above, author Tim Sackett believes that “candidates continue to lie because Talent/HR Pros don’t call them out on it,” and I believe that the same is true on LinkedIn. If LinkedIn would provide a way for users to anonymously report suspected “errors,” just the existence of such a feature might cause users to think twice when creating their own profile.
I’ve only been back from vacation for one day and already I’ve weeded through at least a dozen e-mails that have irked me. It’s not so much the content of those e-mails, it’s that some people just continue to do these three things that are on my strict “do not do this” list:
- Do not attach files that are 20MB in size
You’re killing my e-mail and our company’s server when you send attachments that are this big. This is especially true for unsolicited e-mails. If you are trying to send me your media kit, I haven’t asked for it, I’m not expecting it, and it’s humongous, I’m probably just going to delete the e-mail so that I can free up some space for other incoming messages.
TRY THIS INSTEAD: Save whatever you are sending as an Acrobat PDF and/or remember to do a “Save As” selecting “Reduced File Size PDF” for anything over 4 or 5MB. You can also compress multiple attachments into one folder using WinZip, or use the Outlook tools to send reduced file size attachments (here’s how).
- Do not send out mass e-mails to multiple recipients trying to set up a meeting
Whenever I get an e-mail asking me “What time are you available for a meeting next week?” I cringe at the thought of responding. That’s because by the time the 20 other people “reply all” and you compile all of those responses, next week has already come and gone.
TRY THIS INSTEAD: Use a Doodle! www.Doodle.com is great for scheduling meetings with multiple participants, and it’s free. You simply input a variety of times for your guests to choose from, send out a URL to your custom Doodle scheduler, and track the responses.
- Do not use a colored e-mail background, colored type, fancy fonts, or inspirational quotes
Every time I get an e-mail with a colored background, I think to myself, “Is this coming from a 12-year old girl?” When you send e-mails with a colored or patterned background, curly-q typefaces, colored fonts, or inspirational quotes at the bottom, it’s hard for me to consider it a professional communication. It’s also hard for me to read. Your words might be important, but they are lost in translation. All I see is this:
TRY THIS INSTEAD: Create a professional signature line in Outlook (or your e-mail program) that includes your name, title, company, phone number, e-mail, website, and social media sites (for your company, not your personal social media sites) and use that on every company e-mail, internal and external. Add in your company logo too if you want to get super fancy. Also, set your default setting to a simple background (white is just fine) and a standard font like Arial, Helvetica, or Times New Roman. Lay off the Lucida Casual and Script typefaces please.
- E-mail Etiquette (ginainani.wordpress.com)