Career Prep Answer Sheet

Career Prep Answer Sheet
We know you love the Career Prep questions, that's why we decided to create an answer page for the daily quiz! Make job search fun! Here are the answers:

Career Prep: List Holiday Job on Resume?


QUESTION: Jane just got a holiday job at the local department store wrapping gifts. She is looking for a full-time job as a civil engineer. So, this role isn’t related to her desired career path. Should she list you list a holiday job on your resume like she was considering

ANSWER: Jane should add the job to her resume, but not under Work History or Relevant Experience. Instead, she should have a category at the bottom of her resume called “Additional Experience” in which she can list this job as one she is taking to offset expenses. In this category, she can also add other forms of experience like volunteering. The goal is to find the right place to showcase this job on her resume!

Career Prep: Lie About Dates of Employment?


QUESTION: Bill has had several jobs in the last 10 years of his career. Each time, the company he was working for laid him off. There were several months of unemployment between the time he got let go and the new job he found. Now, Bill is concerned that all the gaps in employment, as well as the frequency of job changes is making him look unreliable. Bill wants to “fudge” the dates on his resume so at least it looks like he had no breaks in employment.

ANSWER: Bill should remove the months since they take up valuable white space and make it easier to read the dates. However, he shouldn’t lie in the interview about being laid-off. The fact is, when the employer goes to do reference checks, they’ll learn about the layoffs – which will make Bill a liar. Employers will rescind job offers if they find out you lied in the interview process. It’s better to be honest to avoid getting caught in a lie and lose out on the opportunity to work for that company forever.

Career Prep: Tell Friend Her Professional Weakness?


QUESTION: Allan has a best friend Felicity. They met at their first job out of college and worked together in the same department for five years. Recently, Felicity was laid off. She has been looking for work for 9+ months. She is getting very frustrated and asked Allan if he thought there was something about her that was costing her the jobs she interviewed for (she’s been on five interviews so far).

Allan does know that one of the reasons she was selected for the layoff was that she doesn’t communicate well with management. She is she around leaders and clams up. The shyness was being perceived as inexperienced and less competent by management, who felt she wasn’t as strong as the others who were more articulate and spoke up more.

ANSWER: Allan is not a career coach. Moreover, if he shares the real reason Felicity got laid off, it could come back to haunt him. Not only will she feel hurt an resentful, it will be hard for her to not be angry at Allan for knowing this and not sharing. Plus, if she were to tell someone and they told management, Allan would be seen as disloyal. Allan should encourage Felicity to contact her former manager for feedback. If the manager won’t provide any, Felicity should have someone do a reference check on her anonymously to see what is being said about her. Finally, Allan should recommend Felicity find a good career coach and let the expert determine what she can do to improve her job search skills. Allan’s focus should be on preserving the friendship, not fixing Felicity’s career problem.

Career Prep: Use Job Offer to Get Raise?


QUESTION: Greg has been feeling under-appreciated at his current job where he has worked for several years. He was recently contacted by a recruiter for a job and went on the interview. The company loved him and offered him a job with a 10% bump in pay. Greg liked the employer but had a few reservations about their office. At the same time, he really wants more money.

ANSWER: Telling the employer about the offer is not wise. While they might rush to give Greg a raise as a way to keep him, they won’t be keeping him for long. Now that they know he is unhappy, they’ll start to ensure that his job could be covered if he leaves tries this again. Moreover, they will expect more from him now that he demanded the raise. Greg needs to either stay where he is and work the proper channels to earn a raise, or leave the company for the new offer.

Career Prep: Lie About Current Salary in Interview?


QUESTION: Emma landed a job interview with a company that a friend works at. She knows what her friend is making and she is applying for the same role. Currently, Emma makes 30% less than what her friend makes. Emma is worried that if they ask her how much she makes and she is honest, they won’t give her the same starting salary as her friend. She really wants the money.

ANSWER: Emma should be honest about what she makes. The employer could ask when they do a reference check, at which point, she could get caught in a lie. She should also tell them one of the reasons she is looking for a new job is she wants more pay. Then she should give the rate she is hoping to earn. She shouldn’t mention that she knows what her friend makes, though. She should just focus on her needs and not compare herself to anyone else. Then, she should impress the heck out of the hiring manager and hope he agrees she’s worth it!

Career Prep: Job is Open... Again, Do I Apply?


QUESTION: Emmy applied for a job three months ago and got a call from the recruiter. She did a brief phone screen (15 minutes) and the recruiter said she’d be in touch. Emmy wasn’t prepared for the call and felt she didn’t do as well as she could have. She never heard from the recruiter again. Now, three months later, Emmy sees the job has been reposted.

ANSWER: Since Emmy was screened for the job and not contacted, she is most likely on file as not a match for the job. So, applying again or contacting the recruiter will result in another rejection. Emmy needs to go around the process and find people who actually work at the company to talk to. If she can connect via LinkedIn with some employees, she could ask them for the status of the job, as well as advice on the best way to connect directly with the hiring manager. At this point, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain by finding another way to get considered for the position.

Career Prep: No Vacation Time But Need Time Off


QUESTION: Eric just started a new job six months ago and has no vacation time accrued. He just learned that his brother is getting married at a destination wedding. He would need to take four days off from work to attend. He asked his boss about taking the time off and making it up, and was told the company doesn’t allow it.

ANSWER: Calling in sick will be suspect. Plus, Eric wouldn’t be able to talk about the wedding (or the tan he had!). Taking the time off unpaid is the wisest choice. Eric should also do his best to work overtime on his own to cover as much of his work as he can so that his co-workers aren’t left with it. The fastest way to make enemies in the office is to dump your work on them so you can go enjoy yourself. Do on to others as you would have done to you!

Career Prep: New Job Can’t Be Done in Time Allotted


QUESTION: Christa is a recent grad who just got a new job at a start-up. Within two weeks, she is miserable and wants to quit. The problem is the workload. She was hired to work 40 hours per week and has been explicitly told she cannot work overtime. Yet, the amount of work that needs to be done is taking far longer than the 40 hours. Christa can tell her boss feels she is not working fast enough, but Christa can’t see how to work any faster. Her boss used to do her job and says it's possible.

ANSWER: Christa should sit with her boss and see what she can do more efficiently. If possible, she should try to do some work at home after hours on her own as well. Often, jobs get easier/faster once the learning curve is done. Two weeks is too soon to tell if Christa can do the job. Christa should give it two months and do whatever she can to get the work done each week. Most likely, she will find her groove and be able to master the workload in the time allotted.

Career Prep: Co-worker Botched Job, Should I Tell?


QUESTION: Evan works on a team that had a major project due for a client. Evan is the main contact for the client. Three days after it was due, the client called furious to say there was an error. Evan realized the error was due to his co-worker Kyle’s portion of the job.

ANSWER: Evan should have Kyle fix the problem. Then, he should call the client personally to apologize. As the main contact, Evan shouldn’t be making excuses to the client - he should just solve it as quickly as possible and say sorry for the error. Then, Evan and Kyle should discuss the right way to let their boss know together. By including Kyle in the process, Evan shows his support of his co-worker and earns his trust. If the situation were reversed, I’m sure Evan would want the same treatment.

Career Prep: Can Company Change Compensation At-Will?


QUESTION: Eric was hired as a client services rep for his company. He is not a union employee. A year after he started, he’s just been informed that the company is creating two new client services positions. A senior-level and junior-level. Each has a set pay rate. Eric is being told he fits in the junior-level category and will take a 5% paycut compared to his initial pay.

ANSWER: Eric is an at-will (non-union) employee, so the company is within their rights to change the job structures and the compensation that goes with it. In this case, he is essentially be offered a transfer to a job within the new structure. As a result, if he says “no” and doesn’t take the job, it will be seen as him quitting and will make it next-to-impossible for him to collect unemployment.

Career Prep: Is Employer Required to Pay Me for Hurricane Day?


QUESTION: Maria is an hourly worker. She regularly gets 40 hours/week at her employer. Last week, they closed the office and told her she didn’t need to come in because of a hurricane. When Maria got her paycheck, she was only paid for 32 hours. She assumed she should have been paid for the hours since she was available to work and it was the company’s decision to close. Meanwhile, she knows the salaried employees at the company won’t be docked any pay.

ANSWER: As an hourly employee, the company can dictate how many hours they use Maria. Since they closed the office and didn’t use her, they are not required by law to pay her. It's at the discretion of the employer if they want to pay employees affected by an unexpected office closing. If she accrues personal or vacation time as part of her employment, she could have asked to use that make up the difference in her pay.

Man on laptop enjoys summer while working full time

There you are: sitting on the beach, covered in sunscreen, reading your favorite book, drinking your favorite drink under the cool shade of an umbrella. Life doesn't get any better than this. Suddenly, a door slams, a phone rings, a printer turns on. You jolt back into consciousness. You're at work, sitting in your cubicle, without even a hint of sunshine streaming in from outside.

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