Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

Police officer on radioReaders,

In light of the recent Umpqua Community College shootings in Oregon, I wish to express my heartfelt sympathy for the victims and their families.

Sadly, active shooter incidents are becoming more frequent. Having a preparedness plan for workplace violence could help save lives.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notes that there is typically no pattern in the selection of victims in an active shooter incident. There are three basics to remember if a coworker or stranger opens fire in your building:

  1. Run: If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Call 911 when you are safe.
  2. Hide: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Lock and blockade the door, hide behind or under large items like file cabinets or desks, and remain quiet (mute your cell phone). If possible, call 911 to alert police to the shooter’s location.
  3. Fight: As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter.

It’s just as important to react appropriately to law enforcement when they arrive, so they know you are not the threat.

This 3.5-minute video, while dated, is a succinct visual reference for an active shooter situation:

For further resources, consult the extensive DHS Active Shooter preparedness list. The U.S. Department of Labor plan covers the broader scope of workplace violence, including early warning signs of violence from an employee.

Readers: Does your company include Active Shooter Response in its Emergency Action Plan?


Emergency Preparedness in the Workplace
Natural Disaster Preparation for Managers

Pop Quiz: What’s Your Job Seeker IQ?

Pop QuizReaders,

With school in session a short while, it’s time for the first pop quiz of the fall season! It’s an “open-book” test; I’ve generously provided links in the answer key below. But try it first without peeking to see your true Job Seeker I.Q. score.

Job Seeker IQ Quiz

1. T      F Using a boilerplate résumé that you find online is the best way not to make a mistake.
2. T      F One version of a well-polished résumé is all you need.
3. T      F You should always include your high school and/or college graduation date on your résumé.
4. T      F To get past the computer screening by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), your résumé should be in one standard format
5. T      F If you’ve ever been fired, you should never admit it on applications or during job interviews.
6. T      F A cover letter isn’t necessary these days.
7. T      F It’s best not to tell too many people that you’re looking for a job.
8. T      F Never apply to a position unless you meet every criteria listed in the job description.
9. T      F LinkedIn is the only effective social media tool for job seekers.
10. T      F There are lots of ways to find unadvertised positions besides the online job boards.
11. T      F It is prudent to tone down my political rhetoric on my Facebook page during a job search.
12. T      F It’s perfectly okay for my girlfriend to come to the interview with me for moral support.
13. T      F It’s a good idea to cover tattoos for that important interview.
14. T      F If I practice my answers to potential interview questions, it will come off as too rehearsed.
15. T      F Interviewers will understand if I’m nervous and shy and don’t make eye contact.
16. T      F It’s more difficult to get a job long-distance.
17. T      F My so-so credit rating and a misdemeanor from my college days won’t have an effect on my job search.
18. T      F It’s important to send a thank you note after every interview.
19. T      F For every $10,000 in salary, it takes about one month of searching to find a job.
20. T      F Taking a temporary job may lead to full-time employment.

Answer Key:

  1. False. Using a boilerplate résumé format makes you a boring candidate. Sample résumés may not be appropriate for your industry. If you do utilize one, start with a template (search for one specific to the type of position for which you are applying) and customize it to make it your own. Check out my past posts, Creating a Résumé from Scratch.
  2. False. One version of a well-polished résumé is not all you need. Tailor Your Résumé when submitting for a particular opening.
  3. False. Older workers may wish to eliminate high school and/or college graduation dates (and maybe even some irrelevant first jobs) in order to “age-proof” their résumés. See Hiding the “Gray” on Your Résumé (and Beyond). Millennials may wish to hide their graduation dates to not draw attention to their inexperience. For more tips, review How to Get Hired if You Don’t Have Experience.
  4. Mostly True. In Demystifying Applicant Tracking Systems, I explain how to increase the chances that your résumé will obtain a better score from ATS. However, there may be situations when a Functional Format Résumé is the best option.
  5. False. Don’t cover up the fact that you have been fired from a previous job. The truth will find you out! Instead, use my advice for Explaining Away “You’re Fired.”
  6. False. A cover letter is a must in my book. Granted, the “cover letter” may now be a “cover email,” but it is a great opportunity to personalize your résumé and sell yourself for the open position. Read Covering the Cover Letter.
  7. False. It may not be the best idea to tell your current boss that you’re looking for a job, but Help Other People Help You Find a Job.
  8. False. If you never applied to a position unless you meet every criteria listed in the job description, you’ll be unemployed for a long, long time. Here’s my advice on Applying for a Job When Not 100% Qualified.
  9. False. LinkedIn isn’t the only effective social media tool for job seekers. Check out tips for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest in Be a Social Seeker, Part 1 and Part 2.
  10. True. There are lots of ways to find unadvertised positions besides the online job boards. Find out where in How to Find Jobs Not Advertised on the Top Job Boards, Part 1 and Part 2.
  11. True. It is prudent to tone down political rhetoric on Facebook during a job search. Facebook: Friend or Foe offers more tips.
  12. False. It’s not a good idea to bring a girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse, or children to an interview. Avoid all Top 10 Interview Fails.
  13. True. While tattoos are becoming more mainstream, it’s still a good idea to cover tattoos during interviews.
  14. False. Practicing answers to common interview questions is a “best practice.” Review Take Stock with a Mock Interview.
  15. False. While taking nerves into consideration, interviewers definitely notice eye contact or lack thereof, so Be Body Language Conscious.
  16. True. Landing a Job Long Distance is more difficult, but not impossible.
  17. False. Bad Credit Can Cost You… Your New Job. Crimes and Misdemeanors from college days may also affect your job search. Finding Jobs for Ex-Felons is even more difficult.
  18. True. Miss Manners and Miss Anita agree: It’s important to say, “Thank You for the Interview.”
  19. False. As our infographic How Long to Find a Job shows, research indicates it takes about one month of searching to find a job for every $20,000 in salary.
  20. True. Taking a temporary job may indeed be a bridge to a full-time position.


90%-100% You’re employed, right?
80%-90% Brush up on your résumé or interview skills.
70%-80% Try harder.
Below 70% It’s a tough world out there. Take corrective measures immediately!

Readers: How did you score on the Job Seeker IQ Quiz?

Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.

Subscribe to receive weekly emails with career tips and advice for job seekers, employed people, and managers and supervisors.

“Poaching” Employees

At a recent business mixer, the topic of stealing away an employee from a competitor was hotly debated. Is swiping talent legal? Is it ethical? I’m torn. What’s your take on employee poaching, Anita?

PoacherDear “Open Season,”

You’re asking someone in the recruiting business?! Well, I’ll try to be unbiased.

Is poaching ethical? Hiring someone who is already employed in your line of business or industry pretty much goes without saying, when it comes right down to brass tacks. I think the biggest definer of poaching is who is reaching out to whom. If you are posting an ad, and a competitor’s hot-shot performer applies, you’re totally in the clear. If, however, you approach said hot-shot, that could be considered unscrupulous by some (particularly the star performer’s current employer). I counter that it’s an employer’s obligation to keep employees so happy that they wouldn’t even consider working elsewhere.

There are also some highly specialized professions with such a small talent pool that there is no choice but to poach from competitors.

Is it legal for companies to hire away talented personnel from rivals? There are circumstances where poaching could get an employer in legal hot water, depending on your state’s laws. Higher-level employees with non-compete agreements or nondisclosure of trade secrets clauses may come with a risk to your company. Interestingly, Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel and other tech giants got in trouble for the opposite of poaching when they agreed to suppress wages by not actively recruiting each other’s employees.

If you’re worried, you can distance yourself by hiring a recruiting firm; these companies know the subtle yet effective ways to reach out to employed candidates not actively seeking a new job who may be a perfect fit for your open position. If you just want a zero-drama life, institute a no-poaching rule, and hope that the competition doesn’t headhunt on your turf.

Managers: What’s your policy on poaching personnel?

Discussing a Job Offer
9 Alternatives to Posting Open Positions on Job Boards
Job Offer

Dog-Friendly Jobs

Dear Anita,

After reading about Take Your Dog To Work Day about a month ago, I’m obsessed! I would love to find a job where I could bring my Schnauzer with me! How can I find companies that permit pets in the office?

Dear “Must Love Dogs,”



Pet lovers, rejoice! Some businesses make “Take Your Pet to Work Day” not just one day in June,  but every weekday. Pet Sitters International offers tips for successfully bringing dogs to work, such as making sure coworkers are not allergic and puppy-proofing your workspace.

The Nerdery

The Nerdery

While dog-friendly offices are becoming a company culture selling point in job descriptions, all pets are not treated equally. The neighborhood bookstore may have a lounging feline, but Google’s pet policy does not include cats. “Google’s affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture. We like cats, but we’re a dog company, so as a general rule we feel cats visiting our offices would be fairly stressed out.”



Many younger, hipper companies may be known for the cool perk of a dog-friendly workplace. But don’t discount old-school mom-and-pops operations, either, with less bureacracy and grassroots attitudes.

Glassdoor published a blog, 10 of the Best Companies for Dogs (and listed itself, but that’s forgivable). Here in no particular order are 10 of the Best Companies for Dogs:

Company Rating: 4.7

 “I love that I can bring my dog to work and know that he loves it at Eventbrite too.” – Eventbrite Employee (San Francisco, CA)


Nestlé Purina PetCare

Nestlé Purina PetCare
Company Rating: 4.6

“Love love love it! The atmosphere, people, longevity, stability, reputation, culture, opportunities…. and bringing your dog to work. What’s not to love?” – Nestlé Purina PetCare ORM Team Leader (Saint Louis, MO)



Company Rating: 3.5

“I love working at Rover! There are so many great pros: the people, the dogs, the work, it’s all great.” – Rover.com Employee

Company Rating: 4.4

“You can bring your dog to work on Fridays!” – Payscape Employee

Company Rating: 4.4

“There are always pets in the office and it is nice to have the ability to bring them to the office with you.” – Petplan Employee



Company Rating: 4.5

“Dog-friendly office, ping pong, happy hours, team dinner, and other perks of startups.” – Indiegogo Employee (San Francisco, CA)

The Nerdery
Company Rating: 3.3

“Having dogs at work is great for morale.” – The Nerdery Employee (location, N/A)

Specialized Bicycle

Specialized Bicycle

Specialized Bicycle

Company Rating: 3.5

“The culture of the company and office (the people, bikes everywhere! dogs welcomed, all the great coffee you can drink, lunch rides, on site bike shop, yoga classes, etc) is really special and worth the hard work.” – Specialized Bicycle Administrative Employee (Morgan Hill, CA)

Procore Technologies
Company Rating: 4.8

“Super friendly environment, free lunch on Wednesdays, open-door policy, and dog-friendly.” – Procore Technologies Employee (Carpinteria, CA)

Procore Technologies

Procore Technologies

At Glassdoor, we’re lucky enough to have a dog-friendly workplace and couldn’t resist including sharing a few shots of our canine coworkers here in Marin County. By the way, we, and many of the companies listed above are hiring!

Company Rating: 4.6

Glassdoor“Aside from all the awesome perks like a gym, catered lunch, unlimited vacation and the ability to bring my dog every day, I just love being at Glassdoor. I’m consistently in awe of the good ideas, smart people and a lovable culture we have here.” – Glassdoor Public Relations Employee (Sausalito, CA)

Search Indeed.com and other job boards using “dog-friendly office” or “pet friendly” in the keyword field. You’ll find job postings that list this drool-worthy perk.

Readers: Would a dog-friendly office be a deciding factor when accepting a position?

Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.

Subscribe to receive weekly emails with career tips and advice for job seekers, employed people, and managers and supervisors.

Fido Goes to Work
Keeping Employees Happy
Employee Perks
Holiday Parties, Payouts, and Perks

Four-Day Work Weeks

Dear Anita,

I just love 3-day weekends! How can I convince my manager to adjust my schedule to a 4-day work week permanently?

Collection of 4 isolated flat colorful buttons for Thursday (calDear, TGI Thursday,

Back in 1914, Henry Ford reduced The Ford Motor Company’s work week from 48 to 40 hours, believing that long hours decreased productivity. Is it time, 101 years later, to decrease the work week even further?

Not every company can embrace the four-day work week. Weekends (at least Sundays) were once sacred with the vast majority of businesses closing up shop. But in the late 1960s and early ’70s, more retail enterprises started opening on Saturdays and eventually many added Sundays to their schedules to increase or maintain profitability. Can your company’s business survive with a four-day week?

It’s a rare company that would offer you a 32-hour week for the same wage as your 40-hour week. One way to maintain productivity (and salary) is with a “compressed” work week, where 40 hours are scheduled into four days. Adjusting to a 10-hour day can be a challenge at first, but it does have its perks. If you’re getting to work an hour earlier and leaving an hour later, this may decrease your commute time since you’ll be driving during off-peak hours. A four-day week also cuts the cost of commuting, potentially saving employees 20% in gas. If you have kids in daycare, you may be able to cut childcare expenses as well (though finding a facility with extended hours could prove difficult).  While you’re compressing your work week, you’re also compressing your evenings. There will be less time to cram in all after-work activities — cooking, errands, kids’ homework, and — oh, yes, — pleasurable leisure activities!

4-Day_Week_000017443240If an entire company could go to a four-day work week, the business could potentially save 20% of its energy costs. However, some companies that implement four-day work weeks stagger employee schedules to provide adequate phone and email coverage for customers during the traditional five-day week. That can create logistical challenges for scheduling meetings and keeping all employees on-track. Businesses that operate 24/7 may find three 10-hour shifts creates unprofitable overlap.

After pondering the pros and cons yourself, approach your boss outlining the benefits to the company as well as employees. If management says no, you can always move the Netherlands, where the four-day work week is standard.

Readers: Would you prefer a compressed week in order to have year-round three-day weekends?

Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.

Subscribe to receive weekly emails with career tips and advice for job seekers, employed people, and managers and supervisors.

Rules for Requesting R and R
Is Telecommuting Right for You and Your Company?
Do Flexible Schedules “Work”?

Thermostat Wars


The women in my office are at odds with the men over the temperature. If we dress appropriately for the warm weather outside, we freeze to death in the office. It’s hard to concentrate on your work when your fingers turn into blue Popsicles! Can you help us find a happy medium?

Dear “In a Cold Sweat,”

Adjusting the heating thermostatAfrican american man push button digital climate control


It’s a tale as old as… well, the invention of modern air conditioning, circa 1902. The gender divide is apparent when it comes to the preferred thermostat setting. I’ve known women who keep a polar fleece jacket or blanket at their desks, or who sneak a space heater next to their feet (Smokey the Bear would definitely not approve). While I won’t go so far as to call it a sexist conspiracy, the predicament does seem to affect women more than men – except for those unfortunate males who work for a female supervisor in the sweltering throes of a hot flash, jealously guarding the key to the AC.

Clothing, age, even your weight can affect how you experience temperatures. If your office has a suit and tie policy for the men, the extra layer of clothing is going to make the guys hotter under the proverbial collar. To be fair, guys can’t really strip down to the sleeveless tops that are acceptable for women to wear at work. It is easier to add a clothing layer to warm yourself up than it is to cool off when you can disrobe no further!

If Team Cold and Team Hot can’t keep their hands off the thermostat, your company may have to institute a climate control policy. OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) recommends indoor temperatures between 68-76° F, which is a pretty broad range. Most building thermostats follow a thermal comfort formula that was developed in the 1960s. Researchers at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands claim the formula is based on a 40-year-old, 154-pound male, not an average female office worker with a lower metabolic rate. Women and men generally have a five degree difference in temperature preference, the researchers found. But, alas, “personal environmental modules” with individualized temperature controls in office buildings haven’t gone mainstream yet.

Over a decade ago, Cornell University put the thermostat wars to another scientific test, finding that warmer office temperatures improve productivity. Researchers increased office temperature from 68° to 77° F, and found that typing errors decreased by 44% and output jumped 150%.

Finnish counterparts at Helsinki University of Technology ran their own study. Their findings: The highest office productivity occurs at temperatures around 22° Celsius or 71.6° Fahrenheit. Hmm, those test subjects closer to the Arctic Circle seem a bit more tolerant of lower temperatures.

If the productivity arguments don’t convince your facilities manager to set the temperature above polar levels, hit ‘em in the pocketbook. Most energy companies recommend keeping the AC set no lower than 78° in summer. According to MyEnergy.com, your company can save 1-3% in energy costs for each degree the air conditioning is set above 72.

Readers: Are you “hot and bothered” at work, or given the “cold shoulder”?

Suiting Up for Summer
Place of Productivity
I Resolve… to Increase Performance at Work


Motivating Back Office Employees

Dear, Anita,

I manage a back-office department in a large company. My team doesn’t interact with the clients nor upper management very often. The work can be repetitive and sometimes boring. How can I keep morale up on my team?

Dear, Back on Track,

Office workersEvery company has internal operations departments performing business-critical functions that may not be, well, very sexy. The sales team or research & development may get all the glory, and these hard-working back office employees may feel out of the loop or under-appreciated.

WeSpire’s annual employee engagement survey reports that engaged employees have managers that care about them, are recognized frequently, and feel they are contributing to their teams in a meaningful way.

Use some of your regular staff meetings to keep employees posted on what other departments are up to. You may wish to invite upper management to give brief corporate updates quarterly. The goodwill from an annual visit and interest in your team from the CEO would be remembered for months.

Occasional team-building events away from the office can break up a monotonous routine. Be sure to celebrate birthdays and note work anniversaries (if your team is large, observe all the birthdays in the month with one cake). A quarterly potluck lunch is a great way to enhance camaraderie. You could even come up with silly contests for your corner of the world (for instance, the first one to reach a particular weekly milestone gets a $5 Starbucks gift card, or every time someone encounters a last name starting with Z, they ring a bell).

Not all motivation is touchy-feely. Money talks… (and I’ll leave the last half of this common colloquialism unsaid). Make sure your employees are paid adequately, and offer real bonuses (not just coffee shop gift cards) for measurable performance results. Don’t wait until the annual review to give feedback; offer verbal pats on the back frequently. Hold regular one-on-one meetings with each team member, and you’ll be able to gauge when one of your employees may be spiraling into discouragement.

Janitor with broom on white background, portraitThe real key to create lasting job satisfaction is to get employees to buy in to your company’s mission. Explain the “why” along with the “how” for departmental duties. Day-to-day tasks feel less onerous when there is an understanding of how they affect the company as a whole.

President Kennedy was touring NASA in the 1960s, and he encountered a janitor with a broom. When asked by the POTUS what he was doing, the custodian replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.” The takeaway: No matter how small the role, everyone contributes to the success of an organization.

Managers: What are some of your best employee engagement strategies?
Employees: What could your manager do to keep your morale high?

Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.

Subscribe to receive weekly emails with career tips and advice for job seekers, employed people, and managers and supervisors.

Developing Employees with a Business Owner Mentality
Public Recognition
Creating a Recognition Culture

Be a Social Seeker, Part 2

Dear Readers,

Last week, we explored how to search for a job on Facebook. Here, we’ll see how other social media platforms can help in your hunt for a new position.

Twitter_000015982279Twitter Tips

Twitter is probably the best for connecting with companies and people you don’t already know. You can develop a Twitter relationship, and hope it hatches into something more.

First, fill out your bio. Like everything on Twitter, you have to keep it short and tweet! You have only 160 characters to give your virtual elevator speech. As with Facebook and LinkedIn, you want to include a professional-looking head shot, maybe even the same one you use for other social platforms for the recognition factor.

Follow companies you have an interest in and the people who work at those companies, and engage with them. Retweet, yes, but add thoughtful commentary or ask a perceptive question. In your tweets, point to your LinkedIn profile or your personal website or blog, if you have one. But don’t just use Twitter for self-promotion; offer valuable content for your field or circle of interests.

Use Twitter Lists to organize the deluge of tweets into a collection of useful information for your job search.

Level Up on LinkedIn

Check out my past post about LinkedIn essentials. Beyond basic connections, you can sleuth out the HR contact or potential hiring manager for a company you are interested in working for. If you can find a connection to hand-deliver your résumé to HR down the hall, your chances are much greater to get your foot in the door. Your connection may even have some insight about the job that’s not available in the ad.

You can also check out people who currently work at a company to see what their career paths have been. Perhaps one of the companies in an employee’s previous experience is just the place for you to apply now. Similarly, try an advanced search for people in or near your zip code who have the same skill keywords as yours.

In a Forbes article, William Arruda advises, “Ignore [Anita Clew’s and] LinkedIn’s advice to only accept connection requests from people you know” because LinkedIn’s search algorithm favors those who are in your network. Chances are, you don’t yet have a connection to the person who may hiring you next. (Okay, I may just have to update my rule to not accept all requests.) Arruda urges you to shoot for 500 connections, as that number seems to pack some psychological magic on those who view your profile.

Explore LinkedIn’s Alumni feature, recommends Wayne Breitbarth, author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Be sure to also join your Alumni’s LinkedIn Group. Speaking of Groups, join any that are relevant to your industry and skills. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 Groups. To get the most networking value, be an active participant in your Groups.

linkedinmemeAs mentioned in Part 1, 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn. HR professionals are checking out your LinkedIn profile whether you are actively looking for a job or not. If you have a good enough profile, you may be contacted by a recruiter. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate outcome in passive job searching!

Pore over Pinterest

You’ll have a better chance finding a job ad on a coffee shop bulletin board than a bona fide job opening posted on the Pinterest. But there are atypical ways to use this digital bulletin board in your job search. Search for career-oriented keywords, such as “résumé” or “interview” and you’ll find a wealth of informational gems. The individual “pins” are visual bookmarks that, when clicked, take you back to the original site. You can follow Anita Clew on Pinterest, and check out my boards that contain past blog posts, as well as ideas on interview and office attire, work lunches, or even inspirational quotes to keep you going when the job or the job hunt gets you down. To get started on Pinterest, here’s a beginner’s guide.

Enter the YouTube Universe

Just like Pinterest, you can use keywords to search for videos to further your career knowledge and sharpen your job hunting proficiency. But YouTube is also an opportunity to upload your own video résumé or introduction. After all, Justin Bieber got his big break by posting a recording of his performance on YouTube! You’ll want to keep your video about 60-90 seconds in length and as professional as possible (call in favors from any friends with film experience). Include a link to your YouTube video in your cover letter, and you’ll seen as innovative with leading-edge skills.

Get started in your social search by choosing the one social media site that you are already enthusiastic about and employing it in a new way… for your employment.

Readers: Which social media platform has been most helpful in your job search?

Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.

Subscribe to receive weekly emails with career tips and advice for job seekers, employed people, and managers and supervisors.

Loving LinkedIn
Facebook: Friend or Foe?
Help People Help You Find a Job
Online Reputation Monitoring

Be a Social Seeker, Part 1

Dear Anita,

I just heard that a friend of a friend got a job through Facebook. I never thought beyond LinkedIn for job searching on social media. Do you have any tips on how to use Facebook or Twitter in my job search?

Social Job Search InfographicDear, Social Butterfly,

I was surprised myself to see that, according to Jobvite, a whopping 76% of social job seekers found their current position through Facebook. While I couldn’t ferret out a statistic for how many people actually found a new job through LinkedIn, success stories are easier to find. And Jobvite does indicate that 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, so don’t abandon the popular professional networking site just yet.

Pew Research Center found only 13% of LinkedIn users check their account daily, 25% check weekly, and 61% check less often. By contrast, 70% of Facebook users check the site daily. So it makes sense that people who are more active on Facebook may benefit from including their online friends in their job search tactics.

Facebook Job Search Tips

Conduct a Facebook makeover, including a more professional profile picture to replace that blurry selfie. Use your About section as a mini-résumé. Be sure to include all past workplaces and college information and, just like LinkedIn, add keywords about your professional skills.

Be aware: 93% of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social profile and 42% have reconsidered a candidate based on social content. The three biggest offenders, according to Jobvite: illegal drug references (83%), sexual posts (70%), and spelling/grammar (66%) which narrowly beat out profanity at 63%. Go through several screens of past posts (this could be up to a year’s worth, depending on your Facebook frequency factor). Delete any posts you wouldn’t want a hiring manager to see (or “Limit Past Posts” under Settings). Untag yourself in unflattering photos and enable the setting that allows you to review tags people add to your posts before appearing in your newsfeed. If you have some friends with no regard for social etiquette, you may also want to enable the review feature to keep offensive comments from appearing on your wall.

If your job search is on the down-low, even if you are not Facebook friends with your boss, you may be a friend of a friend so there is always a possibility the word could get back. Double-check your Privacy Settings and take the extra few seconds when posting to use the audience selector. Create a Facebook List to group your business and networking contacts. Then, when you post something career-related, you can use the audience selector to share it with your professional list, and your Aunt Bessie won’t see the latest industry article that she has no interest in.

But keep in mind, good old Aunt Bessie may live next door to the CEO of a company that’s hiring for your position! The Status Update (to Friends and Family only if you’re currently employed) is the most obvious way to use Facebook in your job search. While you don’t want to overdo posting requests for career help, remember that out of sight is out of mind, especially in the fast-moving social feed.

Like the companies you are interested in working for on Facebook. Many savvy businesses are publicizing job openings across all social media.

Facebook’s Graph Search in the bar at the top of the site allows you to type in phrases such as “People who work at Facebook” or “Employers in San Antonio” to see what connections pop up. Not nearly as powerful as LinkedIn connections (and glitchy since a recent upgrade for mobile devices), this Facebook search may still yield some useful contacts to Friend or Message.

No matter the platform, social media can definitely be your friend in your job search. Next week, we’ll look at Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and some beyond-the-basic tips for LinkedIn.

Readers: Have you use Facebook to successfully land a new job? Tell us about it!

Lessons on LinkedIn
Facebook – A Hiring Manager’s Best Friend
Run Better Meetings
Top 10 Interview Fails

Quitters Never Win… or Do They?


I’m at a point in my job where I think I’ve hit the salary wall. I basically have to wait for my manager at my current company to retire in order to move up. He’s older, but I don’t know exactly if and when he plans to leave his post. My best friend thinks I should bail and that I could find a better-paying job at another company. I’ve been here only a few years, and don’t want to look “flighty” on my résumé. What should I do?

Dear, Resigned to the Idea,

Collapsing wall making a dollar symbolI grew up hearing the phrase, “Winners never quit and quitters never win” and come from a generation where loyalty was valued. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but recent articles are swaying me to believe the best way to get a significant raise these days is to quit one job and change to another.

When you stay with a company for many years, your raise is usually based on a percentage of your current salary. The average salary increase last year was 2.9%, according to Mercer’s US Compensation Planning Survey. (There are some standouts that earn a 5%-10% raise, offset by federal employees receiving a 1% raise and those poor souls who get no pay bump at all.) With the inflation rate hovering around 2.1%, the extra spending money after an annual raise may be inconsequential.

In a Forbes article, Employees Who Stay In Companies Longer Than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less, a hiring manager explains that if you start fresh with another company, you’ll likely command a higher base salary, which is often more than a raised salary offered by your current employer.

pay raise ahead roadsignTalk to your manager about what it would take to increase your salary. (He may just spill the beans about his retirement plans.) Before the meeting, check out Salary.com or PayScale.com to see the range of wages paid for your position in your geographic area. You don’t want to use this information to threaten, but to enlighten.  If a raise is out of the question in your current position, tactfully explore the option of moving to another department within the organization. Or negotiate for a bonus based on completion of a task outside your normal scope of work or for reaching a milestone.

If pay raises or bonuses are not forthcoming and you don’t feel that you can wait it out for your boss’s chair, consider searching for a new position with a significant salary increase. Mull over the risks to changing jobs. What if that exciting start-up offering competitive salaries and amazing perks goes belly-up? What if your new boss is a micromanager? Factor in future career goals. Some more established companies do frown upon job-hopping. They may have a policy of tossing any applicant résumé that has, say, more than three jobs in the last 10 years. So before you take the leap to another company, be sure that the salary and/or title increase is worth it, both personally and professionally.

Readers: For what percentage salary increase would you consider leaving your current job?

Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.

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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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