January 2011

8 Simple Ways to Customize Your Resume

by Evil HR Lady on January 31, 2011

This is the first in a 3 part series on resumes for this week.

If you have resisted customizing your resume because it’s too much work, try these 8 Simple Ways to Customize Your Resume.

Gah, that sounds like spam. And then you’ve won the British Lottery! Just send me your name, email adress, password and social security number and I’ll send you your winnings!!!!

Seriously, just read the post on resumes.


What do you do when you find out through gossip that you are underpaid. A lot. Do you speak up or keep quiet?

You Just Found Out Your Coworker Is Making More Than You. Now What?


Honestly, I’m Willing to Work for Less Money

by Evil HR Lady on January 26, 2011

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I was laid off in August and my last salary as a legal secretary was $68k. I am willing to work for less ($45+) as the job market has changed. I think I am still looking because employers would prefer to hire someone who’s current/last salary is/was below their range or closer. How do I convince an employer that I’m not a “flight risk” or exactly how should this situation be handled?

Honestly, I’m Willing to Work for Less Money


9 to 5

by Evil HR Lady on January 25, 2011

I thought maybe in your expertise you could answer a question that has bugged me for years. I hear the phrase “nine to five job” or “working nine to five” all the time. I see it on the internet and hear it in movies and on TV. Dolly Pardon even wrote a song about it. But I have never in my life known anyone to work those hours. Everyone with a standard Monday through Friday job works eight to five, not nine to five. (Or sometimes, for those with a half-hour lunch, it’s 8:30 to 5:00 or 8:00 to 4:30.) Salaried or non-salaried, government or private, I honestly have never met a soul that worked a 35-hour week doing 9:00 to 5:00. So, how come I’m hearing about it all the time? Is the phrase a hold-over from some time in the past? (Maybe we used to work fewer hours decades ago?) Is it a regional thing? (I’ve only ever lived in Oklahoma and Oregon—perhaps all the east coasters are slacking off?) I have tried to search the internet for an answer, but to no avail. In fact, usually an internet search of the meaning of the phrase talks about it being the “standard” or “typical” or “traditional” shift in the US. Um, really? How can that be typical or standard if no one works those hours? Further muddying the issue is that many sources (even Wikipedia) call this shift the usual “40 hour week”. So, are these elusive nine-to-fivers skipping lunch? I’m so confused!

I know this isn’t quite along the lines of your normal topic, but it is does seem like an HR question and I thought that since I found it interesting maybe other readers would also.

All my expertise in this area centers around the fact that I did, once, have a 9 to 5 job. It was a 37.5 hours work week with 30 minutes for lunch. Yeah! Then corporate decided this was bad and bumped all the sites up to 40 hours a week (with no raise for the exempt employees), but (get this) kept the corporate offices at 37.5 hours a week.

I think this is largely a NYC metro thing, but I could be wrong. My readers, collectively, know everything, so I throw it out to you.


Job Interview or Bake-off?

by Evil HR Lady on January 24, 2011

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I’m in the creative field, and recently been asked as part of a job interview to produce layouts for the prospective client. The work is not paid, and several applicants are competing with each other; a bake-off type of situation. Since this usually means anywhere from 2-4 days of work (researching the story, production, fonts, photographs, online components, assembling all of the elements and compiling into a coherent design) I feel its is a lot to expect and quite frankly, insulting that a work history, recommendations, and past portfolio of work is not enough to base the selection on. I am tempted to refuse, even if it means I will not be considered. It feels like they think I’ve exaggerated what my role was on my portfolio.

One thing has become painfully obvious after this type of encounter, is that despite the best intentions of the applicant to stay upbeat, the bridge is effectively burned: you will never hear from the hiring manager again. I suspect the guilt they feel from asking for free work and then declining precludes them from ever contacting the applicant again. The sense of truly wasting your time is palpable. What’s your opinion?

Job Interview or Bake-off?


Why Your Boss Should Be Able to Fire You Over Facebook

by Evil HR Lady on January 21, 2011

Should your employer be able to fire you over something you posted on the internet? Yes, and here’s why.

Why Your Boss Should Be Able to Fire You Over Facebook


Caution: Bad Career Advice Ahead

by Evil HR Lady on January 19, 2011

Have you ever heard some bad career advice? Followed it and found out that that wasn’t such a good idea in the first place? These people were served up some terrible advice. They didn’t listen, and now you’ve been warned. Prepare yourself for some bad advice.

Caution: Bad Career Advice Ahead

(A note to my wonderful readers: These are all taken from my bad advice dress contest. So, nothing new and exciting, although some have additional information, so I encourage you to read it. And, I wanted to include a lot more of you but didn’t for 2 reasons. 1. I had no way to contact most of you and 2. limited space.)


Why Do I Have to Interview For an Internal Promotion?

by Evil HR Lady on January 14, 2011

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I have been with my company for several years, and I am now up for a promotion. The job description is a perfect fit for my career path, and came from discussions with my supervisor about my career goals and the needs of the company.

Then in a twist I wasn’t expecting, the position was posted as a new position. Instead of being promoted directly to it, I was encouraged to apply for it like everyone else. Outside candidates will also be considered, but company policy gives “preference” to internal candidates when all other things are equal.

My question is two-fold:

1. Is this a normal way of doing things? This job description was tailor-made for me, and it seems odd that the company would go through a full recruitment process with outside candidates and all.

2. Since I am going to be interviewing for this new position, how much of typical interview advice still applies? The hiring manager is my current manager, who already knows all my strengths and shortcomings. He already knows what skills I have and what skills I will be able to learn. He already knows how I fit in with the company culture, how I get along with my co-workers, and how well I understand our business. What advice do you have for a situation like this?

Why Do I Have to Interview For an Internal Promotion?


It’s a snowy mess outside and you’re the boss. Should you require everyone to come into the office? Here are 5 things to help you make that decisions.

Winter Snow Storms: Should You Make Your Employees Come to Work?


How to Deal with Salary History Questions

by Evil HR Lady on January 12, 2011

Here’s a question that should be illegal and is definitely unethical. “What is your salary history?” I think companies have a lot of. . . nerve to ask what you have been paid in the past. Isn’t this confidential information between an employee and previous employers? I’d like to hear what other people on this board think about this subject or better yet, a story on BNET about this practice. I won’t be providing this answer in the future and I will be letting the company know that it is none of their business.

How to Deal with Salary History Questions