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Human Resource Departments Mimic Vicious Ant Colonies

Dear Job Hunter, I need to confess to you, I have felt this way for years, HR Departments really function as an ant colony, as a vicious killer ant colony.  The bad ones from Africa I’ve seen on NatGeo.  What do I mean?  Human Resources and their supporting staff eat their own, devour wooing applicants up and, will step all over other staff members in other departments in the organization.  I’ll begin this mental journey, to explain why, with a true story of a job seminar I gave some time back.

I was doing a short talk at a church in Minnetonka, Minnesota about how resumes and career profiles should be written in a tight job market, and had some success with my talking points.  As well, the hosting career coach opened a question and open comment time for everyone, as I was her guest speaker that evening.  To my surprise an HR Director got up, who was displaced herself, said, “I want to apologize in how rude HR Departments are, as I have now seen what it was like being on the other end.  They can be the some of the rudest people in the whole organization.   And I am sorry for that.“ 

I was very shocked why she was so terse in her confession, the same way I felt about HR for years.  They don’t send rejection letters.  If you are fired, they give you three minutes to prep your desk to leave.  I could go on and on, and I’m sure you, the reader, could probably add your own horror story.   This behavior needs to stop.  It needs to stop immediately.  We need to point out how rude and very disrespectful they have always been, and it needs to cease with informative essays like this one.  We demand respect and tolerance they give themselves.


I’ve been working with a local fresh grad paralegal on her resume marketing package, and need to note to you that from my experience over the years, and with her, the only organization that still may have a ‘Pollyanna’ view of people, meaning, be nice to your neighbor, is the law firm.  Law firms still send out rejection letters (or emails) and thank you cards for inquiries into employment of the firm.  HR Directors need to learn from these law firms that you are required to be nice to people by telling them at least you got the application, if the firm is not interested, send a letter stating why the position was recently filled or the position has been closed.  Treat your applicants like you are writing your grandmother from summer camp.  Don’t be rude; see them as a real live person and tell them what’s going on this week. 

Finally, I’ll tell you what ant colonies do.  When in war with another ant colony, going over a water stream or something like that in a desert in Africa, the dead ones in the water are walked all over by the warrior ant. 

HR Managers and the like, please treat resumes and applicants as the best document or work history they can produce at this point.  It is.  Don’t walk over (reject) the applicant IF there is one spelling error.  Functionally, it is the work history represented in the submitted documents that shows some kind of accomplishment.  I am sure, even an HR Director, does not write an email in grammar-perfect English everyday or may have a questionable work history.  Why shouldn’t you expect the same?  Don’t kill the resume or application over one little error or a perceived job gap.  Are you a queen ant dictator that gives no grace and mercy, killing all workers with even the slightest deviation?  I would hope HR would prove to be human and not a vicious ant-eating killer ant colony.

by Jason Stauffacher

Agribusiness Intern opportunity at Padilla, Minneapolis.

Padilla Speer Beardsley is looking for a full-time public relations intern to work on a wide variety of projects with our agribusiness and environmental science team.

We are looking for recent grads who are available to start immediately. This is a paid, three-month internship.

Responsibilities may include:
• Writing news, product and personnel releases.
• Providing research.
• Supporting onsite events.
• Coordinating vendors.
• Creating and editing media lists.
• Making media-verification calls.
• Organizing clips.
• Tracking incoming trade publications.

Candidates must have excellent writing skills and media relations experience, as well as one or two previous internships or volunteer experiences in public relations, journalism or marketing communications.

What to say when giving a hiring manager my resume?

Q: Okay, I applied online at this store but I'm going to turn in my resume tomorrow morning. What should I say to the hiring manager when I take my resume and CV in? Should I ask for an interview or just give it to her and leave?


A: This is a great opportunity to do for a walk-talking interview without setting a proper interview time with HR.  And that may lead to a fast job offer than the other route of waiting for the response email or call on the phone.  Your are putting your body in front of the potential employeer and showing your stuff. 

I like to call this a ‘baby-step interview,’ and you need to dress and submit your resume like you are going to a REAL interview, mind you.  You are not just dropping off your resume, and maybe something will happen.  First of all, you don't know who will be there, if the hiring manager will be in or the HR Director had a bad day and just wants to get this job filled ASAP.  That would be to your benefit.  So it's just not going in and dropping it off your nicely printed off resume.  You need to ask to speak to someone who is related to the job.  Most, I would say up to 90% of applications are done by email now.  You need to do this and fast, as others are sending in their resumes and emails as fast as I am typing this Q&A response.  Ultimately, you really are short-listing yourself and making the process far easier for HR and putting the show on for yourself.  And this is a great way of getting things done in your career.

Here is a Twitter way of saying this: @RazorResume Dropping your rez off gets you in the door faster than just an email.  Who knows who’s watching when you walk in that door.

This Is How to get A Federal Job

First of all you have to know where the jobs are.  In a recent survey it was found in a survey by that the top city for jobs in the entire United States is Washington D.C.  Here are the top ten in order listed with how many jobs are available per 1000 residents:

1. Washington, DC - 133 (postings per 1,000 people)

2. Baltimore, MD - 90

3. San Jose, CA - 80

4. Austin, TX - 56

5. Hartford, CT - 54

6. Seattle, WA - 53

7. Salt Lake City, UT - 52

8. Denver, CO - 50

9. Boston, MA - 49

10. Las Vegas, NV - 49

(Charlotte, NC, also with 49 postings per 1,000 residents, takes the eleventh spot on the list.)

So the first step, if you will do anything to get a Federal job, is to look in these areas for employment. This doesn't mean there aren't jobs in other cities, it only means these are the cities with the most jobs.  Step two: visit the governments website  Here you will find every job (well almost every job) open in the federal government. There are other places to look but this is the website that lists the vast majority of the positions available.

When you see a position you qualify for study the announcement very closely, if there is something you do not quite understand, you can call one our great specialists at at 1-800-818-1355.

Now Pick 1 or 2 or 3 positions you would like to apply for.  Once you have decided which positions you will apply for it is time to get your federal resume in order and supplemental documents written and submitted.

I will be frank with you here, you can try to wrestle through this process yourself, and believe me the preparation of a Federal government application package is difficult and tediously detailed work. Or you can have a professional resume writer do it for you.  Try your hand at it and see if you can do it, or if you need a professional’s hand at it as well.

That ultimately is your decision, but I strongly suggest that you hire a professional to bounce ideas and concerns off of. The main reason is that these positions are very competitive, hundreds of people apply for them and you have to do all you can to make sure that you are one of the ones that gets called in for the all important interview.

There is no substitute for a real experienced writer you can have at your finger-tips, but read the full Federal announcement, and see what I am talking about.  It’s a lot of information to do and perform.


The professional writer knows the correct words to use they know the correct forms to use, they know and are very familiar with all the  procedures and rules associated with the federal application process.

Look at your application requirements and if you are serious about this process, you can start the work and see what the extent of the work can and will be.  Then again you can try it on your own. But when you don't get called do not "fool yourself" and make up some reason that you didn't get called, there are only 2 reasons:

a. Someone actually read through your entire resume package, the supplemental documents KSA's or ECQ's or PTQ's and then determined that you weren't qualified. That doesn't usually happen because most people apply for jobs they are not qualified for.  That’s a basic idea.  Too many apply for a job they are not really qualified for.


b. The hiring committee never saw your resume in the first place because it never made it through the initial steps to get to the step where a real person actually got to see the documents. In other words your package wasn't written correctly because it did not have all the right key words on it!



I only applied for one job outside of Target.  I got the job!!!  I was laid off from Target on November 30th, and one week later I was offered the job.  God Blessed me on my job search, and you were part of his answer to my prayers.  Thank you for your help.  I passed on your name to four people from Target, I hope they were smart enough to contact you.


Thanks again,



There seem to be a lot of strange ideas that because of the recession, companies will not be hiriing this holiday season. You may hear some job seekers mumbling that "hiring will be worse this December".

You know what?

That is complete bunk... It isn't true!

Most individuals in the employment field : Recruiters, Hiring managers, HR personnel, are totally aware that this December is not going to be any different than the rest of the year. Yes we have a recession, but the outlook for next year is that it will definitely be a better year all around.  Employers are looking for new employees that can start immediately after New Years.

Let's get rid of these pesky holiday job search rumors:

Rumor Number 1: Companies don't hire during the holidays.

Truth: Yes the Holidays are extra busy and stressful but companies hire ( big time) in December:  Why?
(A) Companies need to use up the funds in their budget or they lose it next year.
(B) Hiring managers need to tie up loose ends with unfilled positions before the end of the year.
(C) Some Employees tend to quit their jobs  around the holidays.  Why?

They have job offers but don't want to quit before they get got it ...BONUS!
This means end-of-year job openings that must be filled fast.

Rumor Number 2: There aren't any good jobs available During the Holidays.

Truth: (Reread Truth number 1 above) Your chances of finding a job in December are as good as in any other month. Hiring is the end result of a need; not time of year!  In fact waiting until after the 1st of January can set you back.

Rumor Number 3:  Don't bother looking for a job the middle of December.

Truth: The interview process does not stop because of the Holidays. You may need to be more flexible,but the more available you make yourself the better your chances . Other candidates will make the mistake of thinking they should wait until after the first of the year and so you can stroll on in, show your initiative and personal drive and land the job of your dreams.

Truth: At the risk of repeating myself, it is a perfect time to send out your Resume. With job seekers going on vacation and employees quitting their jobs, Recruiters hiring managers and employers are under the gun trying to find qualified employees. Take advantage of this scenario and send out your professional resume in volume.


A frequent theme of our blog writing is limiting your resume to information that’s truly relevant to the position for which you’re applying.  You should feel free to leave off your high school job serving fast food or your college job working retail if you have years of subsequent work experience.  Also, listing only the achievements from your previous jobs can actually omit an important component of your career: your personal story. 

Many of the clients I work with put themselves through graduate programs years into their career, while they were working full-time.  This is no small feat!  If you know anyone who has gone to grad school while they were working, you probably remember that period of their life as one of high stress and limited play.  However, making this career move almost always pays off with greater career opportunities and a higher salary.  It requires (and displays) real ambition to return to school when you already have a job.  So, if you’re one of the many people who has done this, one way to highlight it on your resume is to stick it right into the job summary:  

Managed a department of 20 employees. Directed all sales and billing.  Earned MBA while working full-time. 

1) Many job seekers have also performed years of consulting services on the side.  Some do not include this on their resume, as they think of it as irrelevant additional information.  Not so!  If you have the business wherewithal to handle some amount of self-employment in addition to your regular job, that’s a valuable skill.  And even if you don’t end up getting the job for which you applied, you may just gain yourself a new client! 

2) Another way to spark great interview conversation is by including any education or work relevant to your personal passions or hobbies.  I’m not suggesting that you put “likes to play golf” on your resume, but if you’re good enough to have won numerous tournaments, that shows dedication and skill that most people don’t possess.  I recently worked with a woman who had taken more than 30 classes at her local culinary school over the years.  I jokingly asked her if her retirement plan was to open a restaurant, and guess what ... it was! 

Ninety-nine percent of your resume’s content should relate directly to the position you’re targeting.  However, don’t be afraid to sprinkle in a few sentences that differentiate you from the other candidates in the pile.  After all, hiring managers want to work with interesting people!


Resume Writing Terms

Having a well-written resume is vital in any job market. It can make the difference between getting an interview or not. With so much competition for openings, you need a resume that sets you apart from the other candidates. Below are some terms that can help you achieve that goal.
Reverse Chronological Resume – Outlines a person’s job history, starting from the current or latest position and working backwards. The flaw in this type is that it is easy to spot long periods of unemployment.

Functional Resume – This type is arranged by job function instead of by year. This allows potential employers to focus on the skills you have aquired throughout the years.

Template – Many people write their own resume and cover letter. A template can help you achieve a professional-looking resume. This is an example of how a resume should be designed. These samples can be found online and are often specialized for specific positions. It is important to remember that some templates are only examples, not outlines. To make the most of your resume, the samples should be tweaked to fit you personally.

Cover Letter – This is usually a mandatory addition to a resume, especially when you apply for higher level employment. This essay basically introduces you to the HR manager who is in charge of filling the open position. In it, you can include why you want the job and what unique skills or advantage you will bring to the company.

Curriculum Vitae – Latin for “course of life,” this is sometimes requested by companies as an alternative to a resume, mostly for the academic and medical industries. A curriculum vitae is more comprehensive in a lot of ways. It includes your education, job history, special skills, all in a greater depth that you would find in most resumes. 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 1.00 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.80 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.80 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.80 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.80 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.80 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.80 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.80 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64 2012-03-13T07:06:48+00:00 weekly 0.64