Blog Career Privacy Uncategorized Work

No More than a Box-full

Does your cubicle at work look like it would take a U-haul to get everything out of there if you were suddenly terminated? If that’s the case, then it’s time to clean up your workspace. Perhaps you’ll uncover some achievement awards you forgot about, or a letter from a satisfied customer. You’re going to need these items when it’s time to update your resume. Sad but true, many of my clients have left important items behind when they were shown the door. That is THE worse time to have to start boxing up your stuff, or rent a moving van.

In all of my previous jobs I never got too comfortable leaving more than a “box-full” in my workspace. A box-full is pretty much all the time you get or want when the pink slip arrives — or when you finally get up the nerve to quit. The emotions can run high, especially while you’re piling the last 20 years of your life into cardboard boxes.

And that box-full should contain the least important of your stuff. In other words, if the building where you work burned down, could you live without the items in your cubicle? I’ve heard the horror stories of showing up to work and finding the doors locked. That’s why you don’t leave the most important things in your life at the office. A box of tissues, chapstick, and Excedrin can easily be replaced. Your Emmy Award can not.

The same goes for lockers, company vehicles, private emails and phone messages on your PDA, office computer, laptop, etc. Once you leave, your employer has complete access. And usually, you get no time to wipe out items on your computer because the company doesn’t want you to erase or copy what is rightfully theirs. Usually computer access is the first thing disconnected when you sever ties with your employer

Leaving a job after pouring so much of yourself into it is difficult. And it doesn’t matter whether you leave on your own accord or you’re terminated. Don’t make it any harder than it has to be. Clean out your desk and leave only a box-full of what you really need to do your job.

–Susan Geary, Certified Professional Résumé Writer / 1st Rate Resumes

Blog Career digital dirt Job Search Advice Privacy Uncategorized

Think Before Bragging

This morning as I was whizzing past the television, I caught a glimpse of one of Tiger Woods’ alleged mistresses conducting an interview on one of the national morning shows. The first thing I thought to myself was “good luck in your future job search.” I hope she invests any money she makes off this news event, or plans on self-employment. That’s because she might have a really difficult time getting a job. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible. But consider this. Recruiters will conduct a background check which also includes an internet search engine. What do you expect to come up? I SLEPT WITH TIGER WOODS AND TOLD EVERYONE ABOUT IT!

In today’s digital world, it’s easier than ever to track down information on anyone. Keep that in mind before you brag about your transgressions.

–Susan Geary, CPRW / 1st Rate Resumes

digital dirt employee surveillance Privacy Uncategorized

Employee Surveillance

Advances in Internet and computer technology have brought about increased surveillance in our lives, especially the workplace. Employers have the right to read our email, check what we’re surfing, and listen to our voicemails, without ever telling us. And that’s not the only place they’re watching.

Think about it for a moment. You arrive at work, put your security key card in the door and then sign in. Cameras watch and record you as you walk throughout the building, and how you interact with each other. Employers know how many photocopies and print outs you make a month (you have an employee code don’t you?), along with faxes, and long distance calls from your extension. They know if you’re in the building on a Saturday updating your resume on a company computer. And they can monitor everything you do with your handheld personal digital assistant, if they own it.

It seems that everything is being recorded in our lives. This includes, what we buy at Kroger, what we drive, where we shop, what we read, and where we work. Outside of the workplace, surveillance is a bit more voluntary. No one is forcing you to sign up for a Kroger Card, subscribe to LinkedIn, or Twitter your whereabouts. That’s your choice. But you need to know Twitter and MySpace make it much easier for your boss to track your personal activities.

Add podcasts, blogs, media coverage, government records, judgments, and death notices; and it’s clear to see that all of us will leave some sort of digital record behind after we depart the planet. It’s no wonder detectives track ATM, cell phone, and computer use, along with surveillance video to solve homicides. These folks can easily determine what we were doing just prior to getting whacked.

Don’t forget that anything you publish on the Internet (or in any form of writing for that matter) can come back to haunt you at a future date, especially during a job hunt. You are branding yourself; use careful consideration about everything you publish.

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes

Blog Job Search Advice Privacy Uncategorized

Those Pesky Salary History Requests…..

Over the past 24 hours I’ve been monitoring a thread online called “Ask the News Director.” It’s a forum that allows TV Journalists to ask a News Director the best ways to get hired, manage their careers, etc. I immediately jumped into the fray, asked the following questions, and received answers. They could be bogus for all I know, but the answers are sensible and I just had to share:

RESUME WRITER: Are there employment agreements that specifically state that compensation packages must remain confidential?

TV NEWS DIRECTOR: Yes in every station in which I’ve worked.

RESUME WRITER: Some companies ask for applicants to state a salary history in their cover letter. Wouldn’t that violate a contract agreement with a current or former shop?

TV NEWS DIRECTOR: Yes, and no one ever fills that out in my experience. I wouldn’t.

RESUME WRITER: If you ask for a salary history, and the applicant doesn’t oblige, would you still consider him/her for employment?

TV NEWS DIRECTOR: Yes. I don’t expect a job candidate to reveal her/his salary. However, I don’t want to waste time, so I may ask, “This job pays about $70,000. Is that in your range.” If they guys says, “I’m making more than that now,” I know we both need to move on.

So there you have one decision maker’s view on how to respond to a request for a salary history.

Need help with responding to other sensitive information? Contact me through my website at

Susan Geary, Certified Resume Writer and Career Coach
Because Your Career Matters

Blog Career employee surveillance Job Search Advice Privacy resume writing Uncategorized Work

Resume Requests from Work

How do I nicely say this? I love that fact that clients call me up for resume reviews, and inquiries about services offered, however, I hate it when they do it from work. It makes me feel like I’m contributing to bad behavior on the job and the last thing I want to do is contribute to the fuel that may get them fired.

Therefore, if you ever want a free resume critique, just call or email, but please don’t do the following:

1. Email me a copy of your resume from work

2. Ask me to return your call to a work phone number

Why? Because someone in IT can and possibly is monitoring your email and computer usage. Did you know there are software programs that capture and store every web page visited? That means even your personal yahoo emails can be read by your employer. So they don’t need to know that you are updating your resume.

Please help me help you. Leave me your HOME phone number and the best time to call (refer to your time zone also.) Let me know if you don’t want me to mention my company name (1st Rate Resumes) when leaving a message, and give me a personal email address to respond to your needs.

My goal is to help you in your job search, without hurting you in your current job.

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes

Blog Career employee surveillance Privacy Uncategorized Work

Big Brother is Watching

I can’t seem to get it through the heads of my friends and colleagues who surf the net at work, with the idea that “my employer doesn’t care.” Wanna bet? I was flipping through the pages of PC World this week and came across an ad for the following website. Their motto? “Record everything your employees do on the internet.” That’s right. You see, they don’t sit around and monitor you. They wait until your annual evaluation or if they need an excuse to fire you. Well, here’s living proof that they are watching. So just don’t do it.

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes

Blog Privacy Uncategorized

Giving up Your Privacy Online

Here’s another article I just ran across, regarding what happens to your privacy when you post your resume on and other jumbo job boards. Apparently your privacy can also be jeopardized if you go directly to a corporate website, if they use a third party company. Read about it here.

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes