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You got the phone call and you are interested in the job opening. Do not play hard to get. You must send your resume for consideration. Any delay can cost you the opportunity. All searches are time-sensitive and the recruiter wants to determine quickly if you are qualified. The following tips will assist you in building a relationship you can trust. Ask the recruiter to agree to the following and send your resume once you have an agreement.

    Confirm that your relationship will not be discussed or disclosed with any employees of your current company. The recruiter will not mention your name to build credibility with other recruits.
    Advise the recruiter that under any circumstance that your resume will not be floated among their company’s clients. Any attempt to market or disseminate your resume or background without a bona fide search opening must be approved by you.
    Request that your resume will not be sent to any client without your prior approval, no matter how time-sensitive the search.
    Ask about the recruiter’s experience and their type of clients. What industries and disciplines are their focus and specialty?


We all know and love Dopey, Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful and Doc. As children, adults and parents these fairytale characters have become a magical part of our collective consciousness. My workplace fairytale dream uncovers seven career dwarfs that are found in many companies. They are Dumpy, Smiley, Stinky, Wimpy, Puffy, Handful and Jock. These characters can be male or female.

Dumpy: Business casual dress offender, never seems to get it right. Did you sleep in your clothes? Always on some sort of a diet, but stays chubby. Chubby might be the undiscovered eighth dwarf.
Smiley: Permanent smiles, always a positive façade. Are they for real? Free candy on their desk and they stay slender.
Stinky: Personal hygiene felon and repeat offender. Permanent bad breath & BO. Try to keep your distance! Avoid offers to car-pool.
Wimpy: Behind-the-scenes complainer, over-worked, never takes a position, tries to be invisible, clock-watcher. Will waffle on most decisions.
Puffy: It’s all-about-me; big "I" problem; has a "this place would go out of business without me" attitude; can’t share recognition. Spot light hog.
Handful: Always wants more, never satisfied, complainer, discontented, negative, gossip purveyor, rumor mill igniter.
Jock: Condescending attitude, treadmill enthusiast, speaks mostly in sport metaphors and carries a water bottle at all times.

Once upon a time, you may encounter them in your workplace. Be aware and recognize these fictional characters. They are to be avoided. I also suggest you look in the mirror. Are you becoming a one of them? If you sense you are, start working on yourself to change and live happily ever after.

Dear Headhunter,
I am about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting. What are the hot industries? I am open to relocation, but I want to stay on the West Coast. How can I stay close to home without limiting my opportunities?

Dear Rookie,
The Natural Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE) states in their top ten industry list is that accounting is number one growth profession. NACE indicates that health care is the fastest growing industry, followed by economics and finance. So, based on that data, you seem to have the right timing with your degree. I would suggest health care insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospital provider groups and medical supply companies. Also, remember that seventy-five percent of all job openings are in small businesses of 500 workers or less. Don’t concentrate only on the Dow Jones sized companies, but select several major cities and research the smaller companies for opportunities.

Relocation with limits may undermine your ability to get an interview for the right opportunity. Even if the job is in the city you want, if you limit your relocation, you may never get the interview. Most companies translate promotability and relocatability as the same word. I suggest that you put no restrictions on where you will live. If you get a job offer in the wrong city, just turn it down.

Good luck on your search. -George

Dear Headhunter,
I currently have a management position in marketing and promotions for my company. I really enjoy what I’m doing, but I feel underutilized and I want a new challenge. I want to switch corporate finance. What problems do I face and how do I get started?

Dear Future Numbers Guy,
The first thing to remember is that it is always much easier to switch disciplines with your current employer. That is, if you are doing a good job and are respected. Get creative and try to expand your responsibilities to include any finance whenever possible. On marketing projects, ask for the numbers and what they mean. Enroll in college-level finance courses. Let everyone know about your classes. That will set the tone that you are serious. Find and develop a mentor in the finance department. Your best career bet is to get the finance title with your current company. After a year or so, if you are not getting what you want, beef up your finance skills on your resume to look at opportunities outside of your company. With your new title and skills on your resume, you should be able to increase your responsibility and compensation. Beware, if you look outside of your company, without any finance experience, understand that you may be treated as a entry-level candidate and you may have to take a pay cut to get to finance. -George

Dear Headhunter,
My fiancé was hired as a seasonal worker for a large retail store. He was told be the company, if he passed his 90-day probation they would consider his employment as permanent full-time. My fiancé was let go 2 day after his 90-day probation and the companies’ reason for letting him go was because the holiday season is over and he was no longer needed. Is this a wrongful termination? We thought he would be considered a permanent employee not a seasonal because he passed his 90 day probation. Please give me some impute.

Sincerely, C. P.

Dear C. P.,
Wrongful termination is always a legal question to be answered by an attorney. Based on your information most companies can terminate employment without cause. If he did not get the 90-day commitment in writing it would be tough to prove. The best next step is to get a letter recommendation and start a search to find his next job.

PLEASE NOTE: emails received become the property of "Dear Headhunter" and may be published unless otherwise requested. Questions may be edited for content and length. All questions will be reviewed, some without a reply.

George Gurney has been a leader in the employment industry since 1976. He founded an executive search firm that conducts domestic and international assignments.  He has won numerous awards for recruiting excellence.  He has been a guest speaker at national conventions and seminars.