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    Frequently Asked Questions

    When should I follow-up with human resources after applying to a job?

    About 10 business days is best to wait on following-up about an application. Doing it too soon may not get anywhere because no one’s had a chance to look at it yet. If you follow-up after a few weeks have gone by, it may already be forgotten depending on the volume of applicants.

    On the other hand, some companies do have very lengthy hiring processes, however, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear anything when you reach out to the company.

    What documents do I need to send when applying for positions?

    The major documents you need to give human resources for a job application include your school/employment records, a valid birth certificate, a driver’s license, Social Security card, and possibly a work permit if you are not a U.S. citizen.

    If you have a criminal record, you may also need to provide that information. Some states actually prohibit employers from asking about it, though.

    How do I spot a fake job posting?

    These can be tricky, especially since scammers are now more sophisticated than ever. Even fake job postings might look like the real-deal, but it’s usually when the fake hiring process starts that a lot of red flags pop up.

    If an employer’s human resources department asks you to send money for your job application or tells you to perform some service before being officially hired, then it’s probably a scam.

    Some signs that the posting is fake are if the company link goes to an unrelated website, the contact info is a personal email address (like Gmail, Yahoo, etc) or the posting is vague about actual responsibilities and poorly written.

    What does human resources want my resume look like?

    Keep it brief, keep it clean. Most hiring managers only have time to look at a one-page resume. Plus, the important stuff should be able to fit on one 8×11 piece of paper. Think contact info at the top.

    Then, some relevant skills, your last three major professional experiences (jobs held or otherwise), and education/major achievements at the end.

    What does a human resources department do besides hiring?

    As you can probably guess by the name, human resources deals with everything related to people at a company. This includes everything from managing hiring/recruiting to firing/laying employees off and anything in-between.

    There are a bunch of rewarding careers in the HR space, too. You could work as a comp and benefits manager, a recruiter, employment manager, analytics specialist, an HR Consultant (with a firm like Korn Ferry), corporate training/development manager, and work your way up through the ranks to eventually become a Chief HR officer.

    I got put on a PIP in my first job, what do I do?

    Don’t panic! If your manager and human resources has to put you on a PIP (performance improvement plan), that doesn’t mean you’re out of the job. At the same time, it’s really important to think hard on how you got there.

    If you can’t see yourself changing the performance that landed you on the PIP, then you should consider finding a new job. Look internally first, since you may be able to move departments if a company’s big enough.

    Work closely with your manager to focus on how you can meet the goals outlined in the plan. If you decide to see it through to the end, remember, there’s always unemployment insurance if it goes badly. In case of being let go, make sure you take a few days to decompress and then work hard on applying to new positions every week.