Ask Woodlyn

The following are frequently asked questions over our years in the staffing industry.  The answers to some of these questions have changed based on trends we have observed.

How many references do I need to provide and when should I give them out?
Most companies ask for 3 references. Typically they request 2 previous managers and another person who can speak to your success. It’s not unusual for a company to ask for a customer reference if you are in Sales.  Make sure you call each of your references before handing them in to let them know who will be calling and the job you are considering.

Some companies will ask for your references when deciding between 2 people under consideration and those references help them make their hiring decision. Most often you will be asked for references when you are the candidate of choice. We have also seen offers extended contingent upon completion references checks.

Will employers allow me to work from home 1-2 days a week?
It really depends on the company culture and the hiring manager.  Many larger companies have moved to a virtual work model however, smaller companies are building a culture and like everyone to come into the office and be available to others in the organization. 

Many of the smaller companies have an open communication culture up and down the organization and move at a fast pace.  If you’re not there, you could miss being a part of the decisions that are made on the spot.  There are always exceptions and it’s best not to raise this question at the start of the interview process until you get a feel for the organization.

When should I talk salary with a potential employer?
Unless you are asked directly, never bring up salary in your initial meeting.  Sometimes employers will ask about your current income or requirements at the beginning of the interview process to make sure neither of you waste your time.  If you bring up the subject of compensation too early in the interview process, you may not have the opportunity to present your background of experience for consideration.  Often candidates will ask us how to handle these types of questions when asked what they are looking for in the way of compensation.  We generally suggest you let them know the range of compensation you would consider.  If asked outright “What was your last compensation” or “What are you currently earning”, always tell the truth.  Let them know you are considering opportunities within a certain range and will look at whole opportunity and the total package.

Do I need more than one version of my resume?
Your resume will go through several revisions as you go through your search but we recommend you use one resume. When you read the job description you may see things you left out of your resume that should be included but a re-write shouldn’t be necessary.

Should I keep my resume to one page?
Early in your career it will be one page and as you expand your experiences it will logically grow to 2 pages.

How do I dress for an initial interview?
It’s complicated these days when most companies dress business casual.  It’s better to be over dressed than under dressed.

I’m searching for my next opportunity and a recruitment agency wants to charge me a fee.  Should I pay it?
No, the employer pays the agency to help them in filling a particular job. You should not be asked to pay the agency a fee.

What’s the difference between retained search and a contingency recruiter”?
In both instances the employer pays the fee, however retained recruiters have an exclusive relationship and are paid a retainer up front to start the search.  Contingency recruiters may or may not have an exclusive relationship and do not receive a fee unless they successfully place a candidate with the company.

I provided my resume to a recruiter and they sent it to a company without my knowledge.  Is this typical?
At Woodlyn, we discuss potential opportunities with our candidates prior to presenting their background to a company, however, this is not always the case with other recruiters.  You should always confirm this up front so your resume doesn’t get sent anywhere without your knowledge.

Should I send a thank you follow up note to everyone I meet in the interview process?
Yes.  You make an impression on everyone you meet and your follow up with each is important.  These email notes should be brief and sent within 24 hours.

I received a written offer contingent upon successful completion of my references and a background check.  Should I resign my current job before these are completed?
Generally, we tell people to wait until they receive the written offer before they resign.  In this case, if the offer is contingent on something the company has not completed, you run the risk of the offer being rescinded based on the outcome of your references.  We would suggest you wait until all criteria around that offer have been completed before you officially resign.

After receiving an offer when should I resign?
Always wait until you receive the final written offer. Minor details are often worked out during the verbal offer stage.

If I don’t have hands on social media experience, would I qualify for these roles after I complete courses to learn social media methods and platforms?
Some companies need actual experience in this area while others would appreciate your interest in keeping current with new methods but these are entry level roles. 

Are non-compete agreements enforceable?
In our experience, these are generally enforced in the state of Massachusetts.  Some of  these agreements have grey areas and would advise you to consult with an employment lawyer to better understand the extent of the agreement.

Are Skype calls taking the place of phone screens?
We have seen this with employers who have people in the process who are not local but Skype interview calls are not common yet.