Beware Of This Gmail Phishing Technique Used By Hackers

Word fence’s Mark Maunder’s Security blog is a timely warning on an effective technique being used by hackers to obtain your information.

Maybe time to change your password?

Check if your email address has been hacked in any major data breach, including LinkedIn’s of May, 2016. See: to check your status.


Ensure That Your Online Resume Is Consistent In Your Email, On LinkedIn, And On Indeed.

We have seen people lose out on opportunities to be interviewed due to their having different versions of their resumes posted on different sites. Combine that with a resume emailed that differs from the online presentation/s and you have the potential for confusion.

Employers check people out on online, so it is easy to locate and compare resumes posted on different sites with a name search. If you forget to update your resume with a current position or title, or if you have different dates for companies you worked for, or different companies and jobs appearing on different resumes, you reduce the chances to receive a call or a message about the job you are applying for.

While most employers will give you the benefit of the doubt on minor discrepancies, significant differences found between resumes close doors to opportunity, and they won’t always tell you why you weren’t chosen.

Take a few minutes to check that your LinkedIn profile and other posted resumes match dates and companies, and the resume that you attach to an email, or have for download on skydrive-type sites reflects accurately your work history. This is in your best career interests to do.

Mind The Gap: Explain Breaks In Your Resume Timeline.


Hiring managers and their assistants scan many resumes looking for that elusive candidate that checks off their hiring criteria boxes.

An unexplained and extended gap in your work history, or neglecting to note a contract position, runs the risk of your resume not reaching the ‘A’ folder for closer review.

You don’t want the hiring manager uncertain about what you were doing in the time that is unaccounted for in your resume.

There are many reasons other than contractual work why people have gaps in their work history:

• Parental leave due to a new birth
• Staying at home to raise children
• Falling ill and having to resign your position
• Terminated unexpectedly with or without cause
• Downsized/restructured due to an acquisition or merger
• Attending to a sick parent, child or spouse for extended health care
• Finalizing estate issues overseas for deceased parents
• Travel due to taking an extended sabbatical period
• Returning to school to obtain advanced academic training
• Moving to a new city/country because of a spouse’s promotion

When an employer sees missing months—-or years—with no explanation, doubt and hesitation to pursue the candidate influences his/her thinking.

Briefly describe the circumstances that required the gap in employment and you will eliminate the employer wondering why there is a break in your work history.

In an interview, reinforce that sense of transparency by being honest and forthright about specific circumstances, and your integrity will speak for itself.

Simple Errors In Employment Dates On An Application Affect Your Job Search.

It’s the little things that can trip you up in your job application.

Candidates are derailed in the hiring process due to simple errors that raise concern or suspicion in the employer’s mind.

A case in point is where an employer receives a resume with certain employment dates, then, after doing a casual LinkedIn profile review or Indeed resume search, discovers that the dates on the resume don’t match the time frames on the profile.

For some sticklers for total accuracy, this is enough to halt the review process. Other employers prefer to give the benefit of the doubt. They may check their internal resume bank to see if the candidate has applied before, and then compare notes, to see if any other discrepancies exist.

Accuracy in these resume details is of vital interest to you. You don’t want your application rejected for innocent errors. It takes just a few minutes to check and ensure that any online resume information you have is consistent.

It’s another matter altogether if your resume has different dates or different companies in different versions posted online. In this instance, employers are less likely to give benefit of the doubt and will simply move on.

The other area of a resume is the Education section. Here, you want to avoid any confusion about whether or not you graduated from a program, and if the year noted of graduation agrees with other online profiles.

It’s competitive for all positions that you apply for. Give your resume a fighting chance to be seen and considered.

Do you have accurate and consistent information posted on all of your online resumes?

Increase Your Visibility When Applying By Email.

With hundreds of resumes that we receive every week from all over North America, it is surprising to see how many submissions can be improved by following a few easy steps to improve visibility. It is vital to your interests to get noticed quickly among the many applications pouring in to most job postings.

  • Save a resume document in your own name

Many resume readers aren’t the final hiring manager. Assistants are used to pre-screen submissions. These assistants won’t spend any more time than is necessary on your document. Give the reader your name to refer to without them having to change the file name to save and find you on their desktop.

  • Combine 2 or more attachments into one document

Multiple attachments take time to save and process. Combining two or more documents into one streamlines both the review and the processing of the email. You run the risk of your cover letter, which may include important information being separated from your resume when emails are processed and passed on. Eliminate that risk. I’ve seen message that had nine attachments.

  • Use standard document formats: .doc, .pdf, .rtf or .txt.

Sending a resume saved in an exotic file format or as a .jpg that the reader can’t scan and/or open to read guarantees that the message will not progress further.

  • Eliminate the use of multiple pictures which increase the file size

Some email systems or email preferences may be set to automatically delete large files. Reduce the file size to avoid this problem.

  • Save a standard introductory letter in the Drafts folder to modify, according to the position applied for, including your telephone contact details.

Many virus messages have no text in them. Combine this with an anonymous resume file, and you are asking to be overlooked. Confirm to the reader that a live human being sent the message by adding contact information.

  • Use the Subject line effectively

Blank subject lines convey the impression of a lack of preparation or interest. The subject line is your first opportunity to command attention. Use the subject line to identify why you’re writing in a few, short words, identifying the position title.

  • Paste the text of your resume in the email message

Be visible to the reader, and easy to find. Instantly connect with the reader by pasting your resume text in the message, in addition to attaching your resume. A decision to move forward may be made in the few seconds that you have the reader’s eyeballs. Make it easy for that decision to happen.

Stand Out From The Crowd When Applying For Jobs.


Hundreds of people may apply for the same position, how do you stand out from the crowd and ensure that your application gets noticed?

Create a separate email account on Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail. Have this account for job search activities; gather all of your related correspondence for easy access and follow-up. Use your first and last name in the email address that you choose. Avoid using odd, cryptic and un-businesslike email addresses.

Note your telephone number somewhere at the top of your message for easy access.
The recipient appreciates this because you make it easier for him/her to contact you for further consideration. When emails move from one department to another, information from the text is often lost, especially if you’ve a large amount of introductory text in the message.

Tell the reader when you can be reached by telephone. Note a timeframe that is easiest to reach you: “cell # (000)123-1234 after 3:30 p.m.” –or– “(000)123-1234 after 5:00 p.m.; leave message, anytime.” People involved in the hiring process have busy schedules.

Indicate that you can be reached by text message, anytime. The ability to instantly communicate with you is both a convenience for the resume reader/hiring manager, and can give you a jump on the competition that may not check their email once a day or every day.

Identify the position that you’re applying for in the subject line of your email. If it’s a position number you are applying to, also include the title. You set yourself apart from those applicants who don’t take the extra time to ensure that their communications are clear and focused.

Edit and re-edit the text of your cover letter. Long, meandering cover letters or messages decrease the chance to move forward in the review and pre-selection process. Every sentence must create buyer interest.

Manually check both your resume and cover message for errors. Spellcheck features are not totally reliable. They can’t tell if you mean: ‘they’re, their and there’, for example.

Ensure that all online resumes match in dates of employment and jobs held. There is nothing that creates more confusion in a resume reader’s mind than finding that they have two different sets of dates of employment in a resume and a candidate’s online profile on LinkedIn or Indeed to compare with. Create consistency in your public information.

These simple steps taken increase the odds of being noticed when hundreds of applicants are vying for the same position.

Make Your Skills Summary Statement Golden.

Most hiring managers and recruiters are sold on selecting a resume for active consideration in the first 10 seconds or so spent reviewing it. That’s not a lot of time to grab their attention! Make the time count by putting what you can do up front. The generic Job Objective on a resume doesn’t accomplish this and may limit your options in some cases.

A Skills Summary that sizzles hits the hot buttons of the reader and makes them put down their coffee and read on.

You are providing information on your skills and experience in a tightly worded introduction. It is a sales presentation that paves the way to a follow up call or interview.

A Job Objective might say: Sales Executive in a global freight forwarder.

A Skills Summary identifies what you bring to the table: Ten years sales development experience in international air and ocean freight. successful in identifying, pursuing and closing new business. Known for persistence and the ability to develop and retain profitable accounts.

The simple truth is that you need to use those precious few seconds when you have the reader’s eyeballs to make them sort you into the follow up folder. Remember that sorting through hundreds of resumes may well be the least favourite activity of the reader.

Call it a Skills Summary, Key Qualifications, Key Assets Statement, whatever term you use, make it serve your interests. Define in a few short sentences the essence of who you are, what you’ve done and what you can do.

The rest of the resume supports your opening statement. The Applicant Tracking software that companies use will scan your keywords for relevancy. Put this section in early in your resume.

Get noticed for the right reasons and you’re more likely to advance in the selection process.

These Are Key Strengths That Recruiters And Employers Seek In Candidates.

In no particular order, here are the qualities that create buyer interest in employers and recruiters. These skills and values identify key strengths that companies seek in the people that they hire.

Communications – you communicate effectively and are able to connect with others through listening, and creating relationships founded on trust.
Honesty – you are sincere, genuine and straightforward and this impression is confirmed with past employers and colleagues.
Initiative – you did your research on the company and you come prepared with good questions.
Self-confidence – you impress with genuine confidence, poise, and enthusiasm.
Self-discipline – you show that you are organized and that you manage your time well.
Hard worker – your track record and personal values reflect the mindset of an achiever.
Team player – you show the willingness and the ability to work with other people, and be part of a cooperative effort.
Self motivated – you are driven to succeed, and are prepared to put in the energy to be successful, finding satisfaction in a job well done.
Goal directed – your choices—academic and work-related— paint the picture of someone who is always taking on new challenges.
Organized – you’re able to manage and retain vital information, juggling multiple demands on your time.
Adaptability – you’re able to adapt to new people and changing situations, adjusting to priorities and sudden shifts in direction.
Reliability – you keep your commitments, and former employers speak of you as someone who can always be counted on to give your best effort.

Have The Facts Of Your Achievements At Your Fingertips.

Write down key points of your contributions, achievements, ideas implemented and other items that illustrate your strengths and value to your employers.

  • How was your performance measured?
  • What did you achieve in new sales development?
  • What percentage of growth of revenues was achieved?
  • How did you win or keep those customers?
  • What steps did you take to identify and solve key problems?
  • What procedures did you need to create to achieve the goals?
  • How did you create value for your past employer?
  • What problems are you able to solve for this employer?
  • How will you make this potential employer’s company/department better?
  • What examples of leadership can you provide?
  • How did you assist other colleagues in reaching their objectives?
  • What recommendations that you made were adopted by the company?
  • How did your efforts improve bottom-line profitability?

Create a compelling narrative that tells the story of your work history, focused on what you have done to create, improve, increase, resolve and enhance the company’s business and its standing in the eyes of its customers.

These key points create buyer interest and help you move forward in the selection process.

The Courage To Tell The Truth

If you were terminated for cause from your previous position for any reason, be upfront about it. Admittedly, this is hard to do and it requires moral strength. Honesty and integrity are character strengths that are valued by all fair-minded employers, and your courage to tell the truth without spinning the facts will gain the respect of the interviewer. If they see self-awareness and accountability in your attitude toward mistakes made, they may choose to give you the opportunity to prove yourself once again. Sincerity can overcome many obstacles.

If you were terminated for circumstances beyond your control, such as global restructuring or downsizing, ensure that you have your termination letter with you. If your ex-employer didn’t provide one, obtain it from the human resources department of the company, or your ex-manager if company policy permits this.

If you left due to a “mutual parting of ways”, clarify what led to your departure. If it was a lack of chemistry with a new manager, differences in opinion of business procedure, their expectations of performance not realized, describe the situation objectively, in few words. Simple honesty communicates clearly to other people, and your sincerity will be transmitted to the interviewer.