There are many questions that come up while conducting a job search or when advancing one’s career. Allow us to increase your career intelligence and take you on the next step in your journey to the job you want. Here are several questions Vault has received in recent weeks:
1. How should one answer a question regarding his or her GPA especially if you're a professional that did not attend college (i.e. you don't have a GPA)?
Companies don’t usually ask for your GPA unless they are recruiting you right out of school. In that case, your GPA is used to compare you with other candidates from your class. If a job application asks for a GPA, but you don’t have one, you can leave the question blank or submit “Not applicable.” However, if you omit a GPA for whatever reason on your resume or in the application, be prepared to answer questions about it in the interview. Not attending college is an obvious explanation for a GPA absence, but without a degree you must be prepared to demonstrate real work experience related to the position for which you are applying. Good luck!
2. A good friend of mine has asked me to recommend him for a position at my previous company. As much as I like him, I feel he is not a good fit for the position based on his past work experiences and interests. What action do you recommend? How should I convey this to him without sabotaging our relationship?
The best way to handle this situation is to just be straight up and candid with your friend. Explain to him that while you love him and want to help in any way you can, this particular position is not a good fit - based on your knowledge of the company, department, and fellow employees. Rather than focus on what he does not have in terms of skills and experience – show him positions in or out of your company that would be a better fit.
3. I have been with my company for 8 months and I have already received one promotion. Recently, my supervisor resigned from the company. The manager of my previous supervisor is acting as an interim supervisor for me and other line managers. I haven't heard whether the company plans to hire a replacement. If they do decide to hire, should apply for the position?
While you appear to be on the fast track, the first question to ask yourself is - what is the scope of this new role and what are the requirements and skills necessary for success? The second question is - do you have the skills, experiences and aptitude for this new position. You might ask the interim supervisor what the plan is going forward, as it pertains to the position, and get as many details that you can on the requirements and skill sets needed for the role so that your resume can be updated appropriately. Your stock is high because of your early promotion and demonstration of success, so your inquiry will be perceived as interest, drive and assertiveness.
4. I was recently reassigned to another dept. My new boss and my former boss don't get along well. Lines are being drawn between the two departments and I am being pulled into the fray. I would love to stay neutral and out of this whole issue, but I wonder whether this is naive and wishful thinking. What advice would you provide for office place factional fighting?
Some department heads can be like cats and mark their territory. You have to be very careful here, because you don’t want to burn any bridges. You’re now in a new department and you need to align with your new manager. Someone said, “You can’t get to second with your foot on first” so you will need to be conscious of how you are perceived. For example, if you are perceived as spending more time with your former colleagues and not investing enough time with colleagues in your new dept, this can hurt you and the perception others have of you within your new department. In addition, you should never say anything or email anything to anyone that could come back to haunt you. Don’t take sides. Just keep your head down, do your work, be professional at all times and support your manager and the department. Do not feed into this dept vs. dept frenzy.
Any questions? Send them to JMinners@vault.com with the subject line – Career Counselor – and look for your answers in a future edition of VaultCareers Blog.
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