Massachusetts Kicks Some Ass

So this news came out last week and I think it’s fuckin’ awesome. I believe asking people about prior pay history does fuck them over if they weren’t making a fair salary, and hopefully this will alleviate it and make employers pay people what they think they’re worth to their company instead of something that’s an appropriate jump from their last salary.

In layman’s terms, you won’t know just how much you can lowball someone when you make them an offer any more. 

I think a lot of people are saying this is awesome, as they should. There will always be naysayers though. HR blogger Kris Dunn doesn’t think this is a good idea. You can read why here. I think he is insane and is the one who has lost his mind. Though, as a side note: He also wrote praising Walmart for pledging to make 250 million more American jobs. Yeah, the company that makes jobs that pay $7/hr, doesn’t give health benefits to their full time employees, has food drives for it’s own employees, and also teaches their employees how to apply for Medicaid because they’re so poorly paid. Yeah, let’s praise those fuckers. I don’t think so. This article also says it’ll be bad for employees. That is also from a conservative blog, so take it with a grain of salt. They’re going to say any and everything is bad for employees and not give two shits about equal pay.

I understand one of her points – wasting time with people that you can’t afford to hire – but that’s why you make the salary requirement box on your applicant tracking system a required space.

I think this is a great law because of a personal experience. Last summer a recruiter reached out to me about an opportunity. I was bored at my job, though I loved the company and people that I worked with, so I said I’d explore the opportunity. When I told the recruiter to ask for a certain number, he said, “I’m not sure I’ll get that. That’s a 10k jump from what you’re making now.” And I said something to the effect of that I was underpaid and if he really wanted to hire me, he’d pay me what I was asking.

Well, he did end up paying me a salary that was 10k over what I was presently making. But the fact that the recruiter didn’t want to ask for it was the problem. The recruiter also turned out to be a shithead, but that’s another story. The point is that if he hadn’t been allowed to ask my current salary, he wouldn’t have had any reason to say, “I’m not sure I’ll get that.”

So, to reiterate, I’m super happy about this law and I hope it goes national, too.

When You Apply For a Job

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I’m not entirely sure a kitten in a semi-Nazi uniform is appropriate, but I’m Jewish, so this absolves any thought of anti-semitism, right? Good.

It always baffles me when I read resumes and cover letters that have typos in them. And not just one – but many typos. I always think, “What? Didn’t someone do a once over on this application before submitting?” The answer is a resounding no. I’m also talking about incorrect grammar (ex. “everyone who met me say….”). Poor spelling. Little or no punctuation. And zero paragraph breaks (excuse me, how is my poor brain supposed to decipher your block of text?).

If you can’t take an extra two minutes to double check your work, you’re certainly not going to start being more mindful once you get hired. If you could coast in the application process, you’ll probably coast on the job. Is that me making an assumption? Possibly.

Then there are the people who can’t even be bothered to write a short cover letter. Again, if you can’t bother to cobble together 3 short paragraphs (a whole 9-12 sentences), you’re not someone I want to consider.

Maybe it’s because I’m a person who couldn’t imagine sending a resume to a company minus a cover letter, but unless it’s for a position such as an engineer, how you write can tell your hiring manager a lot about you and why would you give up that chance to tell the person who you’re asking for a job a little bit more about you?

I can tell you that I only take a good hard look at resumes if the cover letter is good. If there is no cover letter, I usually don’t look at the resumes. I can make a million assumptions about you based on your resume, but only your cover letter can tell me, in your words, what you’re excellent at and why I should hire you.