11 Sneaky Tactics Hiring Managers Use Against You

Secretary

Photo: Herry Lawford via flickr

The next time you walk into an interview, consider the following:Your wedding or engagement ring? Can and may be used against you.

Hiring Managers Reveal How They Manipulate You Into Revealing Everything >

Those photos of kids on a hiring manager’s desk? They may not actually be the manager’s children—but the photo is designed to get you talking about your kids, or whether you plan to have some eventually.

And then there’s the trick that can land some applicants $20,000 more when they start negotiating their salary.

In fact, LearnVest got the inside scoop from hiring managers across the country. Many spoke on the condition of anonymity because their methods were so controversial—and not what you’d find in any company manual.

Why do you need to know these secrets? Two reasons. The first is: What you don’t know can hurt your chances of landing a job and commanding a higher salary. Second: Today, April 17th, is Equal Pay Day.

And new research out of the United States Census Bureau shows that women still earn less than their male counterparts at every education level. Although women are out-earning men in terms of college degrees and doctorates, our wages aren’t keeping up. In fact, the gap only worsens at higher levels of education.

But armed with this insider knowledge—straight from the mouths of those who hire you—you can help improve both these statistics and your bottom line.

I leave pictures of kids on my desk. They're not even my kids

I check for wedding bands

I regularly hire women for 65-75% what I pay men

I don't hire old people

I prefer to hire someone who's currently employed

I'm looking for a reason NOT to hire you

Don't tell me your previous salary. I'll use it against you

Don't apply online; you won't get anywhere

That hot guy you added on Facebook last week? Yeah, that was me

I go through hundreds of résumés a day and spend less than 30 seconds on each one.

Take an honest look at your résumé. If it isn't easy to scan for highlights, it's not going to get you callbacks. One hiring manager at a technology company writes:

'If I have to spend more than 30 seconds finding out what you have accomplished, forget it … Likely, I will ignore the whole thing, write down in my notes 'poor communicator,' and move on … If you can't nail it in one sentence, do I really want to look forward to your rambling emails every day?

'To craft a great résumé, tailor it to my job posting. If I have a skill set in there like 'Windows Administration,' make sure you have at least one bullet point talking about … that skill.'

If it's a job you really care about, you should have multiple people read over your application. It should be clear, concise and tailored specifically to the job you want.

I have no clue what I'm doing

At the end of the day, it's important to remember that some hiring managers are merely going through the motions. Their job is to get someone who can do the job for the least amount of money. Despite their best efforts, they may not be experienced interviewers, and even they may not know how many ping-pong balls fit in a plane … or if the right answer correlates to doing the best job.

But your best bet is to try to make your interviewer like you, because she'll be more likely to pass on a glowing recommendation (or include you in the résumé stack at all) even if she won't be making the ultimate decision about whether you get the job.

Need more knowledge for your next job interview?

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