Q: Hi Jill. I have a good friend who has spent time working for an adult online video company in a marketing capacity. The marketing experience he has earned is valuable, but difficult to parlay into a mainstream, clean job. Do you feel it is best to be up front about job experience that could be seen as dubious?
A: Strong marketing skills developed in any position can be transferable to another. That said, being nervous about telling the whole truth in this situation is warranted because some people just aren’t able to see past their own moral judgments on adult entertainment. I recommend your friend market the skills he’s learned by showing in his resumé how these skills can translate into the jobs he’s applying for. Let his ability to raise company profiles talk for his success in the interview. However, if he feels morally convicted to tell all, then he should follow his gut. At the end of the day he needs to be proud of HIS decisions for himself.
Q: Dear Jill, I have been in my current job for the past few months, but it is not going well. Due to a financial need, I would like to continue working while searching for jobs. How can I tell the potential employer I prefer not to use my current supervisor as a reference? Will the employer understand?
A: In job interviews anything you say can be used against you! The last thing you want is to be viewed as an overly dramatic employee. If you give the interviewer the inside scoop on your current terrible job — regardless of how much of the victim you might be — this leaves you open to a higher degree of scrutiny from that employer. I suggest you leave out this current job at interviews and on your resumé. Since you haven’t been there that long, you likely don’t have to explain this employment gap.
Stick with two to three good references you already have and go from there. Good luck!
jill’s tip of the week
Just graduated female students entering into traditionally male oriented professions often report having difficulties breaking down the gender barriers. Organizations like Company of Young Women (www.CompanyofYoungWomen.ca
) help these women create their personal and corporate brand for success.
Jill Andrew CYW, BA (Hons.), BEd, MA ‘08 is an award-winning journalist and educator with additional expertise in the performing arts, public speaking, PR, media literacy/awareness, fundraising and entrepreneurship. www.jillandrewmedia.com, or www.curvycatwalk.com.