Q: A junior colleague just asked me to review her resume and provide feedback. Turns out, she basically copied my entire resume, bullet for bullet, word for word in some cases. I'm not sure how she got hold of my resume, but I think it may have been from another colleague whom I had given it to because she agreed to act as a reference for me during my own job search.
I'm really angry about this because the junior person does not have close to the same skill level as I, and she's implying that she has crisis communications experience, corporate launch experience, etc., and she doesn't have a clue about any of that. She even listed my flagship account as her own because she helped me on ONE little project!
I've worked extremely hard to create a resume that's reflective of my writing style, and captures my experience over the years, and she's stolen that away from me with just two clicks of a mouse. I don't mind providing pointers, or even letting someone look at my resume for reference or ideas, but for her to copy it so blatantly really pisses me off! I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions?
Ms. C, California
A: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Not much comfort, right?
Let me ask you this: Are you concerned that you will be competing with her for the same positions, and that the fact that she copied your resume will diminish your chances? If that is the case, you need to focus on emphasizing your own work history in very specific terms - including dates, responsibilities, and skills. Even if your junior colleague makes it to the interview stage, her lack of experience will soon be in evidence.
If you are more interested in teaching the youngster a lesson, then you shouldn't neglect the opportunity she has already presented you. Give her some "feedback on the dangers of embellishing a resume - that kind of thing is a recipe for getting fired.
Q: Recently, one of our high-tech PR clients (a start-up company) hired its fifth marcom manager in a year. The current PR team has worked with (and through) all of them. We think this candidate is the best one so far. We enjoy working with her and hope our client can keep her. She backs up our initiatives, and seems to really understand the role that media relations can play in the company's marketing strategy.
Here's where we need your advice: the new marcom thinks she should attend all media tour briefings, alongside the company spokesman and PR counsel.
Although we appreciate her wanting to pitch in and work on all preparations, we feel we must draw the line at this unprofessional behavior. How can we tell her without ruining our working relationship? We would argue that marcom presence adds to expense, adds no value - neither from a technical standpoint nor from a relationship point of view - and the reporter/analyst does not want another PR person in the room. Any insight is greatly appreciated.
Ms. A, Boise, ID
A: I am glad that you appreciate your bounty in finding a marcom manager who takes a sincere and dynamic interest in PR. Nothing can be gained by alienating her. If she is truly savvy, she will be able to recognize the value of an objective opinion about how best to handle media briefings. I would tap one or two of your best media contacts to come in and talk informally with you, the spokesperson, and your marcom manager. If you are really certain that they will reinforce your point of view about her involvement in media sessions, she will take it better coming from them. Get the reporters to tell her what you can't.
Do' you have a problem that no one else has been able to solve? Try Pandora. E-mail her at email@example.com.