Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Debra Wheatman

Debra Wheatman is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC). She is globally recognized as an expert in advanced career search techniques with more than 18 years' corporate human resource experience. Debra is a featured blogger on numerous sites and posts regularly on her own site. She has been featured on Fox Business News, WNYW with Brian Lehrer, and quoted in leading publications, including Forbes.com, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC. Debra may be reached at debra@careersdonewrite.com or you may visit her website at http://www.careersdonewrite.com.

Articles by Debra Wheatman

Social Media

Five Top Picks for Socially-Acceptable Marketing Success

Instagram pic

You’ve got the basics covered with your presence on the major social media sites. Now, you need to take that next step by adding new tactics to your social media program. Using social media as a branding tool is great, but taking it to the next level will engage your audience.  Try these five tips energize your clients and candidates.


Six Odd Things People Put on Their Résumé


After a decade or so in the recruiting and career services business, you may think you’ve seen it all. Then you get another résumé so bad that you wonder if you are being punked. Is it possible that someone is completely uninformed, or is this a poor attempt at humor? These candidates may be memorable. However, the candidate’s only hope is that the hiring manager is completely inept.

Here are six examples that I have encountered over the years.

1.  Accounting Candidate: “Skilled at Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.”


What This Classic Interview Question Can Tell You

interview - Freedigital

interview - FreedigitalWhere do you see yourself in five years?

Is this weathered old interview question still effective? In this dynamic age where entire industries can disappear in five years, is this question obsolete? Far from it, this question is like a classic movie – it sticks around forever. Where do you see yourself in five years reveals a great deal about a candidate’s personality and potential.

Take a look at these common answers to the question. Right or wrong, you form an impression very quickly based on the type of response. I know you have met more than your share of these candidates.


Attitude Starts at the Top and Trickles Down

Attitude illustration - free

Attitude illustration - freeWhenever I am at a business, and the front office staff are unprofessional or disrespectful, I don’t blame the staff themselves. Usually attitudes for the company are formed at the very top of the organization. If the senior executives are mocking clients or lack appreciation for clients, that attitude will trickle down. Conversely, if senior executives demonstrate genuine respect for clients and staff, that positive attitude will spread through the organization.

So, what attitude are you spreading to your staff? How is this attitude affecting your clients?

The Business of Recruiting

Warning Signs of a Time-Wasting Candidate

Time wasting - free

Time wasting - freeAfter 15 years in the career services, human resources, and candidate recruiting business, I have a pretty good “nose” for which candidates will get the job. Often it does not correlate with the most educated or skilled candidate. If you are recruiting talent, you can’t afford to waste any time during the selection process and you certainly don’t want to place a candidate that will prove to be the wrong choice. So, what are the top indicators of a poor candidate?

Flakes and Excuse-Makers

Every once in a while the train is going to break down and people do get ill. However, failing to arrive on time for an appointment and cancelling appointments with little notice is the calling card of the flake.


How Your Sendout Can STAR At a Panel Interview

Woman interview - freedigital

Panel interviews are often used for executive positions, as well as positions in academia and government. This is a very dynamic and effective technique for organizations to evaluate a candidate as a group. It gives key leaders a chance to provide feedback regarding the candidate’s ability to fit in with the management team and helps to measure potential success.

Here are a few tips to share with your candidate so they’ll shine at a panel interview. Done properly and with confidence, your candidate can leave the competition in the dust as they move forward to the next phase in the process!


Five Tips To A Resume A Hiring Manager Will Love

resumes flying

resumes flyingEditor’s note: Is your candidate great in person, but the resume needs work? In this article, professional coach and resume adviser Debra Wheatman speaks directly to your candidates with the kind of direct, no-nonsense advice that they can use to turn their resume into a powerful selling tool. Email this post or a link to all your candidates.

Is your resume written with the reader in mind?  Or, does your resume scream, “It’s all about me and what I want!”?

When you accept a job, you are entering an agreement with a company that you will meet their expectations and they will compensate you.  Until that job offer is made, your task is to create a compelling case for how you can fill their needs better than any other candidate.  So, why would you


6 Interview Tips To Help Your Candidate’s Star Shine


Candidates must be well prepared for their interviews in today’s competitive job market. Recruiters who go through the effort to source, screen, and submit the résumé of a qualified applicant must also take time to prepare him or her for upcoming interviews. Leaving this part of the recruiting process to chance could result in the loss of a placement; and possibly even a client or two.

When I was in HR, I once had a recruiter send me a candidate who didn’t even know the title of the position she was being interviewed for. She was completely unfamiliar with the company and had no clue what the role entailed. Needless to say, she didn’t get the job and I never used that recruiter again.

Here are a few quick and simple tips for you to help your candidates with interview preparation:


It’s Not the Perks, It’s Job Security

Adecco survey top concerns

Many of you remember in the 1999 when U.S. unemployment was 4.1%. It was heaven for employees. Companies were competing for employees. Companies were raising salaries and offering a wide range of traditional and non-traditional perks to attract and retain employees. In a market like that job security is not generally top of mind.

Now, according to the Adecco Workplace Insights Survey of 2012, Americans consider job security the number one concern when it comes to their job. The survey found 31% ranked it as the most important issue, up from 21% in 2011. Of respondents, 17% ranked salary at the top, and 16% ranked healthcare at the top. This is interesting in a time when the national discussion over healthcare is rather heated.


When Looking At Fit, Even CFOs Want A Sense of Humor

CFO Sense of jumor survey

Candidates and hiring companies have at least one thing in common: Both are looking for the perfect match.

Skills, knowledge, and experience are the tangibles to determine a functional fit within an organization. Aspects of values and personality may determine one’s ability to adapt to an organization’s culture. Recruiters, human resources professionals, and hiring managers understand the value of assessing a candidate’s potential cultural fit. Poor cultural fit is something that cannot be resolved with training.

Cultural fit goes beyond simply getting along with fellow workers. For example, according to an Accountempts survey, “Nearly eight in 10 (79%) chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said an employee’s sense of humor is important for fitting into the company’s corporate culture.” That is important to the employer and the employee. If you are going to spend more than 40 hours per week working, you want to be with people with whom you can relate.