QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

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Q:

I’m a programmer analyst with five years experience. I just updated my resume but it’s two and a half pages long. Should I use smaller print so it fits on two pages?

A:

There’s nothing magical about a two page resume. Your goal is to present your background so that enough of the resume gets read to establish interest.

Don’t reduce type size. Keep normal sized margins. Just be certain that your first page includes the most important "selling" information: a summary of hardware, software, and applications experience, education if you have a degree, and some detail about your current job.


Q:

I was on an interview where the manager told me my current salary was too high for the salary range of the position. He asked me if I would consider a cut in pay. How should I have responded?

A:

Remember that a salary is offered based on your perceived value to the organization. Your task, in this difficult situation, is to get beyond the money issue to a discussion of your value to the manager. You’re in hot water if you voice your concern over taking a cut in pay at this point in the interview (even if that is what you are thinking). The best approach is to ask the manager to tell you more about the position.

Something like this:

Interviewee: "I am interested in learning more about the position so that I can determine if it’s a good step in my career. Can you tell me about the major development projects you have planned for next year?"

As you listen to the description of the upcoming project, be prepared to elaborate on the parts of your experience that could directly affect the success of those projects. You must give enough information so that the manager can see how valuable you should be and make an offer accordingly.

Only after you get the offer can you assess if you want to accept. You’d be surprised at how many people accept lateral or reduced salary offers. And you’d also be surprised at how many companies come up with more money than budgeted to hire someone highly qualified. Good luck!