How to handle five types of toxic co-workers

Like toxic waste, toxic co-workers have to be handled with care. And it’s not healthy to have prolonged exposure to either.

“Whether it’s chronic backstabbing, extreme defensiveness, narcissism, cruelty, bias, discrimination or other forms of mistreatment or misbehavior that they demonstrate, [toxic co-workers] are intolerable to work with or be around for an extended period,” says Kathy Caprino, founder of Connecticut-based career-coaching firm Ellia Communications. “They’re toxic because they’re like a poison to your system and to the organization’s ecosystem, making it hard to maintain your own well-being, professionalism, and collaborative spirit when you’re around them.”

Worse yet, working with a toxic co-worker can negatively impact your job performance and even derail your career if they’re allowed to continue their behavior.

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5 job interview questions you should never ask

You may be camera ready with a spiffy job-interview outfit and your resume (15 drafts later, phew) and cover letter in hand, but now it’s time for the hardest part: preparing what will come out of your mouth. The job interview questions you ask a hiring manager can make or break your chances of getting an offer.

The key is to ask the right questions and “always think about how you’re being perceived,” says Courtney Templin, president of JB Training Solutions, a Chicago-based career development firm.

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What not to say during salary negotiation

Finally, after making it through a grueling interview process you receive that job offer you’ve been gunning for all along. Still, there’s one more hurdle to cross, and that’s salary negotiation.

Though salary isn’t the only factor to consider when weighing a job offer—other incentives, such as a signing bonus, flexible work schedule, or relocation assistance, may help sweeten the deal—getting a fatter paycheck would certainly be nice.

To nab a higher salary, however, you’ll have to do some negotiating. Now, here’s a lesson that may surprise you: What you don’t say is just as (or potentially even more) important than what you do say.

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8 resume mistakes that can make you look old

When was the last time you overhauled your resume? As an older, more experienced job hunter, it’s not enough to simply change a few dates and descriptions when you start looking for a new position. The resume style and design that got you in the door years ago can make you look downright prehistoric now.

It’s tough enough out there already: Unemployed job hunters age 55 to 64 spend a median of 34.5 weeks looking for work, vs 22.2 weeks for workers of all ages, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

And in a recent AARP survey of workers 45 and older, three-quarters cited age discrimination as a reason they weren’t confident they could find a new job in short order.

To make sure you don’t look like a dinosaur in your field, don’t make these eight mistakes on your resume.

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How to choose a college major when you’re interested in everything

It’s a question every would-be college student will ask at one point: “What should I major in?” Thing is, the answer might change—a few times.

So you graduated high school thinking your college major would be political science. Then you got to college and comparative literature became your jam—for a while, that is. Now you’re thinking law school. Or engineering. Or should you just go back to poli-sci? Or would throwing a dart at a list of majors help you decide best?

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Top five myths about finding a job

Trying to find a job can feel like an epic quest, full of smoke, mirrors, and plenty of perplexities—including some falsehoods that are meant to throw you off your game. These job search myths are tricky beasts. Even experienced job seekers believe—and spread—common misconceptions about the job search process. Yet these flawed ideas can derail your ability to nab a job offer.

There’s no magic involved in getting a job, but there are a number of myths. So, how do you separate fact from fiction?

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Can Blind Hiring Improve Workplace Diversity?

As an HR department of one, Katherine McNamee, SHRM-CP, knew she didn’t have the resources or technology to implement a sophisticated blind recruiting platform that would strip identifying information—

such as a candidate’s name and college graduation date—from resumes. Yet the director of HR at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), a nonprofit with 40 employees in Arlington, Va., was determined to take a fresh approach to reducing hiring bias when she was filling fellowship positions at AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums.

“There has been a lot of discussion about diversity in the museum field, and we wanted to experiment with blind hiring,” she says. “We felt we were attracting the right candidates, but we also wanted to broaden our applicant pool.”

So she took a simple step toward eliminating key data from resumes—by telling people not to include it in the first place.

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