Kinsa Group Blog

Unemployment Discrimination in the Food & Beverage Industry – It happens more often (and more quickly) than you might think

October 22nd, 2012

How long do you have before being unemployed starts negatively impacting your ability to find a food & beverage job?

Try one month.

A new research article suggests that employers think less of unemployed job candidates – no matter how briefly they’ve been out of work, and regardless of whether they’ve quit or been laid off.

The article, titled “The Psychological Stigma of Unemployment: When Joblessness leads to Being Jobless,” cites several experiments that found bias against the jobless, virtually from the outset of unemployment.  For example, in one study, co-author Geoffrey C. Ho and his team asked 47 experienced HR professionals to review résumés that were identical in all ways, with a single exception:  half said the candidate was currently employed and half said the person had been out of work for a month.

The “currently employed” candidate received better marks for competence and hireability.

The harsh reality?  Unemployment discrimination is a troubling trend in hiring.  Despite numerous EEO laws and safeguards, some employers exclude qualified food & beverage job candidates from consideration, simply because of their employment status.  To these hiring managers, requiring that a candidate be gainfully employed is just “smart business” – helping them to control the flood of applications and to filter out “damaged goods” before spending valuable time and resources on screening and interviewing.

But if you’ve been unemployed for an extended period and are trying to find work, it’s hard to see the logic in a practice like this.

Now is a time to stay strong.  If you’re unemployed and looking for work, here is some sound advice for beating unemployment discrimination – before it beats you:

  • Forgive yourself – and move on.  Losing a job is nothing unusual, especially these days.  Mergers, cost-cutting measures and total shutdowns have forced countless people out of their jobs over the past few years.  Whatever your reason for being unemployed, you need a positive mindset to tackle what may be a tough job search.  The best thing you can do is forgive yourself for being out of work, and then move on.
  • If you’ve only been out of work for a short time (a few weeks or months), invest a lot of time and energy into networking and informational interviews.  This will help you get past the initial human resources screening that would eliminate you from consideration.
  • Ignore the verbiage in job posts that suggests an employer intends to discriminate based on recent employment status.  Just because the discriminatory language is present in a job listing doesn’t mean you have to adhere to the request!  If your job skills and experience are a good fit for the posting, by all means apply for that position – regardless of your employment situation.
  • Consider adjusting your résumé.  If you’ve been out of work for awhile, you may want to switch from a chronological to functional résumé format.  This will allow you to lead with your skills and qualifications, outside the context of your employment history.  You may also want to omit dates from your employment history section.  Once your skills have an employer’s attention, he can inquire about the dates.
  • Solidify references from previous employer(s).  When you’re unemployed, a strong endorsement from an employer – even one who let you go – may outweigh the length of your unemployment.
  • Work as an interim contract professional.  It’s easiest to find a job while you’re working, so stack the deck in your favor.  Beyond merely changing your employment status, working as an interim contract professional for Kinsa can help you earn extra income, avoid gaps on your résumé and keep your spirits up.  Additionally, while you’re working, Kinsa can actively search for direct positions that match your skills, experience and interests.

“We’re Sorry, You’re Too Qualified for This Position” – Whether applying for a process engineer or a quality assurance manager position, the concern is the same

September 24th, 2012

Does being overqualified for a food & beverage position mean that you’ll be disqualified from consideration?

Not if you handle the interview right.

True, many employers are reluctant to hire overqualified candidates.  Recruiters fear that an overqualified employee will be dissatisfied, demand more money, expect fast promotion or even jump ship.

As a job seeker, you need to recognize these concerns and effectively address them if you want to get the offer.  Use these tips to handle an employer’s concern that your qualifications outstrip the available position:

Realize that nobody is a “perfect” match.  Reassure yourself with the fact that a recruiter rarely (if ever) finds a candidate who is an exact match for the position in terms of both skills and experience.  Most finalists are either too heavy or too light in some aspect of their qualifications.

Never misrepresent yourself.  Even if you’ve managed to gloss over your depth of experience in your résumé, it will come out in the interview.  So never try to sell yourself short.  If you do, you may be perceived as dishonest and therefore rejected, or you may wind up with a job in which you’re extremely frustrated by the lack of challenge.  At the end of the day, honesty is always your best policy.

Prepare answers to common interview questions.  If you’re overqualified, you will likely be asked a question similar to one of the following.  Make sure you’re prepared to respond effectively and allay a prospective employer’s concerns.

  • How will you stay motivated in a job that doesn’t make use of many of your qualifications?  If the hiring manager is worried that the available position won’t stimulate you enough, sell yourself – not your abilities.  Explain that you can never be overqualified in your enthusiasm, your desire to mentor or your quest for knowledge.
  • It’s not likely that you will be offered a promotion any time soon.  Is this okay with you?  Obviously, you don’t want to convey the impression that you’ll gladly languish in a position ad infinitum.  Instead, say something like: “I’m eager to learn as much as I can about your organization while carrying out my daily responsibilities.  While I understand that a promotion is not likely in the short-term, I’m confident that if company circumstances change, you will offer further opportunities to me.”
  • I’m concerned about your willingness to stay here long-term.  Won’t you become bored or frustrated?  If a recruiter seems concerned that you’ll leave for greener pastures, demonstrate your proven track record of loyalty.  Offer examples of how you found opportunities for growth, even in positions you held for several years.

Look harder for positions that better match your experience level.  Choose your opportunities carefully!  As a job seeker, you owe it to yourself to critically evaluate the merit of any position for which you may be overqualified.  Consider:

  • Would you truly be happy in this role for an extended period of time?
  • Is the compensation range adequate to meet your financial needs and desired standard of living?
  • Does the position fit into your long-range career development plans?

Make sure you don’t continue down the interviewing path too long – only to realize that you want a higher level job than what the employer is offering.  If you do, you may wind up burning a valuable bridge.

As national food & beverage recruiters, Kinsa works with top employers from coast to coast.  We can help you find a professional, executive or C-level food & beverage position that is ideal for your experience level and specialization:

• Executive Management

General Management

• Sales

Marketing

Operations & Plant Production Management

Research & Development

• Food Science

Quality Assurance 

Food Safety

• Human Resources

• Engineering

Maintenance

Supply Chain and Purchasing

Warehouse Management

• Finance & Accounting

Questions You Aren’t Asking – But Should Be!

July 23rd, 2012

Could asking few simple questions help you land your next food & beverage job?

Absolutely.  Here’s why.

An interviewer judges the questions you ask as carefully as the answers you give.  Asking irrelevant or ubiquitous questions (i.e., what are the work hours for this position?) shows a lack of preparation for the interview (and a lack of interest in the job).  Asking germane questions, on the other hand, shows that you understand the job, the potential employer and the food & beverage industry.  The right queries signal your genuine interest, help you get the vital information you need and ultimately impress the interviewer.

Regardless of the type of food & beverage job for which you’re applying, asking savvy questions during the interview can be the difference between getting the offer and going home rejected.  So what should you ask about, and how?

Every interview is unique.  Some recruiters and hiring managers will only give you one opportunity at the end of the interview to ask questions.  Others will ask for your questions at multiple points, so be sure you have several intelligent queries prepared.  To give yourself an advantage in your next interview, consider asking one or more of the following:

  1. What was the company’s biggest strategic decision this past year?  How did they come to this decision?  You want to work for a company that is proactively planning its future.  These questions demonstrate that you are thinking ahead.  They may also clue you into what you will need to do to stay current in your field and continue adding value for the employer.
  2. What would a successful first year in this position look like?  Ask this and you will get a general idea of what the interviewer will expect you to have mastered/accomplished in a year’s time.  Additionally, it will help you gauge whether the expectations for the job are realistic.
  3. What are the three main factors you will use to select the right person for this job?  This question will help you understand what kind of employee the interviewer is seeking (and if you’re the right kind of person for the job).  It will also allow you to counter by discussing important skills or qualities the interviewer lists which you may have forgotten to mention.
  4. Is there anything you are still questioning about my candidacy that would prevent you from offering me this position? – or- Can I clarify anything about my skills, experience or work style further for you?  These questions solidify your genuine interest.  They also show that you’re open to constructive feedback and eager to provide reassurance that you will make a great employee.
  5. What are the next steps in the hiring process?  This is a great wrap-up question.  It will help alleviate your anxiety after the interview, by giving you some idea about the company’s hiring time frame.

Type up a list of the questions you want to ask – and take them into the interview for reference.  Remember, you may not have the opportunity to ask all of the questions you want, so be sure to prioritize them.  Ask the questions you genuinely want to know the answers to, not just the ones you think will impress your interviewer.

Ultimately, asking the right questions will help you determine if you’re a good fit for the job available.  Kinsa Group can help you find that great fit and ensure your long-term career success.  Our experienced and highly specialized food & beverage industry recruiters go to great lengths to match you with the ideal food & beverage opportunity.

Contact Kinsa Group today for more assistance with your executive food & beverage job search.  From food science and engineering, to executive management and quality assurance, we provide immediate access to a wide range of the industry’s best food & beverage career opportunities.

How to Explain Résumé Gaps in a Job Interview

July 9th, 2012

You’re a perfect fit.

You have the right skills, the perfect amount of food & beverage experience and top notch references for this job.

Unfortunately, you also have a six-month employment gap on your résumé.

Whether it’s due to personal or professional reasons, a gap in your résumé is a potential red flag to a recruiter.  It can call into question your commitment and focus – and potentially knock you out of contention for the job.  You aren’t doomed, though.  You just need to have a sound plan for addressing it.  If you do have a gap on your résumé:

Be prepared to explain it.  A recruiter will undoubtedly want to know why you left and what you did during your time off.  Prepare a concise, direct explanation for the gap.  If you don’t give a clear reason, your interviewer may make incorrect assumptions about your honesty, job performance or work ethic.

Keep the tone positive.  Even if your last boss was a nightmare, never say anything negative about him during the interview.  Doing so will only reflect poorly on you.  If you make disparaging remarks about a former employer, your interviewer will logically wonder if you will bad-mouth his company the next time you’re hunting for a job.  Try to find a way to turn your negative experience into a plus for your prospective employer.

Make honesty your policy.  In and of itself, a gap on your résumé is not a reason to reject you.  Lying about why the gap exists, however, is.  In today’s economy, unemployment happens for a variety of reasons – not all of which are under your control.  So if you were laid off, be honest about why it happened.  Practice your response to make sure it’s clear and positive.  To get you started on the right track, consider these sample explanations for why you have a gap on your résumé:

  • I was laid off from my last position because my department was eliminated due to a merger.
  • I found myself bored due to the lack of challenge in my last job.  I knew my unhappiness was apparent, so I chose to leave rather than negatively impact my previous employer.
  • I relocated here for personal reasons and left my last position to make the move.
  • I decided to change the direction in which my career was headed.  Since my employer had no opportunities to fit my aspirations, I decided to leave so I could concentrate full-time on finding the right job.

While we’re on the topic of honesty, if you were fired from a position, be forthright about it.  Accept responsibility for what happened and highlight what you learned from the experience.  By doing so, you demonstrate your true character as well as a willingness to learn from mistakes.  Though you may be tempted to point fingers or gloss over parts of the experience, the truth may surface down the line and come back to haunt you.

If you’re in the food & beverage job market and want to avoid a gap on your résumé, register with Kinsa.  As a leading food & beverage recruiter, we’ve helped thousands of professionals and C-level executives find the opportunities they desire.  Whether you’re a food scientist, brand manager, engineer, COO or plant production manager, we can connect you with the ideal food & beverage position.  Contact Kinsa today.

How And Why To Update Your Resume Even If You’re Employed

November 14th, 2011

Keeping your resume current is important to your continued career development.  But unless you’re actively looking for a job, the daily demands of life, home and work can easily push this updating process down on your priority list.  If you haven’t reviewed your resume  in over a year, here are just a few good reasons why you should take a fresh look at it:

  • Even if you’re currently employed, you never know when an attractive job opening may present itself.  A current resume can help you capitalize on an unexpected opportunity – before someone else has the chance.
  • Over time, your important achievements and contributions may be forgotten.  Regular updating ensures that critical, measurable accomplishments are accurately recorded.
  • In many cases, your resume creates a first and lasting impression on a potential employer.  Make sure it’s a good one.  By periodically reviewing and honing your resume, you can create a more powerful marketing tool that accurately and favorably represents you as a professional.

Use these tips to make your resume update simple and comprehensive:

  1. Review personal information (address, e-mail, LinkedIn URL, etc.) to ensure everything is up-to-date.
  2. Review your oldest job. If it’s no longer relevant, and you have at least 10 years of documented work history without it, remove it.
  3. Update your responsibilities and accomplishments. Consider the following:  special projects; new expertise developed or job responsibilities awarded; knowledge or skills enhancement from special training or professional development; awards or other recognition; challenges you faced and solutions developed; measurable results you helped achieved (e.g., eliminating process inefficiencies, increasing productivity or sales, improving staffing or operational performance, etc.).
  4. Revist your objective statement. If it is not in line with your current career aspirations, rewrite it.  The statement can be general, but should show some direction toward the field in which you want to work.
  5. Reevaluate your references. Verify that these individuals still work where you have noted and that contact information for each is correct.  If you have developed new contacts who can attest to your recent achievements or heightened responsibility, consider replacing them with outdated references.
  6. Update your resume format. Check online sample resumes to see if yours looks outdated and revise accordingly.  Additionally, you should create an electronic version of your resume if you don’t already have one.
  7. Proofread everything. Sloppy spelling, grammar and punctuation may take you out of the running immediately.  If you’re not proficient in proofreading, ask a trusted friend or associate to help.

Looking for a better career opportunity in the food & beverage industry?  Give us a call or browse open career opportunities.  Or, follow us on Twitter to receive the latest job opportunities we’re recruiting for.

When It Comes to Interviewing, Less is More

August 8th, 2011

When preparing for big interviews, most food & beverage professionals focus on what they’re going to say – about their work experience, accomplishments, goals, strengths and weaknesses.

While it’s certainly essential to know how to speak intelligently in an interview, it’s just as important to know how to listen.  A good recruiter will critically evaluate your listening skills as closely as he will your speaking skills.  In a market where competition is fierce, your ability to truly listen will help you make a better impression and may tip the scales in your favor.

Hone Your Active Listening Skills

In an interview situation, active listening is much more than just waiting for your turn to talk.  It involves not only hearing the words that are said, but also fully comprehending what the interviewer is asking you to do.  Use these tips to enhance your listening skills and perform better in your next interview:

Give the interviewer your full attention. Try to remain focused during the interview and devote your full attention to what the interviewer is saying.  Develop the habit of reminding yourself to focus every time your attention begins to drift.  Throughout the interview, maintain appropriate eye contact and avoid the temptation to formulate your response while the interviewer is still speaking.

Listen with your ears, eyes and brain. Communication experts say that only a fraction of the meaning of any conversation is in the actual words that are being said.  To understand the interviewer’s true meaning, you must glean other nonverbal cues from his tone of voice, posture and facial expressions.

Adopt an active listening posture. Show that you’re listening through your posture.  Sit with your shoulders set straight, while inclining your body and head slightly toward the other speaker.  Your hands may be used to take notes, or be folded either on the table or your lap.

Think before you speak. The more poised you are when you speak, the more intelligent your response will be.  So take a moment after hearing the question to formulate your answer.  A second or two of silence will help both you and the interviewer organize your thoughts and prepare for the turn in conversation.

Confirm understanding. If the interviewer asks a complex or multi-part question, paraphrase what he’s asked to confirm your understanding before beginning your response.  This will help ensure your response is both complete and accurate.

Answer the question that you’re asked. Listen carefully to the entire question before you answer it.  For example, the question “When do you feel that experience matters?” is significantly different from “How do you feel that experience matters?”  Make sure you pay attention to the nuances of each question and that you accurately answer what’s asked.  Avoid rambling answers that stray too far from the question posed.  If the interviewer wants to know more about something, he will ask you to elaborate.

Becoming a better listener won’t just help you land the job you want; it will make you a more successful professional.  So try incorporating a few of these tips into your next interview.  Do so and you may soon be listening to your next job offer!

Contact Kinsa Group for more assistance with your executive food & beverage job search.

Ask These Questions to Learn About an Employer’s Corporate Culture

July 4th, 2011

A job interview is a two-way street.  A hiring manager tries to find out everything he can about you, while you try to find out everything you can about the position and your potential employer.

To decide whether or not you can thrive in an organization long-term, you need to learn about more than the basics (e.g., salary, job responsibilities and organizational structure).  During the interview, you must also determine if the company is a “good fit” for you – if their values, beliefs, ethics and rules of behavior align with your own.

But how do you ascertain if an employer’s corporate culture is right for you?

Before the Interview

Learn as much as you can about an employer before the formal interview starts:

  • Research the company before the interview. Search online for clues about the employer’s culture.  Review their annual report, website and what others write or say about the organization.  Plenty of resources are available online to guide you in your research.
  • Arrive a few minutes early. Observe how current employees are dressed, how they interact with one another and how courteous and professional they seem – before they know who you are.  Pay attention to what’s on the walls, how clean the space is and how much room employees are given to work.  All these details will provide a clearer picture of the company’s personality.

During the Interview

Use this list of sample questions to dig deeper in your next interview and uncover important information about an employer’s culture:

  • What does it take to succeed here long-term? The traits an employer encourages and rewards speak to its corporate culture.  Ask this question early in the interview and incorporate those sought-after characteristics into your subsequent answers.
  • If you could describe your company’s culture in just three words, what would you say? This question accomplishes two things.  First, it helps you learn about the salient aspects of an organization’s culture.   Second, it positions you as a thinker, setting you apart from the crowd.
  • Does this company have a written corporate values statement? A progressive organization (i.e., one that has put the effort into developing a formal values statement) understands the importance of corporate culture and is just as concerned about making a values match as you are.  If the company has no written cultural values, their mission statement may provide insight for you.
  • What are the best and worst parts about your work environment, that I wouldn’t understand unless I’d been working here for several months? Some workplaces are quite different once the “honeymoon” phase has passed.  This question may help elicit some candor from your interviewer and get him to share the realities of the work environment – both good and bad.  Beware of the interviewer who has nothing negative to say.  The fact is, all cultures have their positive and negative aspects.
  • What are your favorite aspects of this company’s culture? This question tells you what brings the interviewer back to work each and every day.  Because it’s personal, ask this question at the end of the interview – after you’ve had a chance to establish rapport with the interviewer.  You can end the interview on a positive note and leave a great final impression.

As you ask all these questions, pay attention to the interviewer’s nonverbal cues.  Sometimes the words an interviewer says aren’t as important as how he says them.  Body language, eye contact, facial expressions and posture don’t lie.  Compare the interviewer’s actions with his words to decide if he is really telling the truth, or just trying to present the company in the best possible light.

Looking for your next food & beverage position?

Kinsa Group has the inside track with leading food & beverage employers and can help you make smarter employment decisions.  We provide you with invaluable details about corporate culture, interviewers’ personality styles and other intangibles to ensure you thrive in your next position.  Contact a Kinsa recruiter today or search available food & beverage professional and executive positions.

Why Recruiters Beat Job Boards – Hands Down

May 16th, 2011

Technology vs. the human touch.

When it comes to your food & beverage job search, which is better?  Job board technology is certainly efficient.  With a few clicks you easily can apply for several jobs in under an hour – all from the comfort of your own home.

But that same efficiency can work against you.  Jobs that are available to you are also available to literally anyone else with an internet connection.  When you submit your résumé, you may be one of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of applicants.  As the number of job posting applicants increases, so does the chance of your résumé being completely ignored.  How efficient is that?

Job boards do serve a purpose in connecting job seekers to employers.  But if you’re serious about your food & beverage career, here are several reasons why experienced, professional recruiters beat job boards – hands down:

Reach the hiring authority – 100% of the time. A good recruiter has the ear of prospective employers and will proactively market you directly to key hiring decision makers.  Recruiters keep your best career interests in mind and ensure your skills, experience and personal brand are presented in the best light possible to potential employers.

Access the “hidden” job market. Many food & beverage employers know that they have greater hiring success when working with a recruiter.  These companies rely on search professionals to handle the time-consuming legwork associated with finding the best candidates and skip the job board route altogether.

Get inside information on employers and their hiring practices. If you are interested in a particular employer, a recruiter can use his knowledge of an employer’s hiring processes (including interviewers’ personalities and interviewing styles) to help you successfully navigate obstacles.  Likewise, he can provide valuable insight on a company’s corporate culture, helping you more accurately evaluate career opportunities.

Maintain job search control. A top performer who plasters his résumé all over every job board may suffer unintended (and unwanted) consequences.  Unethical staffing services may find your résumé on a job board and submit it without your approval or begin hounding you with phone calls.  With a good recruiter on your side, you can maintain control over your résumé and work with a single point of contact.

Manage job search anxiety. For many, finding a new position is extremely stressful.  Recruiters are experts at the process and can help guide you through the nerve-wracking process of interviewing.  By working with a recruiter you also enjoy peace of mind, knowing that you have someone else on your job search team.

Get a personal advocate and partner in your job search. In most cases (retained searches being an exception), recruiters aren’t compensated unless they actually place candidates.  Unlike a job board, we have a vested interest in ensuring the success of your job search.

Protect your privacy. If you think your current employer won’t find out you’re actively seeking another job, think again.  Many employers set up automatic search agents on major job boards which notify them if their employees are preparing to make a move.  When you work with a recruiter, you can rest assured that you will be represented anonymously, and that your job search will remain confidential.

Access contract opportunities. If you are out of work and open to contract work, recruiters can place you in project-based opportunities that get your foot in the door and may even lead to direct employment.

The Kinsa Group – The Human Touch in Food & Beverage Recruiting

Technology is an important component in your job search, but nothing replaces the human touch.  To us, you’re more than just a résumé or an application.  You’re a critical component of our success.

We listen and take a real interest in matching you with an opportunity that suits your unique skills, needs and interests.  Contact a Kinsa recruiter today to learn more about executive and management career opportunities in the food & beverage industry.

Getting Down to Business: Job Search Strategies for Food & Beverage Executives and Professionals

April 18th, 2011

Like most things in life, you’ll get out of your job search what you put into it.  Those who work harder, have a positive attitude, persevere and go the extra mile are more likely to get what they want – period.

If you have the commitment to work hard, but need direction for your efforts, here are seven things you can do to take charge of your job search today:

1.  Treat your job search like a job. If you are not currently employed, you have a great advantage – time.  Make finding a food & beverage job your full-time job.  Get up in the morning and get dressed, review your goals, create a to-do list when you settle into your office and try to maintain your diligent work habits.

2.  Clarify your self-knowledge and your goals. Do you know exactly what you have to offer an employer?  Do you know exactly what type of career opportunity you want?  Take the time to write down your specific skills, strengths, accomplishments and career goals.  If you know what you want, and what you bring to the table, it’s infinitely easier to focus your efforts, identify potential employers and find the job you want.

3.  Conduct informational interviews. Informational interviews can provide you with invaluable visibility, information and job interview practice.  Conducted properly they can help you:

  • expand your professional network;
  • set yourself apart from the crowd in a competitive job market;
  • gain insider feedback on potential hiring opportunities.

4.  Develop your network. Often in a job search, it’s not just what you know, it’s who you know.  Be proactive in developing relationships (both in-person and via social media) with people who are doing the kind of work that you want to do.  Identify individuals in food & beverage companies, industry organizations and professional associations who can provide insight into their employment needs.  Identify faculty, friends, business associates and relatives who can assist you with your job search.  Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a job and ask them to refer you to potential employers.

5.  Get more organized. Place all of your job search materials, including: research on potential employers; listings of job postings to which you’ve responded; resume versions and cover letters; recruiters with whom you’re working; network lists, etc.  Use this binder to track your progress, plan follow-up, develop daily to-do lists or record other important information.

6.  Find a mentor. If you don’t have a trusted advisor who can help guide your job search efforts, you should get one.  To select a mentor, choose someone you know who:  has earned your respect; is successful in his or her career; will provide honest and effective feedback; will take an interest in your professional development; will support you in your career progression.  Meet with this person regularly to solicit advice, share your ups and downs, and get the feedback and support you need to keep going.

7.  Work with leading food & beverage executive recruiters. The Kinsa Group matches professionals and executives like you with top food & beverage employers nationwide.  We are pleased to offer a new FREE job seeker resource called Kinsa CareerEdge.  Whether you are involved in a current food & beverage job search, looking to advance in your career, or transitioning into a new career, Kinsa CareerEdge provides amazing tools and resources to guide and support you through the entire process:

  • FREE Assessment Tools
  • Access to over 1,000 Job Boards on ONE site
  • A FREE Resume Builder and Career Advisor
  • Information on Educational Opportunities
  • FREE Weekly Teleconference Calls on “Hot Topics”
  • A Resource Library filled with Audios, Videos and Articles
  • Access to 100 FREE Resume Cards for Networking

Our goal is to make your job search more efficient and productive.  Register now and see the benefits of Kinsa CareerEdge yourself!

Mistakes at Work: How to Handle Things the Right Way

September 20th, 2010

Everybody makes mitsakes (oops, that should read “mistakes”).

But while a blog typo may be easily forgiven, other mistakes on the job can have serious consequences – for you, your boss, or even the company as a whole.  And frankly, the way you handle your slip-up can be just as critical as the mistake itself.

So what should you do when you make an error at work?

  • Assess the situation.  As soon as you realize your misstep, take a minute to consider the ramifications, as well as whether or not you can correct the mistake yourself.  If you can solve it, do so immediately; but if not, take a moment to brainstorm possible solutions.  This way, when you approach your boss you’ll appear proactive and responsible.
  • Own up to it.  Never try to cover up your mistake.  If a boss finds out later that you hid a problem, it can permanently damage your credibility.  So take the initiative and bring the situation to your supervisor’s attention.  When you’re honest from the outset, your boss won’t feel the need to underscore the situation’s importance to you.
  • Take responsibility.  Don’t make excuses, act defensively or place blame elsewhere.  Negative reactions like these will cause equally negative reactions from your boss.  Instead, use your mistake as an opportunity to step up to the plate and demonstrate your responsibility and problem-solving abilities.  If someone else is involved in the mistake, encourage him or her to follow your lead and do the right thing.
  • Explain what happened and what you plan to do about it.  Once you’ve acknowledged your misstep and apologized, you must present a plan for correcting it.  You can say something like, “I’ve made a mistake and I apologize for the error.  I’ve come up with some possible solutions and would like your feedback on how to best resolve the situation.”  It’s fine to ask for help developing and implementing your solution – the key here is to not simply ask for your boss to bail you out.
  • Demonstrate that you’ve learned from your mistake.  When a mistake occurs on the job, it’s not enough to just solve it and move on.  Once you’ve resolved the problem, you need to determine what caused it in the first place – and discuss your plan to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  Explaining to your boss what you’ve learned from your mistake demonstrates that you’re conscientious and have the organization’s best interest in mind.

You’re human.  You’ll make mistakes from time-to-time (we all do).  And if you handle a mistake at work correctly, you can turn a difficult situation into a learning experience – an experience that actually provides an opportunity to demonstrate your honesty, integrity and problem-solving ability.

Handle Your Food & Beverage Career Search the Right Way

Don’t make the mistake of going it alone in your career search.  Contact the Kinsa Group today.  As experts in recruiting for the food & beverage industry, we can match you to the ideal food & beverage industry career opportunities – from Food Safety Manager to VP of Marketing.


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