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the top 3 ways to spot a resume liar

over 53% of people lie on their resumes!

The resume. Fact or Fiction?

Here are the top 3 ways to discover if the person you are considering to hire is a resume liar.

These 3 ways are part of the process we use in recruiting.

Let’s go through a few of the steps we use.

EQ Testing & Assessment

Stress management, assertiveness skills, empathy, and political/social acumen are critical success factors that have a direct impact on the bottom line. These can be assessed in an Emotional Intelligence (EQ in the workplace) test profile. We use an online profile that was selected for measuring many competencies including integrity & trust. This same profile showcases how good someone is at promoting themselves & performing in an interview.

We conduct these EQ profiles on Candidates just before the first face to face interview with the Client. Each profile suggests that for a certain position, the Candidate can be low risk, medium risk or high risk. Although its not the sole factor in making a hiring decision, we don’t present high risk Candidates to our Clients.

  • testing confirms the Candidate’s motivation, attitude & compliance
  • testing identifies individuals who put their own needs ahead of the company’s interests
  • testing helps match the Candidate EQ to the competencies required for the specific job
  • testing determines if the individual will be great in the interview (but perhaps not great in the job)

There are still other ways to spot a resume liar.

Reference Checks

Maybe you don’t have access or training for EQ testing and assessment.

If you are trying to collect resumes and do the hiring yourself, DON’T MISS THIS STEP and don’t accept excuses from the job applicant for not delivering contact info. for references. “out of town”, “can’t get the telephone number”, “no longer at the company” – are these excuses?

You can discover a resume liar by doing a thorough reference check. We conduct scheduled & structured 20-30 minute telephone interviews.

  • we schedule formal structured reference interviews
  • we only use work references where the job Candidate directly worked for & reported to the reference OR the reference reported directly to the Candidate
  • no friends
  • no family
  • no co-workers
  • we use the results of the EQ profile to focus on issues or concerns
  • we verify the data provided; income, duration, responsibilities, results, capabilities, licenses, competencies

The Face to Face Interview

Some people are great in interviews. This doesn’t mean they will be good at their work.

They promote themselves well, and can show interest and excitement during an interview – but they could turn out to be duds at the job.

Integrity and trust are critical in every job. Do you want to hire a liar?

The face to face interview is an opportunity to get past first impressions, and dig into the facts about their past performance. Hopefully you are looking at a good functional-style resume which focuses on “What I Can Do For You” not absolutely everything I have done.

Its interview time. You have a resume in front of you, and sitting across from you is your job Candidate – What do you do to Spot a Resume Liar?

The face to face interview is a chance to match up the requirements for peak performance with specific questions that will verify competency, experience… essentially check out all the “claims” of a good resume. Ask the questions & make notes (you will need them for the reference checks)

  • read the resume in advance
  • be prepared with questions about anything you want related to the job and job performance
  • ask specific questions about “claims” on and off the resume, collect more information; income, commissions, bonuses, title, responsibilities, scope of work, duration, gaps in work (it is not unusual to find obvious “mistakes”)
  • ask questions and drill on experience & competency

The zenPeak system makes a difference

How does the up-front & high-value zenPeak system ensure that the Candidate will succeed in their new job at a Client company?

Candidates use (numeric) results-oriented functional style resumes that showcase “What They Can Do for You”. We remove soft language and showcase their transferable skills and experience.  This makes your evaluation of Candidates easier, as you don’t have to work hard to figure the Candidate out, and each resume looks similar in structure.

The interview process begins with the very first contact and includes motivation, compliance, attitude and a host of other factors that contribute to peak performance. In addition, the interview coaching we do, carries expectations and standards that we expect for interactions with our Clients; smart Candidates learn from this and apply it in their career management.

How do we make sure they will work well in the organization, matching the management and operational style of the Client company?

Our testing and assessment is based on the science of axiology, and was selected as the best system to determine integrity, trust and workplace peak performance. Each role has a benchmark score that helps us determine if the Candidate will be low risk, or not. The zeroriskHR assessment also identifies if a Candidate will likely be great in the job, but may not be the best at selling themselves in the initial interview. This is how the testing helps the Candidate even though they don’t see the results.

… and there is lots more; from reference interviews usually delivered before the first face to face with the Client, easy to understand profiles and success stories designed for time-constrained Decision-Makers like you.

Find out how the zenPeak system can save you a lot of money on recruiting costs and help you build a better organization with peak performers.  Call the CEO Frank Abrams at 416 733-3001

How can we have such low fees… and still be awesome?

We have low fees by using a system that is efficient, up-front and high-value.

We can’t imagine working for weeks on a recruiting assignment on speculation;  rushing to send in the resumes of Candidates we may not have even met or fully screened, because the focus is on getting the placement, not recruiting a peak performer to help you grow a great business.

At zenPeak we recruit peak performers and the good news is… our fees are lower than any Executive Search Co. or Recruiter we have heard of!

Not only that – our system is front-loaded and high-compliance, so Clients don’t waste their time on reviewing all those unscreened resumes.

Here is one of our secrets… because we don’t work on assignments we don’t get paid for, and we are super efficient (while still high-compliance), our fees are low – that’s value (the businessperson’s perspective).

Call us if you are looking to hire really good people. If you are tired of being disappointed with the people you hire, or paying  ridiculous high fees to Recruiters, then…. consider a different approach where we do the work and you save time and money.

Frank Abrams 416 733-3001

Staying Positive During a Long Job Search was setup by Robert & Jeanne Segal after their daughter Morgan committed suicide in 1999. The story is here.

It is an amazing resource for healthy living with a strong emphasis on mental health. They offer information and  links to help people cope.

For example,…

Staying positive during a long job search

A long job search can wear on your attitude and outlook, especially if you’re unemployed. If it’s taking you longer than anticipated to find work, the following tips can help you stay focused and upbeat.

  • Keep a regular daily routine. When you no longer have a job to report to every day, you can easily lose motivation. Treat your job search like a regular job, with a daily “start” and “end” time. Following a set schedule will help you be more efficient and productive while you’re unemployed.
  • Create a job search plan. Avoid getting overwhelmed by breaking big goals into small, manageable steps. Instead of trying to do everything at once, set priorities. If you’re not having luck in your job search, take some time to rethink your goals.
  • List your positives. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself, including skills, personality traits, accomplishments, and successes. Write down projects you’re proud of, situations where you excelled, and things you’re good at. Revisit this list often to remind yourself of your strengths.
  • Volunteer. Unemployment and job loss can wear on your self-esteem and make you feel useless. Volunteering helps you maintain a sense of value and purpose. And helping others is an instantaneous mood booster. Volunteering can also provide career experience, social support, and networking opportunities.
  • Focus on the things you can control. You can’t control how quickly a potential employer calls you back or whether or not they decide to hire you. Rather than wasting your precious energy on things that are out of your hands, turn your attention to things you can control during your unemployment,, such as writing a great cover letter and resume tailored to the company you want to work for and setting up meetings with your networking contacts.

The #1 Interview Question AND How to Answer It!

Are you ready to answer the #1 Interview Question?

To start with lets mention the resume style and content that is most likely to get you the interview.

One of the most frustrating parts of a job search is dealing with all the advice you get about resumes. The best approach is a resume that gets you the interview, and helps you get the job! If we have one piece of advice it would be… Don’t make the person reading your resume, work hard to figure you out.

If you have a (numeric) results-oriented, functional style resume you are showcasing… WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU and not just everything that you have done.

Don’t make the person reviewing your resume work hard to figure you out.

So now you have a great resume and you got the interview! Are you ready for the #1 question you are likely to be asked?

OK here it is…

Tell Me About Yourself

The #1 question is not easy to answer UNLESS you are prepared so PRACTICE in front of the mirror over and over until your answer lasts about 20 – 30 seconds at the most,  you sound natural and confident. PRACTICE.

Tell Me About Yourself

you passion opportunity

YOU >>>> You need to give up some personal information. Something about YOU. If you don’t, the interviewer will think you can’t fit into the company, or that you are cold, secretive or not someone they want to have around. We suggest you share innocuous info. that is already on your resume such as (1) where you live now and (2) where you are from originally which is easy to figure out by looking at your high school location and finally (3) something personal related to family (spouse, children, parents, siblings. If you resist this question and say something dumb like “You’re not supposed to ask me that question”, the interview is most likely over. But the trick is to move on very quickly, without a beat. Don’t allow the Interviewer time to ask a follow-up personal question. Move on to…

YOUR PASSION >>>> Are you passionate about what you do AT WORK Yes? Great.    No… Whatever, fake it if you have to. Get excited about your career, the things you have done that are connected to WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU. Let the Interviewer start to see that you’re passionate about what you do AT WORK and it is right on target to what they need. Don’t talk about hobbies, trips, your favourite music etc. ONLY AT WORK PASSION. That’s why you are there.

Now just as quick move on to the OPPORTUNITY >>>>

“and,  I am very excited about the opportunity to  _ _ _  here”

This final part should be EXACTLY AS QUOTED ABOVE. It brings back the answer to why you are sitting there. The most likely follow up question in the interview will be about the opportunity, the job and hopefully your passion for it!

You have showed that YOU are going to fit in, and that you are a good trustworthy person by sharing a bit about yourself. You talked with PASSION about your work and then you expressed interest and excitement in the OPPORTUNITY. Don’t worry if you think it will sound prepared – it won’t. It will sound professional and poised;  much better than stumbling for words, or going on and on about things the interviewer isn’t interested in.

Please comment if you found this post helpful or interesting!

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Career & Life Choices: job vs. self-employed vs. business owner – 1 of 3

  1. Ever thought about going into business for yourself, and wondered if you are the “right type”?
  2. What are the differences between being self-employed and business ownership?
  3. How do you reduce the risks of being self-employed, on commission, or starting a business?

1. Are you the right type to be in business for yourself?

Whether you are fresh out of high school with “fire in the belly”  to build an empire, or mid career, out of a job and looking for an alternative to a job search that isn’t going anywhere,  being in business for yourself will be easier with self-awareness of what you are “good” at, and best suited for.

One of the most interesting approaches to developing self awareness and understanding how you fit is offered by Roger Hamilton’s  XL Wealth Dynamics.

Each of us has a path of least resistance that is based on our natural habits and talents – the ones we were born with. If we are not on our path, life can be a struggle. When we follow our path – and begin to play the game that we most naturally play, we begin to excel. We also find we are doing what we love. These are the eight wealth profiles.

The message is not about whether you should be in business, but discovering what role, or wealth profile  you are best suited for in order to be successful.

  • Mechanic
  • Creator
  • Star
  • Supporter
  • Deal Maker
  • Trader
  • Accumulator
  • Lord

Why do some people not like the idea of a sales job?

Fear, misunderstanding, laziness,ego/status perceptions.

  • fear: not being a good salesperson
  • misunderstanding: thinking every sales role is the same
  • laziness: really don’t want to work hard
  • ego/status perceptions: salespeople have a bad reputation

How about you… Have you ever thought about a SALES job?

Common Answers… “I’m not a salesperson” or… “I don’t like sales”

Are you currently looking for a job?  Frustrated?  Not getting good interviews? Did you know that hundreds and thousands of people compete against each other and apply every single day for every single salaried job,  they never get an interview and they are still unemployed. Did you know many people are under-employed, making less $ than they should based on their efforts, talent, education or experience?

zenPeak has a number of jobs currently available.

We can help you. Even if our Clients don’t offer you a position, you will learn and benefit from our recruitment process. Our process includes interviews, testing, assessments, interview coaching, resume repair and it costs you nothing.

Who is zenPeak?

Our company recruits peak performers for our Clients. We have a system that makes sure a person is right for the position, and that they will perform at a high level.

zenPeak has a number of jobs currently available.

Technology companies
Software companies
Mortgage companies
Financial Planning and Investment companies
Administrative Services companies

Are you ready to TAKE ACTION and get on track to making GOOD MONEY and having REAL SECURITY?  Did you know that the most secure job is always in sales? Top performing salespeople never have to worry about finding a job. We have a number of SALES positions in the GTA and Ontario available NOW for the right person.

Are you ready to work hard and change your life and get real job security!?

Our Clients don’t just hire anyone. Many of these opportunities include base salaries and a guaranteed flow of business. You need to go through our zenPeak recruitment system which is built to recruit peak performers for our Clients.

The good news is that our assessment looks past your resume, and looks at What You Can Do For The Company and for Yourself.

Why do some people not like the idea of sales?

  1. They are lazy and they don’t want to work any harder than they have to once they get a job – please please look elsewhere
  2. They want a steady salary – no problem! many of our opportunities include a base salary
  3. They think they won’t find customers – no problem! many of our opportunities hand you fresh quality business leads from multi-million $ advertising programs
  4. They think they are not good salespeople – there are different types of sales. Our system can determine which you will succeed at
  5. They think it is not a good career – the truth is… the wealthiest and most successful people have always been salespeople selling products and services

Our company recruits peak performers for our Clients. We have a system that makes sure a person is right for the position, and you will perform at a high level.

Are you ready to TAKE ACTION and get on track to making GOOD MONEY and having REAL SECURITY?

call me now

Frank Abrams
CEO and Founder
416 733-3001

You`d be great in the new job… but lousy in an interview?

A good recruitment system will help Clients find peak performers.  Some candidates would be great in a job, but are poor in an interview.

In our zenPeak system, we identify those who may be weak in the interview and alert Clients that they should get past the first impression, and consider competency, EQ and fit to the position, the organization and management operational style. Just because someone can sell themselves in an interview, does not mean they are going to be a peak performer!

lousy in an interview?

In the graphic below from our written reports, you can see that our testing and assessment system identifies these candidates. This is of great benefit to candidates, to enable them to get a fair shot at the opportunity.


4 Success Habits (Mr. Gray’s speech page 6 paraphrased)

I read this 9 page speech by Mr. Gray as part of Bob Proctor’s bonus materials on a success website. I don’t think the speech is well-written but the truth about achieving success is painfully clear. I am paraphrasing a small part of it, and invite you to email me for the full text.  As an added piece of inspiration, Tony Robbins audio clip about Sylvester Stallone and the making of Rocky is at the bottom.

If you are on a job hunt, or growing a business, I believe Mr. Gray provides great advice…

Reminder to Self:

4 Success Habits – (paraphrased from pg. 6 of Mr. Gray’s speech)


It’s easier to persuade someone to a particular course of action, than to find someone who already wants to do it. So if you lack contacts interested in what you do, then you have unconsciously formed the habit of limiting your contacts to people who already want what you offer. Contacting people who need what you offer, (regardless of their “wants”) is the path to success; and they may also be a source of referrals.

If you don’t call on people who are able to do what you want, but may be unwilling to listen, then you have unconsciously formed the habit of limiting yourself to calling on people who are willing to listen, but may be unable to do what you want. What’s the worst that can happen, and does that involve my pride and ego?

Successful people form the habit of calling on people determined to help them see why its in their best interest to take action. If you don’t do that when calling on people, then you have unconsciously formed the habit of calling on people when you are in a state of mind, willing to let them convince you of their reasons for not taking action.

Working habits according to Mr. Gray take care of themselves if the other 3 habits are looked after. I think they take work too as I can procrastinate with the best of them. Follow ups and persistence need work. I try and make a mental note of how you feel when you are working hard, and getting things done. I know I feel better.

Speaking of mental notes I find that making a mental note of how you feel the instant after hanging up from a telephone call is very helpful. People respond positively to talking with someone who knows their stuff and believes in what they do, even if they disagree or are not interested.

These are the success habits according to Mr. Gray, and they are driven by long term purpose in life.

To get Mr. Gray’s complete speech please email me. Click on the picture to hear Tony Robbins talk about Sylvester Stallone and Rocky.

Rocky with his dog
Rocky with his dog

Do’s and Don’ts for hiring from Fast Company

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for hiring from Fast Company that are good common sense for small to mid-size growth companies (the kinds of clients we have at zenPeak for the most part).

Of course, picking the right person who will be a peak performer in your company is still an art and a science. Our system includes assessments that use position benchmarks, and examine the EQ competency scores that will lead to peak performance… and… IT WORKS!

Fast Company's The Do's and Don'ts of Hiring
Fast Company's The Do's and Don'ts of Hiring

Earn Customer Trust with Employees who can be Trusted!

There are a number of steps a company can take to build a trust relationship with customers.

According to Deborah Nixon of Trust Learning Solutions. In the Financial Post article of May 26 2009, she lists a few;

  1. survey customers
  2. survey employees
  3. examine strategies and programs against survey results
  4. align communications with trust messaging
  5. recheck changes made in 6 months

According to Nixon, “Employees who doubt the integrity or ability of their organization to cope with challenges will deliver poor customer service”

I don’t fully agree with this statement, although there are certainly lots of problems resulting from companies operating low trust corporate working environments.

A worker may hate their job and their boss and think the company is slimy, but may still do their work. EQ assessments, and over 40 years of studies, show that an individual’s empathy and organizational loyalty, and other emotional intelligence internal and external competencies, will impact the degree to which they follow the rules and do their job, regardless of the level of trust around them.

Testing is a critical component in a high-trust organization that wants to be trusted. Companies must invest real resources to take this path. In addition to Nixon’s excellent advice about surveys etc.,  companies need to recruit and retain people who have been assessed, and will likely be suited to their roles. This is the way to peak performance in an organization.

Peak Performers will love the new Scotiabank Executive Compensation scheme!

Peak Performers will love the new Scotiabank Executive Compensation scheme!

According to the Financial Post of May 20 2009, under the new compensation plan, investment bankers at ScotiaCapital will win in the long run if all stakeholders, including the bank and its shareholders, also win in the long run.

The Financial Post outlines the details, and asserts that there may be a rush for the exits if other Bay St. firm don’t head down the same path as ScotiaCapital.

While the world’s big financial institutions cope with stress tests (the Federal Reserve Stress Test guide is here) zenPeak has another thought…

Why not test staff for how they respond to stress with a comprehensive Emotional Intelligence profile from zenPeak?

It’s a proven methodology to discover the EQ and get some awareness on how someone will perform in their job. Take a look at the core competencies that bring peak performance on Bay St.!


One alleged Fraudster returns to the US, the other goes missing!


With his cowboy boots stuffed with cash, platinum, a fake passport in his own alias name and swiss bearer notes, the dimwit alleged mortgage ponzi schemer Christopher Warren took a cab from Toronto airport to the US border.  Huffington Post reported that as Warren was on his whirlwind adventure, he showed flight crews a stash of gold.

I’m not sure these were the boots Warren was wearing (they are gorgeous huh?) when he got busted at the border, but  “Court documents alleged they defrauded investors and mortgage companies of $100 million since 2006. The fraudulent deals involved 500 homes and condominiums in California, Florida, Nevada, Illinois, Colorado and Arizona”   ——-

News today that Venezuela seized Stanford Bank , reminded me that Allen Stanford is missing after allegedly scheming 8 Billion out of  50,000 customers. Huffington Post reports that Stanford’s damage could match the Madoff ponzi scandal, and lists the “most shocking” allegations…

  1. Stanford posted identical returns two years in a row, in 1995 and 1996, indicating the fraud has been going on for at least 13 years.
  2. Stanford and CFO James Davis have “wholly failed” to cooperate with the SEC investigation.
  3. There was no army of analysts combing through Stanford’s multi-billion-dollar portfolio. Rather, the only research conducted on companies in which he was investing came from Stanford himself, and CFO James Davis.
  4. Stanford told at least one client that the SEC was freezing CDs, a blatant impossibility.
  5. Stanford lost money from the Madoff ponzi scheme, “despite the bank’s public assurances to the contrary.” One analyst puts the loss at $400,000.
  6. Despite repeated calls from the SEC to Stanford’s Antigua-based accounting firm, the accountants never answered their phones.
  7. And as if the SEC couldn’t put it any clearer, Stanford’s public statements about its investments “are false.”

Bloomberg reports that Michael Zarich, a senior investment officer with Antigua- based Stanford International Bank, in a sworn deposition, described how “Stanford told investors the program had positive returns for periods in which clients actually lost money. The firm claimed a return of 18.04 percent in 2000 when actual investors lost as much as 7.5 percent, according to the complaint. In 2008 client pitch books, Stanford presented hypothetical data under the heading “Historical Performance” alongside the audited 2005 through 2008 figures, the complaint said.”

– Frank Abrams is the founder of  zenPeak Inc.,  helping companies find and retain peak performers.

Broker bails out on his position of trust

Marc Schrenker was picked up by police in a KOA campground today.  His alleged scheme to fake his death by calling in a distress message, and then parachuting to freedom out of his airplane didn’t work. He is alive to deal with some of the mess his life has become.

Apparently, he was involved in stealing commissions, but at this stage, maybe the kindest thing to do, until the facts emerge, is to say his life was unraveling. His wife had recently filed for divorce, and his father had just passed away.

Someone accustomed to $1,000 suits, private planes, fancy cars and club memberships, can often have a hard time when it all comes “crashing down”. Victims of the Madoff scandal have killed themselves out of despair.

How a person deals with these challenges and choices in the workplace is best understood with EQ testing and assessment, based on the science of axiology.

Luckily, Schrenker wasn’t hurt when he parachuted out, and no one on the ground was nearby when his plane landed in a swamp.

If a person, like Mr. Schrenker is alleged to be, had been EQ tested and assessed using the zerorisk system, prior to being hired, I believe they would have been identified as a poor fit for a position of trust, with a potential for theft and embezzlement.

– Frank Abrams is the founder of zenPeak Inc. , helping companies find and retain peak performers for high-trust and high-integrity positions.