Even with the wealth of information on job searching available online today, many job seekers are still making the same faux pas that not only prevent them from finding the right position, but that drive hiring managers and recruiters crazy. If you’re reading this, it means you may be looking for a job or preparing for an interview.
We implore you--don’t make these amateur mistakes:
MISTAKES MADE WHILE SEARCHING FOR A JOB
1. Not networking
Most job seekers still look for jobs by perusing ads online. But did you know that up to 80 percent of open positions are not even advertised publicly? Get out there, talk to people, make new contacts and use personal connections to fuel your search.
2. Not using the Internet to your advantage
Be sure that your online profiles include repetition of the keywords that potential employers and recruiters are searching for. Additionally, don’t just make new contacts online, but initiate communication with them.
3. Getting scammed
Don’t fall for an online scam. If you get a job offer after no face-to-face interview, do a little research to confirm the company’s legitimacy. Call the company directly to confirm your contact’s identity. Do not send bank account details or personal information. Pay attention to red flags.
MISTAKES MADE ON CVS AND COVER LETTERS
1. Typos and spelling mistakes
There’s nothing like a typo to ruin a first impression. Be sure to proofread your CV and cover letters--twice--and use spell check.
2. Not stating your skills
After reading your cover letter and perusing your CV for just a few seconds, a recruiter should be able to know your skill set.
3. Having an inappropriate or immature email address
It’s fine if your email address is email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Just don’t expect a hiring manager to take you seriously. Stick to using a formulation of your full name if possible.
MISTAKES MADE AT THE INTERVIEW
1. Not dressing appropriately
Stick to business formal or business professional attire for an interview, unless you are explicitly told otherwise by the interviewer or recruiter.
2. Arriving late
Aim for arriving 10 minutes early, and practice the commute at least once before the day of the interview.
3. Appearing bored or disinterested
Interviewing for a position that’s not your dream job? We’ve all been there. But it’s important to show enthusiasm even if you don’t feel it. Why? The job could lead to your dream job. Or the recruiter could remember you one day for a better position, so don’t turn him or her off by appearing underwhelmed.
4. Appearing cocky
Conversely, appearing too confident or downright cocky can have the same negative effect in the interview. It’s best to appear enthusiastic and confident while remaining humble and gracious.
5. Going negative
You may be tempted to trash your current or former employer in an interview--but don’t do it! It will make you seem petty and not focused on the future. Always stay positive, even if you didn’t leave your last job on good terms.
6. Making body language blunders
Candidates who fidget during an interview--tapping a foot incessantly, repeatedly touching hair, playing with a button on their jacket--will distract the interviewer and direct their attention away from the discussion. The same goes for slumping, shifty eye contact, and forgetting to smile. Remember that your physical demeanor speaks just as loudly as your CV during an interview.