As you step into the job market and do your best to convince employers that you’re the candidate they’re looking for, watch out for these easy pitfalls that can send the opposite message. Little moves like this can allow other candidates to step ahead of you at best, and at worst, they can send employers running in another direction.
1. Including anything lightweight, cutesy, or juvenile in your application. These red flags include email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ilovemetallica@hotmail.com. They also include silly, overly casual voicemail greetings targeted toward your fraternity brothers or best friends rather than professional connections. Do a quick scan of your contact information and make sure you’re laying out the right kind of welcome mat for serious employers.
2. Neglecting your online reputation. Google your name and get a sense of the information about you that’s publicly available on the web. To control this information, you may want to start by adjusting the privacy settings on your social media content. And if a quick Google search reveals embarrassing information from your past that you can’t remove from public view, be ready to discuss this information without fumbling and flustering if it comes up during your interview.
3. Counting on your charm. Prepare thoroughly beforehand for your interviews, don’t just get dressed and step out the door expecting your smile and natural conversational skill to win employers over. Most hiring managers aren’t just looking for a clean-shaven face and a nice personality. They want someone who stands out, and who can handle the responsibilities of the job better than all other the candidates lined up in the lobby. Simply behaving yourself won’t be enough to make the grade.
4. Not bouncing back from an interview misstep. If you make a joke and your interviewer doesn’t laugh, do you recover with grace? Or do you tune out, freeze up, or spend the remainder of your meeting mumbling through red-faced apologies? If you answer a knowledge based question incorrectly or accidentally or say something foolish, put it behind you and move on.
5. Neglecting to send a thank you note. There’s actually nothing wrong or inconsiderate about skipping this step…but employers usually like it, it shows professionalism and follow-through, and it’s easy. So if you don’t do it, your competitors definitely will. And all else being equal, the one who leaves the best impression will get the offer. Send a short handwritten note thanking your interviewers for their time and reminding them of your most important qualifications.
For more tips on striking the right note with employers and making sure your name is remembered, reach out the job search and staffing experts at Techneeds.