The economy is still lagging when it comes to employment and many find themselves unemployed for the first time in their lives. New graduates also are finding it tough to compete with experienced applicants fighting for the same position. So if you are planning to apply for a job, whether seasoned or new, there are important tips to help in securing it.
While there is basically no real secret to securing a job, many fail to follow basic steps to make sure they stand out. In reality simple things can lead to an amazing opportunity. If you are serious about landing a job, read below tips and consider the ones that apply to you. While some tips may seem like common sense, you’d be surprised how many fail at the basics.
Since I’ve been in a management role for most of my career, I compiled a list of mistakes many made during interviews. It occurred to me that many may be in need of help during this tough economy, so it is designed to assist serious applicants with landing a job.
TOP LIST OF WHAT NOT TO DO – TO SECURE A JOB
- Don’t be late for the interview, it is astonishing how many people fail at this simple task.
- Don’t use references who will not provide a favorable one. Believe it or not, many people list referrals who say negative things about them, in this case it is best to have none at all.
- Don’t put a phone number on your resume, if it risks having an unprofessional person answer the phone. So many numbers I called, had rude or tasteless people answer. It is a turnoff and will hurt your chance of a call back.
- Don’t use unprofessional email addresses. You would be amazed at some of them email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org are no good (fictional examples of similar ones provided in the past). Set up a free Hotmail or AOL account for business. Use first initial, last name if possible or a professional name.
- Don’t oversell yourself or lie on your resume. Chances are you will be caught and lose all credibility and the position.
- Don’t dress like you’re going to a night club. Conservative professional attire is best for any position, be it busboy, manager, or janitor. You only have one time to impress…dress your best.
- Don’t wear heavy cologne. It makes the interviewer sick, which makes them rush through the interview to get rid of you.
- Don’t say negative things about yourself. Many applicants have said incredible things, which made me question if I would hire them at all. Example; “Well, I was only late a few times at my last job”.
- Don’t put on your resume what you did in the 70’s, no-one really cares. Unless you were at the same company for that duration, keep it current.
- Don’t post inappropriate photos or comments on Facebook or other forms of social networking sites, many employers now check applicants personal background before extending an offer.
TOP LIST OF WHAT TO DO – TO SECURE A JOB
- Always bring your resume, even when you applied on-line. Sample resumes can be found at http://tinyurl.com/43veenp.
- Always smile and speak clearly during the interview.
- Always engage friendly but professional conversation with the receptionist. They typically are a great source for “putting in a good word” for you.
- Always turn a question in a positive direction. Example; Question “What are your weaknesses?” Answer “Some have said I’m a perfectionist, so I double-check things several times.” While this may appear negative to you, it will be a positive attribute to the interviewer.
- Always turn OFF your cell phone. I have experiences multiple situations where Jay Z music blasted out of an applicants cell phone during the interview, which is an obvious distraction.
- Always send a “thank you” email or card after the interview. Make sure you check for typos.
- Always double-check your resume for errors. Incorrect spelling or bad layout go to the bottom of the pile.
- Always put your contact information on the resume and your name and information at the top of every page.
- Always focus on what you bring to the table. Practice with a friend prior to your meeting, so you have answers ready and do not stumble. If you seem assured, chances are they will see your confidence.
- Always smile and thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet when leaving the interview. Offer them a firm handshake to let them know you’re confident and secure.
If you follow these simple steps your chances will go up significantly. If you have more suggestions to help others or have questions, please feel free to post them in the comments section.
Now go land that job!