Simple mistakes during a job search can unfavorably affect your chances of moving forward in the hiring process. With Halloween just around the corner, it’s a good time to freshen up on what job seekers do which can possibly “scare” away recruiters and hiring managers.
A Rotten Resume
It’s Too Long
Although a one-page resume is best, your resume does not need to be longer than two pages. Recruiters need to look through a number of resumes throughout the day and one that is pages long will not grab their attention. Focus on creating succinct sections and bullet points that really highlight your accomplishments and skills.
After you’ve shortened your resume, it’s important to then focus on resume format. Make sure you choose a legible, professional font, and don’t make it too small to read. If you’re having trouble developing a good format, there are plenty of online tools that you can use to help. Also, keep your information in chronological order and triple-check your dates of employment to ensure everything is accurate.
No Skills Section
Recruiters and hiring managers are interested in what relevant skills you possess and how they make you qualified for positions at their organization, which is why you need a skills section on your resume. Formatting also plays a part here, so you will want to break down your skills into different sections and subsets if necessary. Group your skills into categories (such as Social Media Tools or Languages) and list them out in bullets.
No Links to Social Media
As a job seeker, you are more than likely aware that you need to be on social media. Once you’ve created your profiles, filled out the necessary sections, and started to be active, you need to let recruiters and hiring managers have access to them! Include your social profiles in your contact information section as they will act as supplements to your resume.
When creating your resume, there’s no reason to include irrelevant information. This takes up necessary space which you can use to showcase information that will better impress recruiters and hiring managers. Things like hobbies outside of the office, summer jobs you had in high school, and unrelated skill sets should not be added to your resume.
Spooky Social Media Profiles
Not Being Active
It’s not enough to just create a social media profile. In order to grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers, they need to see that you are active on those social networks. Post status updates, share industry-related news, participate in groups, like and comment on your connections’ updates, etc. Scheduling a few minutes each day to be more engaging on your social media profiles will pay off in the end and put you ahead of other candidates.
Not Being Aware of Privacy Settings
As you become more active on social media, it’s normal to be nervous that your activity could draw attention from your current organization and give away that you are searching for a job. Be sure to review the privacy settings of each social network you are on in order to avoid this situation. Thankfully, LinkedIn has recently added a feature for job seekers to privately let recruiters know they are interested in career opportunities.
Not Knowing About Updates
With social media constantly making changes to their platform, job seekers need to stay on top of these changes. As mentioned, LinkedIn has made several recent updates, but so has Twitter. As technology continues to evolve, job seekers need to be aware of how these updates can assist them in their job search, which proves to recruiters that they can stay up-to-date with the changes.
Lack of Professionalism
Social media is made for sharing and expressing views, however, when you are searching for a job, keeping it completely professional is key. Keep your political views, personal stories, and your rants posted to a private personal account, or even better- just keep them offline. Recruiters and hiring managers will more than likely be viewing your social profiles at some point during the hiring process, so be sure there is nothing that will deter them.
Being Only on One Network
Of course, it’s important for a job seeker to be on LinkedIn, but there are many other networks that you can be on that will impress recruiters. You can utilize Twitter and Facebook, but there are even more profiles that you can create to continue to build your personal brand. In addition to this, it will give recruiters and hiring managers more opportunities to find you online.
Frightful Interview Preparation
No Good Questions
Before you even get to the interview, you need to have well-thought-out interview questions ready. You may want to write them down and bring them with you just in case you don’t remember them all. Your interviewer will be more impressed if they know you’ve been preparing for the interview.
Not Doing Your Research
In addition to bringing intelligent questions, you need to prove to the recruiter or hiring manager that you’ve done your homework. Complete thorough research before the interview and write down this information as well. You want to be able to have a meaningful conversation with your interviewer that leaves them with the impression that you know your stuff.
Not Practicing Before
One of the best ways to be fully prepared for an interview is to practice beforehand. Research the typical interview questions that will be asked by hiring managers and plan out your answers to them. Once you’ve prepared your answers, practice saying them out loud. This type of run-through will make you more comfortable and confident when you need to answer them in person.
Hiring managers want to see that a candidate is excited about the job opportunity and employer. If you come into the interview with a dispassionate attitude, a hiring manager may think you aren’t interested in working at their organization. You need to prove to the interviewer that you are enthusiastic about the opportunity at hand and that you will be a great fit in their organization as well.
Being Too Salesy
As important as it is to be enthusiastic in an interview, you need to be sure to not be overconfident or be too “salesy” in your presentation. Try to avoid any gimmicks and clichéd one-line answers. Also, be sure to avoid bending the truth to make you sound more qualified.
Not Sending Any Follow-Up Messages
Once your interview is complete, it is absolutely crucial to send a thank-you follow-up message. These messages can be in the form of an email or hand-written note and need to be sent to each person you met with during the interview process. These messages don’t just apply to after interviews. If you have a phone screen or informal interview with a recruiter and hiring manager, it’s always a good idea to send a thank-you message after them as well.
Not Personalizing Messages
Another important aspect of the thank-you follow-up message is personalizing it to each person. Be sure to get the names and contact information of everyone you meet with during the interview process. When crafting the message, mention something specific from your meeting with each person or any similar interests shared. This will show the employer that you took time with your follow-up and that you’re appreciative of meeting them.
Sending Messages Too Late
You should be sending any thank-you follow-up messages within 24 hours of the interview or phone screen taking place. The sooner you can send these messages, the better. To save some time, create a template of your message beforehand, and fill it in with personalized lines after you’ve had the meeting.
Being Difficult to Contact
After you’ve had a phone screen or interview, make sure it is easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to get in contact with you. Being distant or not responding in a reasonable time gives the impression that you are not interested in the job opportunity and can hurt your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.
Following Up Too Much
On the other hand, it’s also in your best interest to not follow up with a recruiter or hiring manager too much. Once you’ve sent the initial thank-you message, you don’t have to constantly reach out to get an update. You don’t want to annoy a recruiter or hiring manager. If you don’t hear anything after a few days, it’s more than reasonable to send a message to check in with them.
So as you prepare your costume and stock up on candy this weekend, be sure to take some time to see if you may be making any of these mistakes as a job seeker. They’re all easy to fix and will ensure that you don’t “scare” away anyone during your job search.
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