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The Job Search: What Not to Do

By October 15, 2013 No Comments
Woman with stop hand

Woman with stop handIt’s an employer’s market out there and competition is fierce.  Ask 10 different people how to get a leg up on your competitors, and you’re likely to get 10 different answers.  But all should agree on this: you don’t want to get yourself noticed for the wrong reason.

Joshua Bjerke, of Recruiter.com, offers several ways to almost certainly sabotage your search.

Providing a ridiculously long resume.  Unless you’re in academia (where hiring committees have been known literally to count pages) or a scientist with many publications to your name, one or two pages should be sufficient.  Hiring authorities may spend as few as six seconds reviewing your resume before forming an initial impression, so you’ve got to communicate your worth and capabilities immediately.  If you don’t sell yourself quickly, he or she may make some inaccurate and unfavorable assumptions about you and put your resume in the “no” pile.

Demonstrating a lack of self awareness.  Think about what you’ve enjoyed about past jobs, what you’ve found challenging, and where you hope to take your career.  Those sitting opposite you at the interview want to know you’re really thinking this move through and that you’re likely to be engaged in and passionate about the job, as well as committed to meeting objectives.

Applying to jobs for which you’re not remotely qualified.  If you don’t meet the minimum qualifications for a job – and can’t very convincingly articulate why you should be considered anyway – you’re probably wasting energy in applying.  Hiring authorities can spot an unqualified applicant pretty darn quickly.  And if you’ve represented yourself and your skill set falsely on the resume in order to get past the gatekeeper and into an interview, it’s still highly likely that you’ll be found out.

Failing to prepare for the interview.  This really ought to go without saying.  Do your research ahead of time and be able to speak about the company, its products and services and why you want to work for them.  Rehearse your elevator speech until it doesn’t sound rehearsed.  Be ready to provide examples of past achievements, obstacles and successes.  Engage with the interviewer, asking questions that show your interest in the position.