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April 11, 2014

Don't RUIN Your Chance at Getting The Job!

Part I
In a time where there is high competition for every job posted, making sure your résumé is on point is a top priority for all job seekers.  After investing in internet guidance on format, structure, wording and content; or even hiring a professional to construct a winning résumé for you, you would expect to blow the employer out of the water and get an offer right away!  Unfortunately, that is not how it usually works. 

Yes, your résumé is VERY important.  It is the key to opening the door to an employer’s interest, but it is up to you to win them over in the interview process. Here is a helpful article on old vs new résumé techniques to get you noticed.  In my years as an employment advisor in a rough economy I have seen individuals who have amazing resumes and impressive skill and background get interview after interview and still not one job offer after months of job searching. 

That can do something terrible to your self-esteem and desire to keep pushing hard at the job search grind. What I have found when they have come for help at that point is that their interview skills are what have been holding them back! Practice makes perfect but you should also be aware of 5 things that are complete turn offs to recruiters and HR Managers, making your chances of getting that job pretty slim. 

After speaking with highly respected recruiters and HR Managers; here they are the top...


5.      Initiating Salary Talk
What It Does To Your Chances:
There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance—While you may mean to make yourself as transparent as possible to the employer, initiating salary talk is a tricky situation that may cost you the job. If you are inexperienced at salary negotiation or unsure of what the actual salary for the position is, let the employer bring it up or you can bring it up in the second interview….not upfront on the first interview.

What Recruiters Say:
It's a dangerous game.  Talking figures can be counter-productive until you know that they DO like you. My professional advice to candidates is to not make demands that could put your success in securing the job at risk.

4.      Not Presenting Your Accomplishments Clearly:
What It Does To Your Chances:
How much prep do you do before each interview? The reality is, the more you’re prepared, the better you’ll usually do. If you're not preparing examples from your past work that clearly demonstrate why you'd excel at the job, this might be why your interviews aren't panning out.  You are competing with other highly qualified individuals at the interview stage and need to be able to show the employer your value.  What have you done to improve and or benefit your past employers and how does that translate to how you will benefit the one interviewing you?

If you aren't able to show your value….your first impression is not a very strong one.

What Recruiters Say:
“ Whether the interview is in person or online, it’s important to put both your skills and personality on display. Remember to research before the interview and calm your nerves, so you can be confident about why you’re the perfect person for the position.

3.      Not Doing Your Research
What It Does To Your Chances:  
True or False:  Answering “I am not sure” or winging a response to the interview question “What do you know about our mission” makes you look unprepared and un-interested in the job.  I agree with this article about winging it in a job interview 

What Recruiters Say:
“ The biggest mistake we can make during an interview is to not ask questions. The interview is not only for an employer to decide if they want to invest in you, it is also an opportunity for the candidate to learn as much as they can about the job, company and culture of the company so they can make a decision on whether or not they want to commit to this new employer. In a time where good talent is hard to find candidates need to know their worth and ask questions to help them with their job choices.

      2.  Bad Mouthing Past Employers
What It Does To Your Chances:
Unfortunately I have known people who have intentionally badmouth a past employer in an interview to make themselves look like the victim….How do you think that went for them?  

           What Recruiters Say:
“ Candidates sabotage their opportunity for a new job when they express negativity towards their past managers. They usually begin the dialogue with, I don't like to speak negatively about my past manager, however... A better approach would be to state the job was no longer what they were interested in or they outgrew the position and they felt the time to move on had come. While we may still be able to read between the lines the approach has a more positive tone.

1.      Not Dressing For Success:
What It Does To Your Chances:
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and this is the start of my list because it is a VERY COMMON mistake that people make. I have seen it all and I am sure you have noticed other interviewees too: Wearing too much jewelry, make-up, clothing is too tight/revealing or too baggy, hair is messy, shoes are dirty, clothing is wrinkled, etc, You don’t have to be fashion savvy but you do need to invest in at least one outfit to wear to a job interview.

What Recruiters Say:
 Candidates have less than thirty seconds to give a great first impression. A poor impression will result in less chance of getting that job. Attention to detail in your person and grooming gives an impression of your quality of work as well.

Are you or someone you know making any of these mistakes?  Check out Part II for Tips and Techie Job Search Tools to Fix Them!

P.S. A special thanks to Ms. Bertha Diaz, Ms. Christina Baker, and our other guest Recruiters and HR Managers for your great insight on this topic :)
You guys are Awesome!

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