Bob

You May Have (Accidentally) Shot Yourself in the Foot

Job competition is tough. There is an incredibly competitive pool of candidates for any job, from Payroll Director to Benefits Manager. While Willory can help, there are some things that you can do that will simply sabotage your chances to land a job.

1: Typos
Spellcheck is there for a reason. Double-check the red and green squiggles in your emails, resume, and cover letter. Then check them again. They are not there for decoration.

Even common grammatical mistakes – it’s and its, or you’re and your, or two, to and too—are a death blow (ask our own marketing person what he thinks of people who use your instead of you’re and you will understand how important this is to some). Over 60% of companies report they won’t hire a candidate with a typo on their resume. It’s one of the easiest things to miss, but you can’t afford to. An extra set of eyes is always critical – have someone else check over for grammar and spelling.

2: That Drunken Profile Picture
Potential employers use Google, and they’re going to be checking your profiles. Make sure they’re professional and appropriate (also check for glaring typos there too). Try making posts or tweeting about business appropriate things, so employers know that you’re thinking about work outside of work. Tweet to companies. Respond to blog posts. Whatever you do, don’t be so paranoid that you forgo an Internet presence. Just make sure you’re writing appropriate things. The internet is forever.

Also, make sure your email is appropriate. No one is going to follow up with hunyboobooluver_83@hotmail.com. Using firstname.lastname@gmail, or a similar email is clean and professional.

3: Fluffing up your objective
Businesses like direct people. They like people who know what they want, and are a good fit with their company. Dancing around your job objective is a sure way to be put in the reject pile. People can’t help someone if they don’t know what they need help with.

Come up with a sentence, two at most, to describe your job objective. Make sure it’s sharp, direct, and conveys your entire idea. And be creative – you are in a stack of resumes, set yourself apart.

4: Looking for Pity
Yes, the job market is tough. Yes, it’s hard to find a job. Yes, you’ve been rejected. Don’t act like it. Stay optimistic and enthused about the job opportunity. The buck stops here.

A company doesn’t want someone who’ll blame someone—anything—else. Don’t be that person.

5: A Blank Stare
Here’s the part of the interview that will make or break you. The interviewer looks over expectantly and asks, “Do you have any questions?”

If you give a confused look or a blank stare, you’re done.

You should have two or three questions to ask prepared ahead of time. Make sure they’re well researched and fit the company. Check the Internet and the company website to get a feel for what they’re about, and ask questions. You’ll come across as prepared and insightful. And if they are answered in the interview, come up with others on the fly – but not asking questions shows a lack of depth.

6: Forgetting your P’s and Q’s
Don’t forget to be polite when networking. Thank someone for anything they do to help you—referrals or references. They’ll remember you positively and will be more likely to help you in the future. And they’ll remember if you forget to thank them. People remember being slighted just as much as they remember being praised.

So don’t forget to thank someone who’s helped you. A handwritten note always sends an extra special touch.

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