As we all know, being a qualified candidate is not enough to ensure you a job. You could spend 20 years in a single field, win every commendation possible, know how to do every job related to yours, and still get turned down or ignored due to making simple mistakes. When push comes to shove your ability to perform as a job-seeker will be a deciding factor of whether or not you get hired. Today, instead of looking at tricks to making sure you perform well, we are going to look at the things that you cannot do without raising some red flags.
Send a Generic Application- You need a personalized cover letter and resume for every job. If you send the exact same application to every company you will get the exact same response (or lack thereof) from every one. When hiring managers see an application that is clearly a copy they have no desire to give you time out of their day. If you can’t spend the time to create a new application they see no reason to spend the time interviewing you. No matter how qualified you are, or how good your resume is, you need to show hiring managers that you want to work for their company enough to craft a unique application.
Have an Offensive Online Presence- You will be googled, your public facebook profile will show up. If there is anything on there that implies that you will be a bad fit- it can and will be held against you. This can be political rants, drunk photos, even unprofessional comments about past employers. Remember that your personal life is personal- and social media is public. Do not let your personal life interfere with your professional life and keep your social media professional.
Be too Confident- Until you are working for the company you have not been hired. It doesn’t matter if you worked for them for 20 years before this round of hiring- until you are on the payroll you are not an employee. This means you should not behave like an employee during the interview. Remember that you are still being vetted, which means that you can’t interact with everyone like someone who has already been vetted. Be respectful, be deferential, and be polite. Once you are hired you can adapt to the company culture, but until that moment you need to be as professional as possible.
Pester the Hiring Manger- A thank you note is a nice gesture- 10 phone calls is not. Following up after an interview is a great idea, obsessively checking if you got the position is not. Be patient and let them get in touch with you. If they don’t return a phone call or e-mail, don’t contact them until they do. No one has ever gotten a job by flooding a hiring manager’s inbox, but that tactic has cost plenty of people an offer.
If you can’t show that you are a good job-seeker, few hiring managers will think that you’ll be a good employee. Remember to avoid these pitfalls or your dream job will slip through your fingers.